# Staircase Jig

How hard could it be to make your own ?
Seems not too difficult to me..specially if I wanted
an open string.
Arthur
It's easy!
Correct!
It's NOT hard!
Work out the rise and the going and then make two templates (three for a closed string)
Template 1 A PITCH board that includes the rise and the going of the treads (and riser if needed)
Template 3 A RISER template (if required)
Use the above to set out the strings ready for cutting.
Its not... especially if all you need is one that does a specific stair rather than a general purpose one to do any stair.
Here is one I made earlier:
result:
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D\
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0|
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0|
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D/
A very nice job!
I've actually been thinking about making a jig for some time. The only thing I'm nervous about is cumulative error. I'm thinkin that I will end up with a convex or concave flight of stair nosings. So you could tell me if I'm worrying overmuch. Or should I build onto the jig a 'noggin' or something to locate on the previous tread groove?
Thanks.
Arthur
Hire one? Template it then take it back...a tenner well spent as you now have a template to work with.
Didn't think of that...{tries to think of an excuse} .............................
Whilst a template might be helpful to double check layout, working out the distance of each step away from a base or reference step using a spreadsheet is much preferable. A 0.5mm lead propelling pencil marks out lines very well & then you can clamp wood to guide the router very easily.
measuring everything from a base point or reference step avoids that.
But you need to sort out exactly what sizes your treads and risers and nosings are going to be. BTW nosing size is just as important for comfort as tread and rise.
It may be that space constraints mean you are governed by the limits imposed by the building regs. If not it pays to consider this very carefully. IMHO at the steep limit BR stairs are too steep; at the other extreme a shallow stair is a very hard tramp.
Would suggest you look around as much as possible & try different out as many as possible both going up and down.
I'm thinkin that I
no. measure every step directly from one you've taken great care to get exactly right. Be careful to make the steps level. Once you have tried climbing a staircase with a slope on its tread, even a tiny one, you will understand what I mean.
Making your own stair is a good idea as (unless you skimp on materials) you will finish up with a much better job than a mass produced model. For example you can use thicker timber (eg 12mm plywood instead of 9mm for the risers).
A couple of points worth considering:
1 A central stringer run down & notched into the underside of each step adds greatly to strength and rigidity.
2. A single or full bull nose starting step adds much to the look of a stairway. These are made by milling away the base riser on the bend to almost nothing (one or 2 layers of the plywood only are kept). The riser is finsihed by bending it round a 4 x 4 or larger rounded vertical noggin & glueing. Or for a larger radius bend bolt and glue several thick pieces of timber together.
HTH
While you're at it...hire a kitchen worktop jig as well,although it takes a good router and bit for that type of routing. ;-)
I think not! If I'm buttin 2 piece of worktop together I will cut both edges simultaneously. Workbench to support the worktops where they meet..1/2 inch apart. A work trestle to support the end of the short length. And the wife can put her hands on her knees and support the other. No worries :)
Arthur
I made my template such that it aligned with the edge of the string on the nosing side. Hence it was just a case of slide it along a fixed amount each step. There was no danger of getting convex or concave nosing lines unless the edge of the string was not straight. (obviously one had to take care on the end cuts where the strings deviated from parallel edges)
Could do, but it is easy enough to line up on a mark I found.
Well the template takes care of the consistency of each step, but as you point out, you must get the sums right in the first place. (as the commentary on my site probably re-enforces!) ;-)
Not sure there are any formulaic rules for nosing size, but on steep stairs or stairs without much going per tread then more is better. IIRC I did 30mm from the front of the riser on mine. They are actually a slight more comfortable walk that the lower stairs which are in fact a degree or so shallower, but have less nosing.
I was at the limit on mine, so not much choice alas.
Yup, it is surprising how you can tell when something is wrong just by walking them - even if it is only a small error.
Might try that next time I need to makes some... ;-)

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