Sunday 2 December 2012

Making Stairs

My blog post about replacing the handrail last week made me think about the first flight of stairs I made back in 2006 with a good friend/mentor. Looking through some old photos I found some from when we made them.
The string and newels routed out to accept the treads and risers
 These were to go in a barn conversion Andy and I had been working on and off for well over a year everything was oak and everything had to be top quality. It's unusual to get site carpenters to make stairs on site in the UK, but as we had our own little workshop there with all the tools, the customer we were working for decided it was the best way he could get the stairs he wanted without having to wait for a joiner to make them and he was pleased with all the previous work Andy and I had done for him.
Using oak meant everything had to be spot on - no bruising wood together here!
 These were made out of oak (the strings were 2" thick!) and as we'd only ever fitted stairs before we went over our workings quite a few times before we started! With stairs a full sized template is sometimes the best way to go if you've got the space.
Beginning the first glue up
 We machined all the treads on the spindle moulder, routed the strings with a purpose made jig and cut the wedges on the bandsaw with another jig to make sure they were a perfect fit.
The glue up went well, with both of us working hard to get it together fast as we were using quite a fast setting glue

All the treads glued in position

Andy cleaning the excess glue from the first flight of stairs

The stairs fitted in position

The nice chunky newel posts really go well with the feel of these stairs
This was a great project and a great test of our skills, they came out looking perfect and on time, the customer was over the moon.
Anyone else taken on a large job like this that they'd never done before?


  1. Nice new picture at the top Kev , Your stairs turned out well :)

    1. Cheers brian - I took that picture a couple of years ago and found it the other day!

  2. Hi Kev: What neat job you made of it! Feels good to rise to the challenge and succeed. Specially when you have never done something like it before and the customer is happy with the results. Those stairs should be there for a good while long after you are gone.I really need to do a stair post of my own past projects. Good work, keep it up. Cheers; Michael

    1. Yeah I was chuffed. I'd fitted plenty of flights of stairs ust never made them from scratch before. Yeah do a stair post I'm loving the work you put on your blog.


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