You must flip the board over so you can access the backside of the cut made by the circular saw. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas. The level is helpful in outdoor projects, such as deck stairs, when the stringer may end on ground that is at a different height than it is just below the deck. A complete discussion and demonstration of how to measure and cut stair stringers for a deck or porch or other use. Just allow the tool to do the work and save your arm. Rooted in tradition, historical colors still look fresh in a wide range of settings. He is a certified Master Naturalist, regularly monitors stream water quality and is the editor of freshare.net, a site exploring the Ozarks outdoors. 27,856 Posts #5 • Jun 20, 2012. Either decking material or pressure treated 2x12 for treads. Open stringers take a little more time than closed ones. Certain shades endure for decades, even centuries, because they work so well with a variety of styles and spaces. A tape measure and a carpenter’s level or a long, straight two-by-four help determine the overall rise for the stringers. If you’re using synthetic decking for the treads, some manufacturers require stringers to be spaced no more than 12 inches apart. Finish the cuts you made with a circular saw by cutting up to the intersection line with a handsaw. With all the cut lines drawn, carefully cut along them with a circular saw. Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox. The level or two-by-four is not necessary for interior staircases where the project calls for a set of stringers from one flat surface to another. Steps for Cutting Stair Stringers Doing the math. Dividing 25 by 7 ¾ and rounding up will determine the number of risers in the stair: To find the individual riser height, divide the overall rise of 25 by the number of risers: The other number you need to lay out stringers is the tread depth, also called the run. To lay out subsequent stringers, align the cut stringer with the edge of the stringer stock, and draw lines. In this episode I use a dado saw or stair saw to demonstrate one of those ways to hand cut dados. Sandy Effren and Karen Berkemeyer take you behind the design of the Wood-Mode custom cabinetry at the 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. Pressure-treated wood protects against termites and fungal decay. Use this first stringer as a pattern to lay out all the others. The overall rise is the vertical distance the stringers will cover. If you need a variety of tools to complete a DIY project, read our review of the best power tool sets on Amazon to find one that’s right for you. Looking for any tips/tricks for the actual cutting to make them as consistant as possible. If your deck is 56 inches (140 cm) off the ground, … What's the best tool and method for making the cuts on the outside skirt of the stairway? Getting ready to cut my first ever stair stringers. When cutting a stair stringer, you must cut the marks that you just made using a circular saw, ensuring that you don’t go beyond the lines, and finish the cuts using a jigsaw or handsaw. I need to replace the treads on my deck stairs. If you were to cut the bottom riser at the full height of 6 ¼ inches, placing the bottom tread would increase the height of that first step by thickness of the that tread. Korpella's work has appeared in a variety of publications. For example, most deck stair treads are set at 10 1/4 inches so they can accommodate two 2-by-6 pieces. Another vote for the skil wormdrive. The staircase built on stair stringers is a classic case. Using green lumber is why there is almost always a downward slope to the tread cuts after it has dried out, along with the warping issues. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. With a circular saw, cut out the stringer. If you clamp a reference guide across the board, you can get a decent cut with a good jig saw. At the top, placing the upper tread would have the opposite effect and that step would be 5 ¼ inches instead of 6 ¼ inches. The incomplete cut line will then be evident. All rights reserved. Here’s how we flooded our coastal Idea House with an abundance of natural light and fresh air. Measure out how much total rise your stairs need. Move the square up the stringer, aligning the next tread cut with the top of the riser below, and mark the next tread and riser. The largest riser height at each step that most building codes allow is 7 ¾ inches. The level extends the line of the decking to a point where the the stringer will end. This will look bad and will weaken the stringer. So, that cut where the stringer meets the bottom landing would be 5 ¼ inches from the tread above, while all the other risers would remain at 6 ¼ inches. Build outdoor stairs faster, with less scrap and less wear and tear on saw blades with pre-cut stringers. You’ll need at least one stringer for every 16 inches of stair width. J. Just because pre-cut stair stringers are sold in many building supply stores doesn't mean they will be best for your outdoor project. The best way is to re-cut new stringers out of plywood or something dry and stable (I've used 8/4 poplar but now prefer laminated plywood). The strength of the stringer weakens if the tread and riser lines are overcut. With a circular saw, cut out the stringer. video for Custom Cabinetry: Details Make the Difference, Fine Hardwoods of the TOH 2020 Idea Houses. Clamp a scrap of wood to the underside of the of the square to serve as a guide, then mark out the first cut with a pencil. Use this first stringer as a pattern to lay out all the others. Make the cut, removing the pencil line. Copyright © 2020 This Old House Ventures, LLC. The first course of action is always to figure out the overall rise of the stair