They haven't made these things for about 20 years. Probably because
they are cast iron and will last forever. I suspect that the other
reason is that most builders and carpenters rely on factory built
stairs for their projects. I won't give you my opinion on why that is
Anyway, can anyone in this group give me a lead on finding one of these
I thought for sure one of the old timers might chime in with something.
Then again, the old timers know how to use the blasted thing, which
has a next best use as an achor, and aren't going to give theirs up.
They probably won't tell where they saw one hanging in some shop unused
So my next tact is asking what material might be best suited for making
a stair template. I have seen aluminium templates, but the
manufacturer thought they were made of gold, not alum. Plexiglass
A little feedback would be helpful.
Templet takes a lot beating. Would create a master in 3/8" MDF and
You like? Then copy it on Aluminum, acrylic or phenolic laminate.
Interesting gadgets, but what I'm looking for is a template guiding a
router to house out stringers. This allows the treads & the risers to
be wedged and glued into the stringers. It makes for a stronger
stairway and lessens the squeeks you would get from setting your treads
on a 2 X horse.
That is the overpriced replacement for the template I'm searching for.
It looks slick, but at $875.00, it just seems a bit expensive. I would
be a happy camper to locate one of the original cast iron models.
There is probably one hanging in a barn waiting for me.
Maybe you can rent. (If you can find one that is). I'm wondering how
difficult it would be to figure your angles and then just cut a template out
of plywood? A router with a caller around the bit and you're all set. Double
the satisfaction for a completed job.
If he can lay out stairs, he could lay out the template. I agree Upscale, a
plywood template is the way I'd go. One of the repeat shows of the router
workshop that has been running lately on the Woodworking (
http://www.thewoodworkingchannel.com/ )channel is on this very subject.
wrote in message
Well, he seems to have a fascination with things of old and seems to
consider this particular tool to be a signature tool of old school
craftsmen. That's fine - I guess we all have our little idiosyncrasies.
It's what makes the world go 'round.
I too wondered right from the beginning why he just didn't whip one up out
of plywood or (gag...) MDF. He could be up and running with one that is
every bit as functional as what has appeared in this thread by now. But
then again... when you want something in particular, sometimes the
alternatives just don't cut it.
The problem with plywood jigs is durability. Yep, it's not a problem
to make one, but how many stringers, of varying rises and runs, could I
cut before I would have to make a new template. I have used the cast
iron models and they are at least 30 years old. The only parts that
wear out are the "pointer" and occasioanlly a foot gets lost. They're
like a Timex..."Takes a lickin'..."
Those templates are the property of a shop that I sold. Unforunately I
didn't grab the spare jog before leaving. Honesty has it's price, but
I sleep at night.
True, but how valid is that thought? How long will it take to wear out that
plywood template? 10 years? Two years? How long does it take to knock one
out? Two hours? I believe the point of diminishing returns is just around
Well, it looks like I just might have to bite the bullet on the $875.00
Plywood or other "softer" materials just won't work out on the long
run. They , the templates, do take a bit of abuse and and wear will
show up in the cuts. You're running a 3 horse router through and
hardwood stringers make that thing just a bit. Especially oak, and
when you have to horse it, you stand a chance of ruining the edge of
the template. It is heavy work that demands durability in the tools
Also, I have seldom made two sets of stairs that were exactly alike.
This has to be a template that is easy to change and adapt to those
replying to Woodsy, CushmanDoug wrote:
Woodsy, I have one listed on Craigslist for sale (Tampa, Florida), a Rockwell
cast iron #521 router template that weights about 40#. In perfect useable
condition, price is firm.
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