Router Dado Jig for Stairs... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router Dado Jig for Stairs...

Hello again...I settled on an adjustable dado/groove/recess jig after reading all your responses...I mention all three as I made the jig adjustable at both fences. This will allow me to use the jig at other than 90 degrees and to cut the groove to accept wedges.

My next application will be to make grooves in the stringer for the tread. I'm not sure what to use to cut out the round for the bull nose...Forstner, spade, router bit...? Recommendations...? I don't think I want to make an appropriately sized semicircle jig...

Thank you in advance...Nick...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 06:06 AM
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Any chance you would be willing to share a couple of pictures of your stair stringer jig? I have a similar job coming up and I am always looking for a new way of handling routing out the stringer (riser). For the tread I use a guide bearing with a 1/2" up cutting spiral router bit. My pattern allows for a pretty tight fit around the stair tread. Hope thus helps!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Any chance you would be willing to share a couple of pictures of your stair stringer jig? I have a similar job coming up and I am always looking for a new way of handling routing out the stringer (riser). For the tread I use a guide bearing with a 1/2" up cutting spiral router bit. My pattern allows for a pretty tight fit around the stair tread. Hope thus helps!
Absolutely...just took them, on my way to work and will send them later...thanks...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Any chance you would be willing to share a couple of pictures of your stair stringer jig? I have a similar job coming up and I am always looking for a new way of handling routing out the stringer (riser). For the tread I use a guide bearing with a 1/2" up cutting spiral router bit. My pattern allows for a pretty tight fit around the stair tread. Hope thus helps!
My normal mode is a square with stops at the right measurements, lots of measurements and lots of lines, then cut. Since joining the forum I have found interest in jigs so I've taken a shot at a couple of prototypes. I say prototypes because it has mostly been trying rather than final product. I think I would use smaller knobs, better wood, t-nuts and overall be more careful about the cuts and slots. I like the idea of not making the jig at 90 degrees only as I can see many more uses for it but I have lost the advantage of "quick measurement" by not fixing it at 90. I still like the "measure twice, cut once" approach so I still use the square to double check...I'm sure this will finally stop. The jig allows for a wedge against the tread when laying out the stringer and a stop will allow for repeatability just like a square. attached are pictures...the lines on the long pieces are the 90 degree mark...I'm not sure I trust it yet...it needs to be better made...

This is not unique...there are lots of images and videos for this type of jig...I would take the best from all of them (google - "router dado jig" - images) Many are made of hardboard, knobs reversed, thinner wood, etc...
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Last edited by Nickp; 01-11-2013 at 07:44 AM. Reason: added...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 09:46 AM
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Default Another option...

Nick, I think what you made is cool and certainly should be able to function well for you. What I was speaking of in your earlier thread on a similar subject was more like this [please view attached] S-S-T simply refers to Stair Stringer Template. The solid color represents your template material (I recommend 1/2" thick MDF) and the cutout needs to be your actual stair dimensions + 1/8" in all directions. If I were doing this (and I've done this many times) I would use a plunge router, 1/2" diameter bit and 3/4" guide bushing.
I would have the markings (in pencil or Sharpie) on the stringer [workpiece] and simply position the template atop where the routing should take place.
This template works for both sides via flip-flop. Clamp as required, F-Style Clamps work well for this - especially when they are positioned bar-downward and out of the travel path of the router.
My recommendation of 1/2" bit + 3/4" bushing assumes all wooden members are to be MORE than 1/2" thick. Depending on wood species you are using, sequential passes of 1/8" to 1/4" should work well for you.
Nick my friend, if this is something you would like to pursue; I am glad to make you an AutoCAD drawing for your template.
Necessary information will be: Stringer dimensions (L x W x T), Tread dimensions, Riser dimensions and Nosing requirements

In stairs such as this - if the underside is not visible, I would recommend an ATR under the nosing intersection about every 3 or 4 feet along the pitch of the stringer(s). The All Thread Rod enables you to keep slight horizontal compression on the treads and risers. I hope this helps, You know how to get-in-touch with me if anything else is needed from me.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 11:29 AM
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You do know there are commercial jigs available?
Trend STAIR/A Staircase Housing Jig for Closed Risers - Amazon.com
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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You do know there are commercial jigs available?
Trend STAIR/A Staircase Housing Jig for Closed Risers - Amazon.com
Yes, Dan...thank you but this started in a previous thread where I found out that my table saw would not take a 3/4 dado. It then evolved into opting for a router dado jig and then I veered off the normal jig to making one that is fully adjustable. One thing led to another and I decided to try the jig to cut into stringers for my next project. I'm thinking I mislabeled the thread. And since I'm having so much fun doing the same thing in a different way I thought I'd start making some tools for myself...
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 06:00 PM
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Hi Nick

Just a point about stair housings - they type cut using jigs like the Trend AREN'T parallel housings (dados). They are actually tapered. This is so that the treads and risers can be held in place by glue and wedges (I assume from your first post you were referreing to a closed riser type staircase). Because of the number of treads in a staircase it's going to be a lot easier to produce good results if your jig cuts the tapers, the housing (dado) for the riser and the tapered housing for the tread in one go. There's a guy called Keith Matthewson on YouTube who has produced an excellent video on the subject together with more videos on stair making which are well worth watching

BTW I use a Trend jig, although I can't see the home made one being any less useable, only less durable

Regards

Phil

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Nick

Just a point about stair housings - they type cut using jigs like the Trend AREN'T parallel housings (dados). They are actually tapered. This is so that the treads and risers can be held in place by glue and wedges (I assume from your first post you were referreing to a closed riser type staircase). Because of the number of treads in a staircase it's going to be a lot easier to produce good results if your jig cuts the tapers, the housing (dado) for the riser and the tapered housing for the tread in one go. There's a guy called Keith Matthewson on YouTube who has produced an excellent video on the subject together with more videos on stair making which are well worth watching

BTW I use a Trend jig, although I can't see the home made one being any less useable, only less durable

Regards

Phil
Thank you, Phil...you're right on all counts...route ring in one shot would be so much better but since my jig is adjustable on all corners it will accommodate the tapers but not in one pass. I don't do that much stair work so I thought something more multi-purpose would suit my needs. Working on my current project (different thread) tells me I should have a template for closed stringer. If I get ambitious again I'll make one. Thanks also for the recommendation on Keith's video. Nick...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:22 AM
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Thank you, Phil...you're right on all counts...route ring in one shot would be so much better but since my jig is adjustable on all corners it will accommodate the tapers but not in one pass. I don't do that much stair work so I thought something more multi-purpose would suit my needs. Working on my current project (different thread) tells me I should have a template for closed stringer. If I get ambitious again I'll make one. Thanks also for the recommendation on Keith's video. Nick...
If one cannot cut the half-inch depth in one pass, what is the sequence? Do you cut all the stair reliefs at 1/4" and then reset the router for 1/2" or leave the template in place and rout twice before moving the jig? This gets cumbersome with a fixed-base router. What is a good machine for this job...opinions? I have shredded a Bosch 1613EVS and need to replace it.
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