by extending a level from the finished surface of the deck over the finished surface of the landing and measuring between those two elevations. A circular saw is the cutting tool of choice for trimming out a stringer. Use a new, sharp … Stringers are the main structural support pieces of a set of stairs. Skill Level: Beginner. Photos: Patricia Steed. This deck is an example of that. The skirts that run down the stairs are already in. (A plunge cut is when you hold the circular saw above the line on the step, start the saw and drop the blade straight down on the line). The longer line is the tread cut or run, and the shorter line is the riser. Very rarely do i ever cut single stringers anymore...too fricken time consuming and hard on my back, the prazi is'nt cutting each cut as fact as a skill saw, but your cutting 4-6" stringers at once you your way ahead of the game time wise....just be sure to keep the blades sharp, once you hit any metal...it's junk and needs to be sharpened or replaced. Get inspired by the beautiful doors, floors, and wood accents that elevated this year’s pair of TOH Idea Houses. More on Stairs: Custom Cabinetry: Details Make the Difference. Notching smaller stock doesn’t leave enough wood to safely carry the loads of a stair. It might be what I learned on I just dont like the off balance of the sidewinders that is the motor hanging over one side. I really like the brass fortification at the bottom as every vintage model I have seen is cracked or I am hesitant to use it for fear of cracking it. It is desirable to know how to cut stair stringers if you’ve made up your mind to install stairs for your porch, deck or interior of a multi-storey house. Lay a straight piece of 2x12 on sawhorses. If you need to clean up the cut on the riser side, due to being exposed, use a belt sander. Use the best 2x12 boards you can find for stringers. Seems like I cut a lot of stairs in just finishing up a garapa project with 4 stairways one of them 16' long. The deck framing or fascia will act as the top riser, so the final cut on the stringer is usually laid out and made square down from the top tread, depending on how you plan to tie the stringers into the deck framing. For starters, to cut a full 11-1/2" stair tread, a 12" sliding miter saw is best. If your not that experienced with a circular saw use a jig saw. Stringers should always be cut from 2x12s. So now I am ready to layout the cut marks on the first deck stair stringers and cut the notches using my skill saw and hand saw. This saw will not undercut while removing the waste pieces from the stringer. That’s unsafe, and a code violation. Set the stair guide on the 10 1/4-inch mark on the framing square. Say the overall rise is 25 inches. How to Install a Precut Deck Stair Stringer, How to Use a Builder's Square to Make Stairs, How to Make a Mitered Corner With a Circular Saw, How to Get Perfect Miter Joints on Laminate Countertops, Popular Mechanics: How to Build Your Own Stairs in 3 Easy Steps, Extreme How-To: How to Build Stairs; Doug Adams, The Family Handyman: How to Build Deck Stairs, How to Cut a Stair Tread From 3/4 Plywood. It’s portable, easy to take right to the job site and quickly cuts through 1 1/2-inch-thick framing lumber. The solution is simple – shorten the bottom riser cut on the stringer by the tread thickness. Handsaws typically cut on the down stroke, and a sharp saw takes little effort. Laid out via CAD so confidence is high they are correct. The wormdrive will run itself thru the cuts, its easy to let the saw do the work in other words. Continue until you’ve marked out all the tread cuts and riser cuts. They say history repeats itself—and when it comes to paint colors, we say that’s a good thing. Just a couple points for cutting a stair stringer properly for your deck. Cutting beyond the notch with the circular saw is faster, but it weakens the stringer. How to Cut Deck Stair Stringers Use a circular saw to perform the cuts, but be cautious to not over-cut your guidelines. Simpson LSC Adjustable Stringer Connectors, How to Fix and Measure Pull Down Attic Stairs. Using a 10" or smaller saw that doesn't slide means you'll have to make two cuts on each side of the tread and is very difficult to achieve a quality cut. If, for example, your treads are 1 inch thick, that bottom step would be 7 ¼ inches instead of the desired 6 ¼ inches. These designs have a high level of strength and are characterized by refined and respectable look. How To Cut Stair Stringers First make a test stringer on 2x12 stock, then use it as a template for the rest of the stringers. Use a jigsaw or handsaw to complete the cut. Stair stringers support the stairs’ structure. Take some measurements, make some calculations and cut out the first stringer. Use the first stringer as a template. Your total rise is the height from one story to the next that the stairs will connect. Cutting beyond this point undercuts the stringer, which weakens this critical support piece. [1] X Research source This distance should be from the top of the finished floor below and the finished floor at the top. I have a bandsaw, but if I were cutting the stringers, I would use a jig saw. Divide the height of the stairs by the desired rise. Run (depth of each step) is 10 inches. Stop the cuts at the inner corners, and finish them with a handsaw, jigsaw, or reciprocating saw. In total for one stringer I have 14 cuts to make. The minimum allowed by most codes is 10 inches, and that’s a good size to use. For safety and code compliance, the riser height and tread depth must be consistent along the whole stair. CME Handworks has made a nice version of the stair saw. Some stairs have notched stringers everywhere. This was a quick guide to making a stair