Red oak stair joints splitting - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 5Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #21 of 38 Old 11-19-2018, 09:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Adirondacks
Posts: 65
View Frost's Photo Album My Photos
I'm curious. Did the installer build the stairs or were they some kind of ready to assemble kit? Of all the problems, the one that puzzles me are the black stains around the bullnosed tread on the housed side. Guess is that its a cheap screw through the stringer oxidizing. Gap where tread fits in stringer is hard to fix, best practices are to notch front of tread to fit a bit forward of dado in stringer to take growth into account. Looks too late for that. The outside could maybe be taken apart and reassembled. I've not seen stairs where the outside of risers are rabbeted as pictured, I'm used to miters on risers and stringers but to each their own. Problem is there's a ton of nails and lots of wood filler that probably should not have been used before a first coat of finish (to match finished wood). Also, doesn't look as though there was much glue used to help fasten returns and trim below. Good practice says to glue the first inch of nosing return so that joint stays constant and wood movement is on the back side of return. Do not glue more than an inch or so.
Probably salvageable with some work, might have to live with gaps around inside treads. Really shouldn't live with a massive piece of oak (which this is) for too long without applying finish, and that applies to the bottom of treads and back of risers and stringers. Not ready to blame this on installer yet without more info.
Frost is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #22 of 38 Old 11-19-2018, 09:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
I'm curious. Did the installer build the stairs or were they some kind of ready to assemble kit? Of all the problems, the one that puzzles me are the black stains around the bullnosed tread on the housed side. Guess is that its a cheap screw through the stringer oxidizing. Gap where tread fits in stringer is hard to fix, best practices are to notch front of tread to fit a bit forward of dado in stringer to take growth into account. Looks too late for that. The outside could maybe be taken apart and reassembled. I've not seen stairs where the outside of risers are rabbeted as pictured, I'm used to miters on risers and stringers but to each their own. Problem is there's a ton of nails and lots of wood filler that probably should not have been used before a first coat of finish (to match finished wood). Also, doesn't look as though there was much glue used to help fasten returns and trim below. Good practice says to glue the first inch of nosing return so that joint stays constant and wood movement is on the back side of return. Do not glue more than an inch or so.
Probably salvageable with some work, might have to live with gaps around inside treads. Really shouldn't live with a massive piece of oak (which this is) for too long without applying finish, and that applies to the bottom of treads and back of risers and stringers. Not ready to blame this on installer yet without more info.
It's not uncommon for red oak to turn black just from exposure to water. It's one of the reasons red oak isn't suitable for exterior use.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #23 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 07:07 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,933
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron314 View Post
That is very interesting and very well may be the issue. Check out these pics in everyone of them there is the discoloration as well as the wood filler that looks off color.

Or is this green wood?

I could say for sure that it did not get wet from water once it was installed.

How do I resolve this issue?

yeah, I stand behind my post, I do not believe that the discoloration shown is from moisture. because it is in the wood surrounding everywhere wood filler was used. I have tried to darken wood filler by adding dark stain, and the results are what is shown - every time. the wood absorbs the stain, and the filler lightens back up. I AM NOT STATING THAT WOOD FILLER SHOULD BE USED OR THAT THE WORKMANSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE!


I quit adding stain to filler for this reason. when it did happen, I was able to stain the project and the mess blended in.
TimPa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #24 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 08:30 AM
Ole Woodworker
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 4,454
View BigJim's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
yeah, I stand behind my post, I do not believe that the discoloration shown is from moisture. because it is in the wood surrounding everywhere wood filler was used. I have tried to darken wood filler by adding dark stain, and the results are what is shown - every time. the wood absorbs the stain, and the filler lightens back up. I AM NOT STATING THAT WOOD FILLER SHOULD BE USED OR THAT THE WORKMANSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE!


I quit adding stain to filler for this reason. when it did happen, I was able to stain the project and the mess blended in.
Respectfully TimPa, wood filler wouldn't cause the joints to open like that.

The more I think about it, (not directed at TimPa) someway, this wood had at some point, absorbed moisture or was wet, before the installation. The wood shrank away from the joints. If the wood was wet after installation, the returns would have been pushed away from the tread and the joints open. Find some red oak and give it a try.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
The Other
BigJim

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
BigJim is offline  
post #25 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 10:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,933
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
I addressed the shrinkage/expansion in post #5. the post you referenced was with respect to the discoloration...

