how to trim out stairs?

My client installed his own stairs, using oak treads and painted pine risers. He wants me to put 1x12 trim along each side, with a piece of trim at the top edge, perhaps some chair rail. He's already removed the risers for painting.
I'm debating the best way to get this done. Here are the options so far:
* Remove the risers, put the 1x12s in place (notched to the stringers), and trim the treads to fit between.     + everything fits nicely     + easy to do     - treads not fully supported by outside stringers     - I guess I can add blocking on the stringers
* Trim the 1x12s to fit around the risers.     + fully supported treads     - the 1x12s will never fit exactly around all those curves
I told him I'd like to cut tongue and groove wainscoting, as I've done in the past. He's not excited about that.
Anybody have another idea? Thanks.
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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Not a pro but I would probably go with the first option if the treads can be easily removed or trimmed in place.
I don't think that the treads being supported by *only* 3/4" will be an issue. Joist hangers only hold about 1 1/2" of a 2x12.
Good luck and post back your solution.
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can you rip the jack off (did i say that) put a spacer between stair jack and wall, slide skirt board in, re-install treads and rizers. stait run on skirt no cutting rize an run. ross
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Steve wrote:

This past summer, I had the same question. I had a pine staircase, with oak flooring at both levels. We wanted oak treads, risers, and stringers. In our case, the bottom 4 steps are open on one end, the rest go wall to wall.
After much research, I simply ripped out the staircase and replaced it with an oak staircase. <G>
Since you're willing to disassemble the staircase, I'd replace the stringers with new ones made of the material he wants, using the existing treads and risers.
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As long as you have 3/4" or so of the jack supporting the tread you should be fine. Removing the treads and risers will allow you to cut the rises and runs into your skirt without the need to be too accurate. If you feel you need more support for the treads, as you suggest, you can add blocking or just double up the jacks.

You do not want to use the above method. Labor costs will go sky high because to get a quality product using this method will be very time consuming. That's assuming you can satisfy the customer at all with this technique.
Mike O.
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rec.woodworking:

Okay, my decision is to remove the treads and notch the skirt to fit the stringers. I'll add some blocking for good luck. The bottom of the stairs is visible in a closet, so doing it for appearance sake is important.
I just hope my miter saw has enough capacity to cut the treads in one pass.
By the bye, this is a guy who was remodeling every single room in his house at once, by himself, and he'd been at it for over a year. SWMBO told him that they didn't see enough of him, so he hired me to finish everything up. I have a three month gig. :)
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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What you can do is called top skirting, place the 1 x 12 on the stairs so it is touching the noses on each tread mark a line parallel to the tread at the bottom for the floor cut and cut it, place the 1 x 12 back in place now with the floor cut on the floor and the edge resting on the noses of the treads clamp or screw it in place, use a strait edge to mark a line for the top of each tread, cut a board the height of the riser length will depend on the pitch of the stair use this to mark a line that will be the face of the riser. Now with a jig saw set at 45 degrees cut the tread cut and the riser cut. Place 1 x 12 back on stair pushing it in to it hits the nose of the tread, with a scriber (I use a cheep pencil compass) mark how far the nose sticks out for each tread with a straight edge connect the top of the tread cut and the bottom of the tread to radius With the jig saw set at 45 degrees cut out the noses. Now bang it in place, Good Luck Joe
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