stinger. http://www.homebuildingandrepairs.com/stairs/index.html - Click on this link to learn more about how to build stairs and layout stringers. I'm not sure I'm using the correct term, but this is the skirt that faces the room. Laying them out correctly ensures a good fit for the stair location, as well as uniform treads -- the stair itself -- and risers -- the distance from one step to the next. In the notches at all the tread-riser intersections, stop cutting when the blade reaches the line. Look for straight stock with as few knots as possible. This means hand saw or jig saw. Skippy said: Total amateur here. Stairs are a connection between two different elevations and the best results are reached by creating a custom stringer built for the specific site conditions you will encounter. Stop the cut right at the intersection between the tread line and the riser line even though the cut will be incomplete. When ordering stringers, allow about 14 inches of stringer length for each step. I hope this helps. By Roe A. Osborn. After the first stringer is complete and correct (test it out to make sure before cutting the others) I can use it as a template for the rest of the stringers and they will all be exactly the same. Use your first stair stringer as a template to trace your remaining stringers. Open stringers should be cut from pressure-treated lumber. 10. Always wear safety glasses and hearing protection when operating power equipment. Dividing 25 by 7 ¾ and rounding up will determine the number of risers in the stair: 25 ÷ 7.75 = 3.23 = 4 risers. Use the first stringer as a template to cut the subsequent stringers. Once one stringer is cut, use it as a template for the remaining ones (to save you time and reduce errors). Time: 2 hours . Then, cut the bottom of the stringer to an amount equal to the thickness of the tread. Letting the (Natural) Light In | 2020 Cottage on the Cape. Squares often come with stair guides -- small brass fittings that attach to the arms of the square. Table saws can do the job on parallel cuts, but cutting treads perpendicular across the grain can be tricky, often requiring a miter gauge. Most of the work in making stair stringers—the diagonal elements that support the treads and risers—is in laying them out. Place a stair guide at the tread width on one arm, and the other on the calculated riser measurement on the other arm. See more ideas about Stairs stringer, Building deck steps, How to make stairs. Say the overall rise is 25 inches. Use a circular saw to perform the cuts, but be cautious to not over-cut your guidelines. Once you’ve determined the rise and tread you’ll use for your stringer, a framing square makes quick work of drawing layout lines on the framing lumber. It’s portable, easy to take right to the job site and quickly cuts through 1 1/2-inch-thick framing lumber. Remember to apply preservative to the cut edges. Making them deeper requires a longer cut to notch the stringers, which weakens them. Hold a framing square with the rise dimension on the tongue and the run dimension on the blade intersecting the edge of the 2x12. Robert Korpella has been writing professionally since 2000. There is no solid stringer covering the outsides of the steps. Use a circular saw to cut out the top and bottom sections of the stair stinger and each step. Aug 11, 2020 - Explore Michael L Hodge's board "Contractor table saw" on Pinterest. Then use it as a template for making the rest. What to Know About Cutting Stair Stringers. Pulling up the Carpet Cut the carpet with a utility knife under the lip of the top step. Riser (height of each step) is 6-3/4 inches. Armed with the unit rise and unit run dimensions, you can make the stair stringers. I have three steps where the riser will match up with that skirt to form an outside corner, and I want the miter to be clean. The largest riser height at each step that most building codes allow is 7 ¾ inches. Wood is also color infused with a cedar shade for a nice appearance. I start at one side of the stair as close to the the wall as possible and cut across the stair until my saw stops at the other side. Historical Paint Colors Making a Comeback. See All The Steps. It does take extra time (most non-perfectionists would never even consider) but the results are near perfection. Re: Cutting stair stringers #469354 07/09/08 08:56 PM 07/09/08 08:56 PM: Joined: Oct 2004 Posts: 3,120 Central California. You need to take your time here and follow your line. The total rise should be set in most cases, so you simply need to measure the height. Here are easy tips to cut your stair stringers: 1. The treads overhang the stringer on the sides. There will always be one less tread than there are risers because the deck itself acts as the top step. A circular saw is the cutting tool of choice for trimming out a stringer. This will allow you to make a full 12" cut in one pass. Read on to learn more about the steps to take when cutting stair stringers. Stop the cuts at the inner corners, and finish them with a handsaw, jigsaw, or reciprocating saw. Of Natural Light and fresh air your first stair stringer as a template to cut deck stair stringers # 07/09/08. To replace the treads, some manufacturers require stringers to be spaced no more than 12 inches.... 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'S board `` Contractor table saw '' on Pinterest the line Fix and measure Pull down stairs..., and that ’ s unsafe, and a sharp saw takes little effort your stair stringers best saw to cut stair stringers.! Waste pieces from the stringer, which weakens this critical support piece material or pressure treated for. The strength of best saw to cut stair stringers stairway while removing the waste pieces from the stringer by beautiful!