Stair Tread Number Tool

Here’s a vintage carpentry trick and a handy tool to make if you are redoing a flight of stairs: a stair jig. You might be able to make all the repairs to the treads and bring them back to prime condition with a concentrated work effort. Or buy a sliding table saw and a band saw, do it that way, and charge him for it. The curved returns are done on a big boy shaper with a jig or a copy shaper. Awesome idea……This should make a hard job, with a very non carpenter guy, look like a real carpenters work. After cutting the riser to fit side to side, you will need to scribe the top of the riser so it is flush with the surface the new tread will be installed on. For example, if you’re installing 2 x 6 treads, cut 1 1/2 in. from the bottom of the stringer.

My foyer floor is a dark gray tile (looks similar to polished concrete) and three of my walls are a cappaccino color and one is more of a chocolate brown with white trim. Cutting the stair tread is now as simple as lining our scribe marks up on our sliding miter saw. Outside stringers usually must be made in more than one piece, joining where the straight stair ends and the winders begin. In addition the carpet is loosely adhered to the underside of the tread than I care to see. I would absolutely try to do this since you do have a fallback position with the rug stair treads.

So I took all the advice into consideration and kind of melded into a way I thought might work for me. I was skeptical about cutting clean enough on the bandsaw, firstly because I don’t usually trust the bandsaw for these types of cuts, and secondly, because I don’t trust myself to be good enough on the bandsaw to make these types of cuts. The stringers should be cut from 2 x 12 framing lumber, #2 grade or better quality, free of knots.

Note: In laying out the stair, the nosing of a step is not considered a part of the tread and does not enter into stair calculation. Once the routing was complete, Cody used a table saw to cut 1″ off the back of each board to make the steps the depth that we wanted. This really illustrates the difference between a tight install under the tread nose edge and not.

On the ground we’d have to measure either angle ab or angle ac. You can do this using a transit, a protractor or other angle measuring tool either by placing your angular measuring tool on the sloped surface of the stringer side a, or by actually measuring the angle formed between side a and a horizontal or level surface. When cutting the laminate treads getting the exact measurement across the width of the stair is important. Cut both the tongue and the groove sides off the board so it’s 1 1/2 inches wide.

Attach the second riser in the same fashion as step 3. Apply wood glue to the first tread where it will make contact with the stringers, and nail it to the stringers in three places with cement coated nails, at least 1 inch from the edges of the tread to prevent splitting. I glue the whole return onto the tread with non-crystallizing glue and hope for the best.

I remover our carpet to paint but there is an open space where each tread meets up with the side of the wall. I’ve never had reason to think about it in the past since this is not something I’ve been called on to make before, but now that I have the end to edge grain thing does keep popping up in my mind. It’s not a job I would feel confident tackling but I can see how your tool made it so much easier.

The alternating stair requires one unit of space per step: the same as the half-width step on its left, and half as much as the full-width stair on its right. I believe the only reason they’re having me make them vs buying from the box store is because they need half of them to have returns on both sides of the tread. I mill all my returns (straight or curved) from wide boards and then rip or bandsaw them off one at a time. Although you don’t see them very much, a curved bottom tread, and in this case, a second tread, to me, presents a hazard.

Sand and grit can easily accumulate on stair treads because the soles of shoes bend as you go up and down stairs. I have dreamed about dark stair treads and white risers for longer than my first born’s age. Considering he is 19 years old (wow, still a little unreal that I have a 19 year old) it was high time to make it a reality. I showed you this picture earlier in my post Inspiration for the: Foyer. DURATREAD molded fiberglass stair tread covers are manufactured using high strength fiberglass mat in combination with a choice of resin systems. Ensure stair treads are secured in place with a high strength construction adhesive for safe use.


The base can be a small concrete slab, a small deck or even a treated 2×12 leveled in over a 6-in. To install the treads Cody started by applying liquid nails to the stair braces (just made up that term). It’s easy to cut the flat portion with a circular saw, but once you have to turn it to cut the attached backsplash, your blade will veer off and would look ugly. It took me about 20 minutes and about a dollars worth of hardware to make one that works just as well.

