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post #21 of 46 Old 09-15-2013, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Just need some paint and caulk. I like how it turns out.

Thanks for everyone's inputs, especially Keith's article.
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post #22 of 46 Old 09-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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Great approach, looking good so far. A little caulk and some filler to flush things up and you will be finished.

George
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post #23 of 46 Old 09-18-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hello again.... I am back for more advice.

This is another section of the stairs. The baseboard seems to be about 3/16" too thick. I would like to do something similar to what was done before, that is, rip the top profile from the baseboard and run it on top the skirt.

Any tricks/ideas on the transition are greatly appreciated.
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post #24 of 46 Old 09-18-2013, 07:42 PM
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Looking at the profile of the base I don't think it is as simple as planing the back. Hind sight is always 20/20. I would have ended the base at the stairs on the bottom with a return and do the same here then run some other kind of trim down the stairs.
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post #25 of 46 Old 09-18-2013, 08:51 PM
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Stair skirt is suppose to seamlessly tie the base from one floor to another. Ideally it should not start & stop, jump around or look like one tried to drive a round peg into a square hole. In addition one would like to form a plan prior to beginning the job and not attempt to solve problems as one discovers them.

That said I can think of a couple of ways you might attack the problem, neither is ideal or particularly easy.

- You could rip a piece of skirt material, scribe it to the stair, then taper it to meet at the bottom of the stair.

- Second option, and a less desirable one would be to plane the base to meet the skirt width. This would be easier but still noticeable.
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post #26 of 46 Old 09-18-2013, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
Stair skirt is suppose to seamlessly tie the base from one floor to another. Ideally it should not start & stop, jump around or look like one tried to drive a round peg into a square hole. In addition one would like to form a plan prior to beginning the job and not attempt to solve problems as one discovers them.
Keith, that's why you are the pro and I am only a DIYer at best.

The problem is only at the top of the stairs. Thanks again to the wavy drywall. The skirt width is about 3/8" near the landing. The rest of the skirt width is almost an inch. The delta happens at the first step down.

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Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
You could rip a piece of skirt material, scribe it to the stair, then taper it to meet at the bottom of the stair.
I would like to try this. Add a piece to the skirt, but only near the landing, to even out the width.

Thank you again for the advice. Will report back in a few days.
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post #27 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 01:05 AM
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Just a thought, take a piece of the top profile like you have on the other skirt, lay it on top of the skirt and let it extend up past the top profile of the base in that last picture. Make a mark on the base under the strip of profile, cut the base out on that angle and miter the two profiles, that will let the molding flow as Keith said. The only problem would be the base standing proud of the skirt.

A second thought would be to make a plinth to kill the base and the base cap into.

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post #28 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
Stair skirt is suppose to seamlessly tie the base from one floor to another.
I agree 100%. That being said I have lived in four two story houses and none actually did that including the one I own now. Three were new homes and one I was the second owner and it was only four years old when I bought it.

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post #29 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Just a thought, take a piece of the top profile like you have on the other skirt, lay it on top of the skirt and let it extend up past the top profile of the base in that last picture. Make a mark on the base under the strip of profile, cut the base out on that angle and miter the two profiles, that will let the molding flow as Keith said. The only problem would be the base standing proud of the skirt.

A second thought would be to make a plinth to kill the base and the base cap into.
Thanks. The plan was exactly what you suggested. The issue is the baseboard sticking out. Looks weird from the top. Even if I put the base cap on the skirt now, the cap sticks out. So a plinth block wouldn't really help. Need to beef up the width of the skirt.
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post #30 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by leungw View Post
Thanks. The plan was exactly what you suggested. The issue is the baseboard sticking out. Looks weird from the top. Even if I put the base cap on the skirt now, the cap sticks out. So a plinth block wouldn't really help. Need to beef up the width of the skirt.
If you rip the cap so the recessed area is left on, that part is narrower and will sit on the skirt without hanging off. Even then it is going to show because the skirt shows thicker at the bottom of the stairs.

I do agree with Keith, the ideal thing to do is install a thin skirt over the existing skirt, that would solve all your problems but that is not an easy task.

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post #31 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George G View Post
I agree 100%. That being said I have lived in four two story houses and none actually did that including the one I own now. Three were new homes and one I was the second owner and it was only four years old when I bought it.

George
I find that very easy to believe. Without going into a long essay, there has been a substantial decline in skill level and training over the last 75 years. Most houses are built as part of a development where the houses are larger then before and the millwork is worse. Time to completion is the most important and the customer doesn't know enough to demand more. Many homeowners are more concerned with potential resale value than building to suit their tastes. Little wonder most newer houses don't inspire but merely provide shelter.
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post #32 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 08:49 PM
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that would certainly solve it

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
I do agree with Keith, the ideal thing to do is install a thin skirt over the existing skirt, that would solve all your problems but that is not an easy task.
Not an easy task, but maybe there are some tricks you guys have to duplicate the stair step profile? Templates? Make one pattern and fit it along a the bottom of the stringer, making reference marks as you go? Other ways...?