Last edited by TimPa; 11-20-2018 at 10:32 AM.
TimPa is offline  
post #26 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 02:00 PM
Senior Member
 
_Ogre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Motown
Posts: 472
View _Ogre's Photo Album My Photos
1. stringers look like plywood with veneer tape ironed on
2. applied to a masonry wall that looks like an old basement wall with seepage salts all over
3. treads appear to be solid wood, can't figure out why he didn't bullnose the ends

definitely got wet: either during build, transport or is currently getting wet
either way, he's not coming back

_Ogre is offline  
post #27 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 06:31 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Tim View Post
You don't IGNORE issues like this....you fix or correct the causing problem....you can AND SHOULD control a unbalance of this extreme in humidity!!!!
All I meant was he shouldn't go filling the gaps and just allow the wood to shrink back to where it was. I don't know what is going on there. I was just assuming they had a lot of rain and caused the wood to swell. I know most of us across the country have been getting more then their fair share of rain lately.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #28 of 38 Old 11-20-2018, 10:08 PM
Sawing against the Wind
 
Tennessee Tim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: God's beautiful hills of Middle Tennessee
Posts: 2,381
View Tennessee Tim's Photo Album My Photos
Aron in post #6 are both pics of the same tread???? How many of these issues do you actually have??? It appears the 2 pics may be on same tread...IF this is the case your getting a cross water bleed from left side to the right ...water can travel long distances IF the joint is right.
You havenlt answered the needed question re the wall. In the later pics as one already stated it appears to be block and or brick and the "salts" are signs of water intrusion that has been happening for some time to get this size/style of markings...more than a year of time.

I believe Ogre is correct with his assessment.

Aron is this a basement??? They can through all kinds of theories and answers re the wood BUT NONE are going to be permenant until the moisture problem is fixed.

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
........www.TSMFarms.com.......... John 3:16-21 ..........
Reveling God's awesome beauty while creating one of-a-kind flitches and heirlooms.
Tennessee Tim is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Tennessee Tim For This Useful Post:
Old Skhool (11-21-2018)
post #29 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
[QUOTE=BigJim;2021139][quote=TimPa;2021121]yeah, I stand behind my post, I do not believe that the discoloration shown is from moisture. because it is in the wood surrounding everywhere wood filler was used. I have tried to darken wood filler by adding dark stain, and the results are what is shown - every time. the wood absorbs the stain, and the filler lightens back up. I AM NOT STATING THAT WOOD FILLER SHOULD BE USED OR THAT THE WORKMANSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE

We would like to just sand and clear coat the entire stair case so we are desperate to figure out a way to get the discoloration that bled from filler out.

I’m stubborn and know there must be a way 🤔

It could all turn on a dime
Aron314 is offline  
post #30 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Tim View Post
Aron in post #6 are both pics of the same tread???? How many of these issues do you actually have??? It appears the 2 pics may be on same tread...IF this is the case your getting a cross water bleed from left side to the right ...water can travel long distances IF the joint is right.
You havenlt answered the needed question re the wall. In the later pics as one already stated it appears to be block and or brick and the "salts" are signs of water intrusion that has been happening for some time to get this size/style of markings...more than a year of time.

I believe Ogre is correct with his assessment.

Aron is this a basement??? They can through all kinds of theories and answers re the wood BUT NONE are going to be permenant until the moisture problem is fixed.
There is no moisture problem I believe it’s what was suggested about the filler bleeding the color that was mixed into it.

The staircase is above ground.

All the stairs have the issue around where there was filler put in.

It could all turn on a dime
Aron314 is offline  
post #31 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
Hey all I appreciate the input.

If we go with suggestion that there is no water issue and the discoloring is from badly colored wood filler that bled...

How do you get it out?

Will acid work or will it ruin the wood?

Any suggestions! There’s gotta be a way!

We planned on clear coating the entire thing and cannot do so with this issue unresolved.

Thnx

It could all turn on a dime
Aron314 is offline  
post #32 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 06:58 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,933
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
the first process that I would try, in an inconspicuous location, would be to saturate the area with paint thinner, or a similar solvent. this would hopefully dissolve or dilute the stain. maybe pat it with an absorbent cloth while it is wet to pick up any stain it can. then allow to dry and sand. several attempts may be needed to get satisfactory results. some solvents mat be better at this then others.

