How Do I Cut This Tread?
#16
The original house was built well for 1978, but the "improvements" done by the previous owner have some issues.

Looking at this more, I'm thinking about cutting some 2x4 supports to add to the stringers.

   
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#17
Wow! That's a can of worms I wouldn't want to open. I think it's time to close it up, but finish work on the top side first. I might have considered starting from scratch a few years ago but in these times you'd have to see a Loan Officer first. I suggested the template and router option to cut the treads because I would want two machined cuts for that return glue joint. If there were only one or two, I would have marked them and cut them with my Sawzall. They would need to be touched up with hand tools and/or a sander to get a good fit, but I'd be done. I think I could do six in the same amount of time with better results with the template. But that's just me with my experience and tools, your's may be different.

Anyway, back to those worms. Routing 2x stock for treads and risers isn't all that uncommon. I usually see a tongue on the back of the tread in a groove near the bottom of the riser. Can't tell if yours has them but I would still screw the risers to the treads using the appropriate pilot, clearance, and countersink hole. When you've got the stairs safe and secure, look for fire-stop blocking. We put it in for a reason. When that's done, put some 5/8" S.R. up and tape it with at least a "smoke coat".

Many of us here have installed lots of stairways. There's as many different techniques as there are designs. If you get held up on your newels or balusters or just want to hear different methods, just ask.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
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#18
I like to consider myself a pretty accomplished woodworker when it comes to furniture and even built-ins, so a template with a router is right as home for me.

I get that it's a mess. If I were a contractor, I would probably only settle for replacing the stairs, and I thought about it anyway briefly.

There is not a T&G between the tread and risers. Some of them are nailed, but I had planned on some proper screws anyway. The more I stare at it, I'm thinking 2x blocking butted up to the bottom of the treads and screwed to the stringer is a good idea. Just have to route out a bit to make room for those high-precision shims.

I never thought about fire shield drywall there. From where I took the picture, I'm standing in a small closet with a concrete floor. What's the reason to cover the stair bottoms, just so they don't burn as quickly if there was ever a fire? Or are you talking about fire blocks in the wall next to the stairs and then SR drywall on that wall? I'm missing something here, but I'm no framer.

This storage area is about the only unfinished area in the basement. I put up hardboard on a lot of this wall so I wasn't brushing up against insulation. The house was built in 1978 if that gives you an idea of what might have been done at the time.

Back to the treads, I broke out the tape measure and these treads were set for the height of the original carpet covered treads and flooring. Now the floors and landing has tile or hardwood making the bottom stair short and top stair tall. I know that's a common thing.

Given that, I'm now thinking about putting oak retreads on the treads again. This would solve both issues and make it a lot easier to look right. I'd probably just use the pre-fab returns. I know that's not the top notch way, but this isn't a high-end house.

On the side, I'm going to make a trim piece to cover the stringer and join up to the drywall. I'm planning on some thin painted MDF risers covering the existing risers.

I'm sure I'll have more questions when it comes to the newel posts and balusters. I know what I want to do, just need to figure out a few bits of "how" that I don't already know.

I appreciate the advice. My prior experience with stairs is mostly on decks.
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#19
(05-10-2022, 01:41 AM)lincmercguy Wrote: I like to consider myself a pretty accomplished woodworker ...
I never thought about fire shield drywall there. From where I took the picture, I'm standing in a small closet with a concrete floor. What's the reason to cover the stair bottoms, just so they don't burn as quickly if there was ever a fire?  Or are you talking about fire blocks in the wall next to the stairs and then SR drywall on that wall? I'm missing something here, but I'm no framer. 

This storage area is about the only unfinished area in the basement. I put up hardboard on a lot of this wall so I wasn't brushing up against insulation. The house was built in 1978 if that gives you an idea of what might have been done at the time.
... I'm planning on some thin painted MDF risers covering the existing risers.

I'm sure I'll have more questions when it comes to the newel posts and balusters. I know what I want to do, just need to figure out a few bits of "how" that I don't already know.

I appreciate the advice. My prior experience with stairs is mostly on decks.

I thought it was a staircase to the second floor. I don't know how large the closet is or the chance of a fire in the space, but basically you need to stop fire from going up the walls to a story above. Protecting the bottom of the stairs allows them to be used for a longer period of time during a fire. If there was a fire under the stairs, I'm sure the Fire Dept. would appreciate it if the treads were not the first thing to burn.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
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#20
It's a good idea, especially since those six stairs lead to the closest exit to the bedrooms. Plus, it will cover up that ugly mess after I reinforce it.
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
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