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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Default Wood for stringers...

Circumstances require me to sandwich a couple of 1x10's for stringers for a 4-step stair between two landings...oak for the show side, pine for the inside...

First question...thoughts on the sandwich...? Glued and screwed prior to cut and install...

Second...available oak 1x10's are not solid, meaning made up of 3 or 4 solid pieces glued together...the pine is solid...thoughts on whether this will be strong enough...?

Third...what is the minimum cut depth I can get away with for thread groove...? and still make it workable for wedges...?

Fourth...do I need wedges if I can be precise in the grooves, glue them in and screw into thread and riser from outside of stringer...? (trying to avoid squeak

Fifth...there is a wood glue that stays soft...good to use for this or stick with Titebond (original, premium, ultimate...?)

Probably more questions as I proceed but this will get me started on my plan of attack.

Thank you in advance...Nick
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 12:11 PM
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How long are the stringers, Nick? getting long pieces are going to likely be a problem. How about using 2x12 D.Fir (air dried or KD) and laminating on your two choices onto the faces and edges (1/4"plywood for faces and solid for the edges).
Mixing the species sounds like a LOT of extra work!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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How long are the stringers, Nick? getting long pieces are going to likely be a problem. How about using 2x12 D.Fir (air dried or KD) and laminating on your two choices onto the faces and edges (1/4"plywood for faces and solid for the edges).
Mixing the species sounds like a LOT of extra work!
Stringers are only 4 step/5 riser, approx 6ft for the housed stringer and approx 5ft for the other. Can't use 2x's with 1/4 laminate as there are wall studs behind the stringer and that much wood will shorten the tread too much (down to about 29 1/2). The 1/4 oak plywood only has about 1/42" of oak veneer...thinking it might be too tender for shoes, appliances, etc... that might "bump" up against it... Plus it would stick out too far beyond existing sheetrock and no amount of molding will give it a good look...

Can't use x12 for the inside stringer (with tread and riser cut out) as it won't fit in existing space...I'm kinda stuck with x10's.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 04:26 PM
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There are a few things you didn't mention such as whether the steps are open or closed, what the width is, and what thickness of board you are using for the step. Veneered ply won't last. Solid wood made for stair components is usually pretty pricey as you may have discovered. If you build enclosed step and riser the riser will help support the step. I would say the insets should be at least 1/2". If you build enclosed style you could add cleats under the ends for extra support. For glue I would use PL400 in the caulking tube. It will dry to a hard, somewhat rubbery state and is capable of filling a 3/8" gap between floor and floor joists.
There are a number of rules in the building codes relating to stairs. If you're not familiar with them it would be a good idea to try to learn them. I have seen a few posters on the forum who appear to be stair experts, which I don't consider myself to be. Hopefully one of them will come along.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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There are a few things you didn't mention such as whether the steps are open or closed, what the width is, and what thickness of board you are using for the step. Veneered ply won't last. Solid wood made for stair components is usually pretty pricey as you may have discovered. If you build enclosed step and riser the riser will help support the step. I would say the insets should be at least 1/2". If you build enclosed style you could add cleats under the ends for extra support. For glue I would use PL400 in the caulking tube. It will dry to a hard, somewhat rubbery state and is capable of filling a 3/8" gap between floor and floor joists.
There are a number of rules in the building codes relating to stairs. If you're not familiar with them it would be a good idea to try to learn them. I have seen a few posters on the forum who appear to be stair experts, which I don't consider myself to be. Hopefully one of them will come along.
Thank you, Charles...the steps are 1 inch thick, risers are 3/4...rise is 7.5", tread will be about 10 3/4" (including the nose), nose hangs over riser about 1 1/2". All material is oak. One side (against existing wall) is closed, other side (stairs leading to basement from common landing) is open. NYS code calls for <=7.75" riser, tread depth at >=10", nosing projection 3/4" to 1 1/2" so I think I'm okay there but thank you for the precaution...I appreciate you reminding me to double-check - I certainly don't do this for a living so I had to look it up... And you are so right...not only expensive but not easily available if you want to look at the wood first...

A good friend of mine who passed away would say "no matter how many times I cut it, it's still too short"...LOL...Thanks for the recommendation for the glue...Nick
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 06:06 PM
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tread will be about 10 3/4" (including the nose), nose hangs over riser about 1 1/2"

that will give you a thread of only 9-1/4"... the nose will be prone hit the heel or make the foot print too small for comfort leading to possible falls and injuries...

can you consider increasing the run to give you more thread and possibly adding one more step making the stairs way more comfortable for all ages...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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tread will be about 10 3/4" (including the nose), nose hangs over riser about 1 1/2"

that will give you a thread of only 9-1/4"... the nose will be prone hit the heel or make the foot print too small for comfort leading to possible falls and injuries...

can you consider increasing the run to give you more thread and possibly adding one more step making the stairs way more comfortable for all ages...
Thanks, Stick...I'm working from memory so I may be wrong...I will be there tomorrow to start demo and will re-post measurements. The landings are in place so I don't have any latitude to add much more depth. The lower landing is the front door and is already tight to walk in and go to basement. I was thinking of adding more nose to make up for it...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 10:56 PM
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I think Stick is right, the exposed tread may be a bit narrow. The code says you are okay with 3/4 so I would consider that or maybe an inch. I consider 7 1/2" the maximum rise I will build to, any taller starts to become like climbing a ladder. Don't forget you need handrail(s) too. The steeper the pitch the more important they are.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 02:08 AM
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Default Be careful... Very careful and a little fear won't hurt either...

I was thinking of adding more nose to make up for it...

Adding more nose/overhang will give you less tread on the intermediate threads for use...

Put a square on a stair thread... Now put one leg of the square against the bullnose of the next tread going up... Measure from the edge of the square to the bullnose of tread it's sitting on... You are measuring the level horizontal distance/length from one stair's bullnose to the very next stair's tread bullnose.....
That is all the legal tread that you have...

If you lengthen the over hang it decreases the working thread depth... How ever it does increase the thread depth from the bullnose to the riser... This is where many have made this very common mistake computing stair tread depth...

Lengthening the over hang tends to catch people's toes as they ascend... This is because there is insufficient tread depth for them to place their foot and their toes go "UNDER" the above stair thread... In short this makes them fall up the stairs...

OWWWWW!!!! (and other assorted sundries) not to mention mushed faces, missing teeth, broken noses, fingers and and all painful clobber to the shins...

Less stair tread w/ a longer overhang allows a descending person's heel/ankle/calf to hit/ride on the outside edge of the stair forcing their heel closer to the edge/bullnose of the next stair down... When weight is applied (or attempted) to that foot the heel carries the largest percentage of body weight because the toes are are more than likely in free space... Balance becomes harder to maintain as their center of gravity has been seriously messed with... One crash and burn coming right up... I can smell it..

This heel/ankle/calf hitting/riding on the outside edge of the stair tread has been known to cause people to miss a step or two (do we hear three) entirely or catch so little of them it's killed them... Literately..

You need a better plan.. More wiggle room... Make sure your insurance premiums are paid up... You lawyer is on retainer and your bail bondsman is on speed dial...

You have got to get these stairs engineered stamped not mention the AJH's blessing before you lift a finger...

You have mentioned too many gray areas here not to and there is no sane reason why you could very well end up catching the heat from somebody else's PPP.... Unplug the proverbial fan and regroup...

And get the rises to under 7" while you are in there straightening everybody out... WTB the elderly will be using these stairs...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:35 PM
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" WTB the elderly will be using these stairs..."

Only once, coming down.
(Just kidding!)
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