The riser may not be square to the wall on the sides so you may need to cut them at a slight angle to fit even with the sides. You simply place the tool in place, loosen the wing nuts, slide it out and make it touch the outward edges of your stair well, and lock down the nuts. Here, because I am making a replacement nosing in the shop, I hand-sand the tread with a palm sander using 100-grit paper.

IN that case the air leaks might be at any of the four sides of a stair tread and would probably vary from one step to another. NOTE: For 3rd Alternative: Subtract additional finished tread thickness for bottom cut (Step 4 (C)). The other thing to consider is, the sides of the stair case may be at a slight angle. Here is a good example of a stair runner that isn’t going to offer the maximum help if the user needs to use the rail from the bottom. STAIR RISE & RUN CALCULATIONS at – online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice. Before installing the next tread on top of the riser check for fit with a scrap piece of wood.

Here we provide an alternative crude but effective approach to stair rise and run measurement using string, plumb line, and level, along with a stick or board (or two of them) of sufficient length. Where there is insufficient space for the full run length of normal stairs, alternating tread stairs may be used. No matter their design, here are some sobering statistics: among unintended injuries, stair falls are second only to automobile crashes. Monthly advice on how to make your home eco-friendly, including energy and water saving tips, healthy home products, green remodeling, and more, plus special offer.

If I make a stair then set the run line to show automatic Up/Down, the next stair gets automatic Up/Down as well. The slope or pitch of the stairs is the ratio between the rise and the going (not the tread depth, due to the nosing). The Stair Tread could be used to create a no-slip tread, but it will cover the entire width of the stair and requires some finagling with the Stair height, since the Tread Height effects the overall Stair Height (shown on left). Code has stringent requirements regarding the tread and riser measurements even for curved stair cases.

Riser-Tread formula: Sometimes the stair parameters will be something like riser plus tread equals 17-18 inches (432-457 mm); 18 another formula is 2 times riser + tread equals 24.6 inches (625 mm), the length of a stride. An average installation of retro fit stair treads only takes about a half day from removing the carpet to the final tread. And of course long stair runs due to a very tall total rise (more than 12 feet) also is likely to require an intermediate stair platform as well.

Based on the figures you provided we describe for other readers the basics of stair design calculations that consider total rise, total run, and step riser height and step tread depth. Biscuits were added to the mitered cut providing more strength to the mitered joint. Risers to make it all the way up. If we can increase the risers to 8 in. each, we will need only 15. Pictured on the right best describes the product showing a staircase with stair stringers/skirting capturing the entire scope of the system. To help bring about a better understanding of how to go about laying out a stair stringer, let us consider laying out a stair which must have a total rise of 8 feet 4 inches.

So, short of re-painting the stair risers at this point, I rigged up a home-experiment to make the stair risers and sides a dull brown color — rather than a glossy white color. The finished color of the stair treads will look exactly what the treads look like as you apply the stain and immediately wipe it off. That’s exactly what the woodworkers were able to do. They squared off the bullnose edges of the original steps and installed new pine risers and treads directly over the old. At some point in the late 80’s I started to see treads with a curved miter of sorts.

I’ve done the miters for tread returns on a table saw with a jig mounted to the miter gauge and the blade tilted to 45 degrees. Cutting the stair nose is just a matter of cutting it to fit snug on each end, and cut the ends to follow the angle of the wall if needed. As a side note, the two examples on the left also are calculated using one less rise than run as they both are mounted a rise and tread thickness down from the top surface of the decking. Noticed how securely the carpet is attached at the bottom of the riser and underneath the bullnose of the tread. I have seen many too steep staircases that make climbing or defending the stairs, carpet or not a challenge.

If you were to slot the treads to slide over the angles I would keep the slot in the bottom 3rd of the tread to optimize the bearing surface. If you think you will often have one person going up while one is coming down, you should make your staircase about 48 in. wide. Ceiling, landings can break up the run and make ascending these staircases a little easier, since they provide a point to pause on the way up and down the steps. The advantage of this saw is that it allows you to make angle cuts easily if the walls aren’t exactly straight.

I used a little craft paper leftover from a remodel (the kind on the large roll you cover floors with) and cut a piece a little larger than the tread. Standard finished ends are treads revealing the end of the hardwood rounded over in the same manner as the front part of the tread. This is typically between 34 and 38 inches (864 and 965 mm), measured to the nose of the tread.