Last edited by TimPa; 11-21-2018 at 07:02 AM.
TimPa is offline  
post #33 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 07:24 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 26,573
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
I would stain them first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron314 View Post
Hey all I appreciate the input.

If we go with suggestion that there is no water issue and the discoloring is from badly colored wood filler that bled...

How do you get it out?

Will acid work or will it ruin the wood?

Any suggestions! Thereís gotta be a way!

We planned on clear coating the entire thing and cannot do so with this issue unresolved.

Thnx
I have stained a fair amount of Oak, both Red and White over the years for bookcases and fine furniture. I have used Golden Oak for all the trim in my Mission style house and Red Oak for furniture.

You may find that the stain will blend out the ugly stains you have now ... I donno? It will certainly even out all the wood variations and give a more uniform look. With stain applied, the dark spots my blend out, if not they will look like shadows. LOL.

I feel bad for you being in this predicament. I wish you had some recourse other than fixing it yourself. The craftsmanship was below acceptable in my opinion, for sure. Gook luck.

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)
woodnthings is online now  
post #34 of 38 Old 11-21-2018, 08:08 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron314 View Post
That is very interesting and very well may be the issue. Check out these pics in everyone of them there is the discoloration as well as the wood filler that looks off color.

Or is this green wood?

I could say for sure that it did not get wet from water once it was installed.

How do I resolve this issue?
I'd have to agree with others that some liquid water has been gotten on the wood after it was built. From the pictures it appears to have been more than wiping off glue with a wet rag. One of the characteristics of red oak is it turns black with soaked with water but it takes more than one brief exposure to do that. Then you have an issue of the treads swelling up which can occur from humidity but would swell more from liquid water. All we can do is comment on what we see in the pictures.

From where you are I would put a dehumidifier near where the stairs are and try to dry the wood again so it will shrink back into place. The black stains you might try either oxalic acid or household bleach on just the spots. Once the wood has been dried again fill any remaining gaps and re-sand the stairway and put a finish on it.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #35 of 38 Old 11-22-2018, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
The brick wall it’s up against is a ABOVE ground. To get to street level you need to leave the house and then go down six stairs.

The wall is shared with a neighbor - semi detached house which in brooklyn is amazing!

No water coming through walls... bone dry.

I will try the different solvents to see what happens and will post back.

Ty!

It could all turn on a dime
Aron314 is offline  
post #36 of 38 Old 11-23-2018, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
Spent a lot of time on the stringer yesterday... see before, during and after pics!

Used commet which contains acid mixed it with water. It got worse before it got better.

Also notice how all the marks are around where nails went in... every single one

I dug out all the old wood filler and filled it with a new one to match.

What to you guys think about the results?

Ty
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	8E9039DE-A1CE-4731-B584-130A2CF91A0B_1542989833969.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	324.0 KB
ID:	368559  

Click image for larger version

Name:	FC9F5F5B-4973-4291-B33D-FE076FF2E252_1542989884889.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	285.5 KB
ID:	368561  

Click image for larger version

Name:	98265977-B78B-48E2-9E64-5E2B2283D7C5_1542989911683.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	317.7 KB
ID:	368563  

Maylar likes this.

It could all turn on a dime

Last edited by Aron314; 11-23-2018 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Adding info
Aron314 is offline  
post #37 of 38 Old 11-23-2018, 01:02 PM
Ole Woodworker
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 4,454
View BigJim's Photo Album My Photos
You did a fantastic job, it looks great.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
The Other
BigJim

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
BigJim is offline  
post #38 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
View Aron314's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
You did a fantastic job, it looks great.
Thank you!

Will be a lot of work but i am confident.

On another subject; what should such a job have cost? Red oak staircase with 15 steps and 1 landing and a bannister?

I am talking if it was done up to par!

Thanks!

It could all turn on a dime
Aron314 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old end table glue joints holtzdreher General Woodworking Discussion 2 10-10-2018 06:03 AM
Need advice on failed glue joints [email protected] General Woodworking Discussion 4 10-29-2017 12:58 AM
Stair bullnose prep issue kolhagen29 General Woodworking Discussion 6 09-09-2017 07:53 PM
recommended method for creating box and other wood joints jrcharvey Power Tools & Machinery 3 12-27-2015 11:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome