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post #1 of 7 Old 10-01-2011, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Is there an easier/smarter way?

I'm replacing the carpet on my entry stairs with solid cherry hardwood. The stairs (built in 1970) are made out of 2x6, they are glued, screwed, solid and have no squeaks. But they are not square to the wall. I'm adding what I think is called a skirt board on both sides of the stairway, one is built just like a stringer (saw tooth) and attached below the ends if the treads and risers on one end with no problem.
The other skirt board, on the opposite end, is attaching to existing drywall and has saw tooth cut outs (upside down stringers) to accommodate the steps. When dry fitting the treads against the skirt board there is an uneven gap between the end of the tread and the face of the skirt board on every step, it varies between 1/16" and 1/8" depending on which step you are looking at. Shimming behind the skirt board doesn't solve the problem. What I'm thinking is that I have to scribe each tread to butt flush against the shirt board. There are 13 steps to do.
My plan is to scribe each tread to butt flush against the skirt board, attach each riser and stringer together with glue and finishing nails (from the back side) so each tread & riser is a right angle assembly and then screw the assembly to the 2x6 frame and plug the screw holes. Not only is that a lot of scribing/fitting, but I'm also concerned that I won't be able to completely close the gap between the assembly (riser and stringer) and the skirt board in every case because of the out of square wall.
My question is, is there an easier/smarter way?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-01-2011, 08:37 PM
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I find this much easier to read

I'm replacing the carpet on my entry stairs with solid cherry hardwood. The stairs (built in 1970) are made out of 2x6, they are glued, screwed, solid and have no squeaks. But they are not square to the wall. I'm adding what I think is called a skirt board on both sides of the stairway, one is built just like a stringer (saw tooth) and attached below the ends if the treads and risers on one end with no problem.
The other skirt board, on the opposite end, is attaching to existing drywall and has saw tooth cut outs (upside down stringers) to accommodate the steps. When dry fitting the treads against the skirt board there is an uneven gap between the end of the tread and the face of the skirt board on every step, it varies between 1/16" and 1/8" depending on which step you are looking at. Shimming behind the skirt board doesn't solve the problem. What I'm thinking is that I have to scribe each tread to butt flush against the shirt board. There are 13 steps to do.
My plan is to scribe each tread to butt flush against the skirt board, attach each riser and stringer together with glue and finishing nails (from the back side) so each tread & riser is a right angle assembly and then screw the assembly to the 2x6 frame and plug the screw holes. Not only is that a lot of scribing/fitting, but I'm also concerned that I won't be able to completely close the gap between the assembly (riser and stringer) and the skirt board in every case because of the out of square wall.
My question is, is there an easier/smarter way?

Don't you? bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-02-2011, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hugh?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-03-2011, 12:00 AM
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Not sure about the pre-assembling of the riser to the tread idea.
I think it's adding a layer of difficulty to and already tedious and meticulous project.

I did something similar in my last house.
We had ugly carpeted stairs.



I installed the new risers first. I made sure they were a very tight fit.....and yes, it's 13 risers with two scribed ends.





I wanted them to be very tight so they would "push" the skirt board as tight to the wall as possible so when I installed my treads, I wouldn't create a gap on the riser.
I used two bevel gauges so I could have both angles done at the same time.



The idea of fastening from behind is good and I used a ton of Construction adhesive along with it to minimize squeaking as the two woods moved against each other.

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-03-2011, 01:46 AM
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Here is a way to make a templet to cut your skirt boards,
http://www.diychatroom.com/f14/stair...te-easy-42845/

If you install the skirt boards before you install the risers and treads there shouldn't be any gaps. I think you will find out attaching the riser to the tread then installing, is going to cause you more problems than it is worth. You may want to check to see if adding the new treads is going to cause your stairs to be out of code. If you are adding more than you are taking off the first step will be too tall and the top step will be too short and can cause a person to stumble.

http://www.diychatroom.com/

BigJim

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-04-2011, 11:12 PM
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I've found it easiest to install the skirtboards, then all the risers, then the treads. There will still be a lot of scribing--it goes much faster if you make a jig to transfer the tread layout to the tread material. Of course doing it this way requires you to nail through the risers and treads. Also, I always use a bunch of construction adhesive and only a few 2 1/2" 15ga. finish nails per stringer.

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-07-2011, 05:51 PM
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I agree with Jiju. Although a great many codes are BS, the ones regarding stair tread heights and uniformity are not. You will have too much difference between treads unless you remove the 2x6's and the risers. Even if nobody trips and falls either up or down the stairs, somebody is going the throw out a back expecting the floor to be where is is supposed to be.

With the stairs open everything is easier, and you can now outsmart the stairs.

Mass cut all your risers a little short of hitting both walls, then just tack them all in place except the top one. Cut your skirts to butt into them with plumb cuts - whether they are plumb or not. Install the skirts but do not nail down low. There will be gaps between the risers and skirt but don't worry about it.

Now start working up the stairs. First cut in your tread. There should be a little spring at the bottom of the skirtboard so you can start off a little snug. Once you are satisfied with the fit, shim the riser tight to the skirt with GLUED shims between the stringer and the risers. It will be a perfect fit. You will not be able to fit a razor blade in it. No scribing at all.

Then glue the back edge of the prefit tread. squirt construction adhesive on the framing, and install with a little gap between it and the front of the riser. Then stand or kneel on the tread and tap it into the riser with a hammer and soft beater block. Now nail (or screw) the tread down, nail (or screw) the riser to the back of the tread and start all over again with the next one till you are done.

Only the top riser needs to be scribed in using this method. Don't even think about putting riser and tread together.

Cheers,
Jim

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Last edited by clampman; 10-07-2011 at 06:01 PM.
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