New Jatoba Staircase installed and finished (w/pics)

Hello everyone,
In the first two shots you can see the old staircase in the background through the old dining room doorway into the main hall. That was the day I took possession of the house. I had just started banging holes in the walls to see what was behind them before I went into full demolition mode and removed all the walls on the main floor. I knew the carpet was coming off the stairs, but I didn't know what was underneath them. It turns out the staircase was nothing more than dimensional lumber with carpet on it. Pretty low end. This would not fit in with my plans for the house.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/oldstair1.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/oldstair2.jpg
Once all the demo, structural work, electrical rough in, drywall and new subfloor were in, I contacted a friend from work who owns a staircase company about a new staircase. He came over on a Saturday and Katarina and I talked with him for a couple of hours about what could be built. While the old staircase may have met code 30 years ago, simple dropping a new one in today would not. We would need one more tread. He came up with the idea of a platform at the bottom to get that additional tread. The old staircase had a wrought iron railing with a plastic cap that went on the outside and bent inward where the stair went into the ceiling and up to the second floor. After much discussion we settled on a design. A diminishing railing on the outside that would die into the ceiling, a full railing on the wall, square pickets and a panel newel post.
The stair case was supposed to take 4-5 weeks from order to install, but it took longer. It turns out you can not just go to one of those big square places and pick up a sheet of Jatoba plywood (for the risers). Once the custom sheet of Jatoba ply showed up, the staircase was finished and ready to be put in. I was out of town the day it was to be installed. I was eager to get home and check it out. Just the main staircase body was installed on the first day, it was 90%+ built off site. All the railing and trim materials had been milled oversize and were fitted on site over the next two days.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair1.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair2.jpg
I then had to lay the tile in the entranceway, flooring on the two landings, finish the trim myself, prep and finish the staircase. I have never spent so much time on such small areas of flooring. I really am embarrassed to admit how long those two little platforms took. I bet half the main floor will not take as long.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair3.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair4.jpg
I shot four coats of Magnalac pre-cat lacquer with a Kremlin HVLP system. A staircase is probably not the best spray project for a first timer, but it went well. I only had one run, which was caused by me bumping my head and stopping the gun. This was sanded down and fixed on the last coat.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair5.jpg
I am very pleased with how things went and I could not be happier with the outcome.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair6.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair7.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair8.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/newstair9.jpg
I have some time off over the holidays and I hope to get a lot of the 1600 sq ft of Jatoba flooring out of boxes and down on the floor.
My plans to take a 30 year old house and turn it into a 80-100 year old open concept are taking shape...
Thanks for looking,
David.
Every Neighbourhood has one, in Mine I'm Him
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Looks great. as always, David....but fur cryin'-out-loud, we have stud finders now...(
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/oldstair1.jpg )
r
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Well, it started with this new pencil, you see. As he was working on the wall, he got called away and it fell in to the wall. Since it was such a nice pencil, he decided repairing the wall would be easier than getting a replacement pencil. So, the project began. He just knew the pencil was in the wall, but didn't know *where*. After a few hours of searching, he finally found his pencil... in its case on the kitchen table where he left it when he left.
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Absolutely gorgeous. Looking at them finished, it seems ashamed to think people will be walking on them with dirty shoes. Nicely done.
Robert
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Really nice work - especially for such a skinny dude - make that thin and wirey.
charlie b
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Very nice work. I hope to be able to get the same result. I live in a 4 levels side split house. The stairs were originally made with 2" pine finished to 1 1/2" thick with housed treads. Then they were covered with carpet. Now we would like to do all the floors with hardwood and installed new treads to match. The problem I have is I can only get hardwood tread finished to 1 1/16" thk. These will not fit in the housed grooves made for the 1 1/2" thk. pine tread. As a result that I may have to made new stringers and groove them to suit the 1 1/16" thk. hardwood treads. May be there is a way around this that I do not know yet. I would appreciate any suggestions. TIA
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snipped-for-privacy@nb.sympatico.ca wrote:

After going round and round, I tore mine out and replaced the whole deal, lock, stock, and barrel. In hindsight, it came out far better than any of the other ideas would have.
Get some quotes. While I was thinking of workarounds, a respected local stair builder gave me a quote that made it not worth my aggravation to "learn by doing". As a side benefit, the pro shop came up with some of the clearest, straightest grain, stringers I've ever seen.
I got to sand the last grit, apply the finish and stringer moldings, build the newell and railings, and move on with the rest of the house. I still haven't installed the railings, as I'm still carting hardwood doors up and down the stairs.
Total time without upstairs access? 9 hours on install day, and 4 more over two finishing days. <G>
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Well, this fat dude (who used to be skinny) adds his congratulations.
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David F. Eisan wrote:

Very nice!
I did exactly the same project in July, in a different wood. My house is only 12, though.
There was NO WAY I could have made the existing staircase work with all the new work, so out it went on a recip saw.
Don't beat yourself up over the time estimates. I've found that small areas, like stair landings, nooks, and small closets, take far more time to install flooring than we estimate. No chance to build a rhythm, and it seems like every board gets cut! My upstairs closets have sloped ceilings, so the last 12-16" of flooring got installed with me on my belly.
Keep it up!
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Really nice work and very, very nice design. I really like the post with the applied moldings, the extended rounded last two steps at the bottom turn are really distinctive, classic and very well porportioned. It is really worth the time to get excellence in design so your craftsmanship delivers such a beautiful result. I aspire to build such nice components into my home some day. Bravo!
I wonder, do you now have a Jatoba hall table with some matching details in your future for that little wall space under the stringer? You could use that same rounded detail for the top or maybe a stretcher shelf that cantalevers at each end and some scaled down panel posts for legs.
BW
On Dec 19, 9:27pm, "David F. Eisan"

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