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 #33 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 09:45 PM
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Carl Hagstrom does a good job of describing the process http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2013/...rds-revisited/
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post #34 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 10:28 PM
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I'm going to try that

I'd like to face my stair skirts with some 1/4" Oak to match the hand rail. Perfect method for that, thanks.

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 #35 of 46 Old 09-19-2013, 10:40 PM
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That is a good way to make a skirt, one thing I have done a little different from this illustration in the link Keith posted is this:
While the uncut skirt board is laying in place as shown, make sure it is tight to the wall and make a mark on the stair tread nosing where the board touches the nosing.

I square from that mark back about 1 1/4 inches and make a cut leaving the line. Take a chisel and directly over the front edge of the riser, on the tread, chisel the front edge of the tread off flush so the skirt will slide down into the cut. This will save the work of cutting the profile of the nosing out of the skirt board. Be sure to cut flush or a little more out so there is nothing holding the skirt away from the riser. Just a thought.

Another way I have done is using a 1X4, lay it on the front edge of the treads like the uncut skirt is shown in the link Keith posted. Cut several pieces of 1/4 inch plywood or Masonite 9X what ever the run of the tread is, make a notch in the 1/4 inch material, in the top back corner, so it will not touch the nosing when placing it on the step. Slide the 1/4 piece back against the riser, if it needs to be cut to fit the riser or tread because one or the other isn't level or plumb, do so to fit and place the 1/4 piece on the step and staple it into the 1X4. Continue until all steps have been fitted as described. You will have a perfect template to lay on top of the uncut board to mark out your skirt.

Just one more note and I will shut up, when cutting the skirt board if you will undercut or back cut 2 or 3 degrees the skirt will fit tighter. OK, I'm done now.

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post #36 of 46 Old 09-20-2013, 01:46 AM
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this may be hipocrisy

What if you removed a narrow section of the nose next to the stringer to allow the skirt to "notch" into the tread and riser?
It would save sawing the rounded nose shape in the skirt, and just just have 90 degree angles all the way up. In my case where I want to add a 1/4" face to the construction lumber which got painted white... ugh, that would be a time saver for me.

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 #37 of 46 Old 09-20-2013, 05:41 AM
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You can take stair construction/design/install as far as you want to go.

The "rules" are many.From a precision standpoint on how far off each rise can be....all the way to the precision one meets when the rise/run are of non-std measures.Church steps with 4" rise requires ? sized tread.And how does old time ratios,differ in this respect,fall into precision in my book because get this one thing the least bit wrong and we have a trip hazzard.......

Further,on precision/trip hazzards are codes when meeting certain out of std rise/run combinations.Precision is arguably the most important feature when building/installing stair systems.Its the old,"gain/loss" thing that creeps in.Imagine laying out a 100' stud wall with a framing sq.....16 o.c.

Now,compare that with laying out the same wall with a 100' tape......with the prescribed correct tension on tape measure(and believe me,if you don't "pull" a tape with an understanding of tension you can set yourself up for some mistakes).......but what happens in the above comparo between sq vs tape is...."gain & loss".And is one of those forgotten "tricks" of times gone by.

Stairs are NO DIFFERENT....99% of builders layout stairs with a bloomin square.Try this....once you've laid out your rough or finished carrige with a sq.....grab a calculator and do the math on your "point to point" measures in a running measure sense and find how much gain/loss your sq just introduced.Point to point here is the points that are created on carriges when laying out.

No big deal on a set of stairs in a typ tract house?Maybe nothing to worry about?Don't know,you may really be bad at marking a framing sq?But lets get a little further down the rd than a sub-division.......Maybe some long stairs.Maybe stairs with landings....curved stairs.I can name a dz instances other than tract house stairs.The point is,use a running measure derived from a calculator(or do math longhand)and "spotting" your points(outside corners on carrige) will ALWAYS be faster and tons more accurate than a framing sq.

And I'll be the last to bust on a quality framing sq.They are fine instruments......it's just that a hundred foot wall....or a 50' long hip rafter......AND STAIRS....you are using the instrument in a fashion that gives up accuracy and precision.Use a tape and do the bloomin math.

On a different note....and not to be the least bit disparaging...but,there are a lot times when stairs are NOT just a continuation of base trim from one floor to the next.Thinking that is just tract house culture.Stairs,just like fireplace walls,entrance doors,and a few other places in your house should,and almost always are(once out of the sub-division),stand alone architectural "elements".The "base" is but a tiny part....look at it as a connecting "line/s" between these elements.In effect,it can stop short of any of these elements to allow them to stand alone.Nothing new here,this stuff has been going on WAY longer than tract housing......

