Trimming Factory stair threads with a return - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Trimming Factory stair threads with a return

Hello,

We have an older house that was split into a two family previously. They butchered the stairs quite a bit to accomplish this in adding a back entrance. We are trying to restore back the original hall/stairs. We were hoping to keep all the original threads, but the first 6 were notched and cut too much such that drilling the spindle holes wouldn't be possible, so we will replace the threads. The stairs however only have a depth of 10'' inches, where most factory threads with returns seem to be 10.5 or 11.5''. If we purchased factory made treads, is there an easy way to cut the required half inch of the back side of the stair without cutting off the return? We have a compound miter saw, skilsaw, jig saw and a variety of handsaws. We could borrow a table saw if needed. Or is our only option to make the threads from scratch the correct size? Any advice appreciated! This is the first project where we've really been cursing the previous owners.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 10:14 AM
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If I'm understanding what you need to cut you could use the skil saw and cut it up to the return and finish the cut with the jig saw.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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I was just worried we wouldn't stop at the right point, but after delving into youtube I understand we could make a little jig to prevent that. Thanks! Does the order of the cuts matter one way or the other?
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 11:39 AM
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If you do use a circular saw, you will need to be very good to make those treads look good, I would suggest a table saw. Knowing where to stop is the trick.

Raise the blade up to the height you need it to be. Roll the blade by hand where the tooth of the blade is just a hair above the saw's table. Push something square against the blade and when it just touches, draw a line on the fence straight up, that is where you want to stop so you won't cut into the return. You could use a handsaw to finish the slight uncut remaining.

Cutting the return just a little is ok because a Scotia mold is usually use just under the tread and return so that slight cut would be hid.

Those stairs are really out of code, hopefully no one gets hurt, insurance will not pay off with these stairs. I hate to be so negative but that is really wild. There should be a platform there but it would take up some space in the room the stairs empties into.

After going back and looking at the pictures again, I am really confused now, is that two different sets of stairs?

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Last edited by BigJim; 11-22-2017 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Added
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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The original photo was definitely not code they just built a set of back stairs that sort of matched the stair case and then ripped out the newel and spindles to open it. We got rid of the platform and back stairs, and will install hand rail and spindles all the way straight down like it was originally once the treads are replaced. We're uncovering a lot of questionable things in the house, but the ankle breaker platform is probably the most WTF?
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-22-2017, 11:47 AM
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When you use a circular saw you mark a line to follow. You just need to mark a like where to stop. All you have to do is stop cutting when you reach the line and let the blade stop running before you lift the saw up. You could even stop the cut a little before the line. Then the remaining part could be cut with a jig saw.
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