It's NOT hard!
Work out the rise and the going and then make two templates (three for a
Template 1 A PITCH board that includes the rise and the going of the
treads (and riser if needed)
Template 2 A TREAD template
Template 3 A RISER template (if required)
Use the above to set out the strings ready for cutting.
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?
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
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.
I think not!
If I'm buttin 2 piece of worktop together I will cut both edges
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 :)
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
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... ;-)