For instance....Lets say we have really deep paneling(with ALL the bells/whistles) and it's changing from full wall height to short paneling going up stairs.What the heck does base have to do with this?Yeah,it needs to be proportioned to the element....yes it needs to be seamless(seamless here dosen't mean unbroken in a connection sense),But it also should NOT take away from elements.The notion that base has to be unbroken is just plain silly.Heck throw a column or 12 in there.....you gonna run base around every column?

Good stuff,nuthin like really nice stairs......and we didn't even touch on handrails(ha).

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post #38 of 46 Old 09-20-2013, 06:29 AM
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You can take stair construction/design/install as far as you want to go.

The "rules" are many.From a precision standpoint on how far off each rise can be....all the way to the precision one meets when the rise/run are of non-std measures.Church steps with 4" rise requires ? sized tread.And how does old time ratios,differ in this respect,fall into precision in my book because get this one thing the least bit wrong and we have a trip hazzard.......

Further,on precision/trip hazzards are codes when meeting certain out of std rise/run combinations.Precision is arguably the most important feature when building/installing stair systems.Its the old,"gain/loss" thing that creeps in.Imagine laying out a 100' stud wall with a framing sq.....16 o.c.

Now,compare that with laying out the same wall with a 100' tape......with the prescribed correct tension on tape measure(and believe me,if you don't "pull" a tape with an understanding of tension you can set yourself up for some mistakes).......but what happens in the above comparo between sq vs tape is...."gain & loss".And is one of those forgotten "tricks" of times gone by.

Stairs are NO DIFFERENT....99% of builders layout stairs with a bloomin square.Try this....once you've laid out your rough or finished carrige with a sq.....grab a calculator and do the math on your "point to point" measures in a running measure sense and find how much gain/loss your sq just introduced.Point to point here is the points that are created on carriges when laying out.

No big deal on a set of stairs in a typ tract house?Maybe nothing to worry about?Don't know,you may really be bad at marking a framing sq?But lets get a little further down the rd than a sub-division.......Maybe some long stairs.Maybe stairs with landings....curved stairs.I can name a dz instances other than tract house stairs.The point is,use a running measure derived from a calculator(or do math longhand)and "spotting" your points(outside corners on carrige) will ALWAYS be faster and tons more accurate than a framing sq.

And I'll be the last to bust on a quality framing sq.They are fine instruments......it's just that a hundred foot wall....or a 50' long hip rafter......AND STAIRS....you are using the instrument in a fashion that gives up accuracy and precision.Use a tape and do the bloomin math.

On a different note....and not to be the least bit disparaging...but,there are a lot times when stairs are NOT just a continuation of base trim from one floor to the next.Thinking that is just tract house culture.Stairs,just like fireplace walls,entrance doors,and a few other places in your house should,and almost always are(once out of the sub-division),stand alone architectural "elements".The "base" is but a tiny part....look at it as a connecting "line/s" between these elements.In effect,it can stop short of any of these elements to allow them to stand alone.Nothing new here,this stuff has been going on WAY longer than tract housing......

For instance....Lets say we have really deep paneling(with ALL the bells/whistles) and it's changing from full wall height to short paneling going up stairs.What the heck does base have to do with this?Yeah,it needs to be proportioned to the element....yes it needs to be seamless(seamless here dosen't mean unbroken in a connection sense),But it also should NOT take away from elements.The notion that base has to be unbroken is just plain silly.Heck throw a column or 12 in there.....you gonna run base around every column?

Good stuff,nuthin like really nice stairs......and we didn't even touch on handrails(ha).
With that being said...what's your suggestion for a fix?





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post #39 of 46 Old 09-20-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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What if you removed a narrow section of the nose next to the stringer to allow the skirt to "notch" into the tread and riser?
It would save sawing the rounded nose shape in the skirt, and just just have 90 degree angles all the way up. In my case where I want to add a 1/4" face to the construction lumber which got painted white... ugh, that would be a time saver for me.
I thought about doing this as well, but the treads are resting on routed grooves on the stringer. I prefer not to cut the bullnose.

But yes, this would be a great time saver.
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post #40 of 46 Old 09-20-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
What if you removed a narrow section of the nose next to the stringer to allow the skirt to "notch" into the tread and riser?
It would save sawing the rounded nose shape in the skirt, and just just have 90 degree angles all the way up. In my case where I want to add a 1/4" face to the construction lumber which got painted white... ugh, that would be a time saver for me.
I must not have explained that well enough, I really am bad at explaining, you explained it correctly. It really would save a lot of time, trying to cut out each nosing in the skirt precisely is not easy, at least for me it isn't.

Just had a thought on that one, drill a hole the same diameter of the tread is thick, it would sure save a lot of using a saber saw and it would be neater, if the nosing is a true half circle, some aren't.

BW, I hadn't thought of using the point system like you explained, that does make sense. Sorry to hijack the thread.

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