My guess would be that the stringers were not beefy enough to begin with and have sagged over the years. You’re done! I literally installed hundreds of these stairs. on “cheap” materials all the time. (The top and bottom stairs are a slightly different height than the rest. Thanks for writing this article. That 11 3/8th’s scares me. It should be more forgiving than hardwood. Attempting a link here, I hope this works My next project is the staircase which is currently carpeted, and will soon receive hardwood. Next, remove the skirt from the wall and, using a sample tread block and a sharp pencil, draw the nosing, using the slight arc you previously scribed from the tip of the nosing as your reference point. It works. Therefore, can I use 1/4″ oak ply to cover the skirt using your method? An amazing article and the fact that people like me are still commenting and asking questions 9 years later is a testament to a timeless piece. Random thoughts: Norm, large, flat cardboard is hard to come by unless you buy a lot of refrigerators haha. Great article and a new approach for me. It sounds good but I’m not 100% sure what you mean. That’s why I always made a full scale drawing on anything like this. From that line draw anther line at a right angle that extends to the intersection of the riser and the tread. And yes, it's a pretty skirt. By that I mean I hope I can give away as much of the knowledge and all of the money I’ve been able to accumulate. Not to say this doesn’t look like a great technique; will have to try it next time. I am thinking about scribing and installing the skirt first, and then capping the treads and risers, being careful to scribe each tread and riser, so that I get them close. I laid everything out full scale on the floor slab. With the availability of dedicated stair machines and high powered routers often its less expensive and a better job to “pre manufacture” the stairs and have them delivered to the job, or build them that way on site. handsaw. Jim. I am wondering now if I should have used 8″ for my tread scribe? The base went on the wall and could be any height the builder/owner wanted. My guess is your probably finished. I got closer, but it did not address the variance in the individual treads, ie: cup and waves. Daniel, I have scribed before and have had good luck, in this case I couldn’t manuever the panel boards in position due to the height and space restrictions. Plug in the hot melt glue gun I have to install stair skirting on box stairs ending at a doorway. After the triangle is removed I cut the straight portion of the bottom of the nosing overhang with my handsaw, or jigsaw. Hey Norm, I found this article very helpful. It will be a little more challenging than cutting a standard tread profile but not anymore difficult than cutting crown or bed moulding. Scribing skirts is something any decent carpenter can do well with a little practice. TIC really is the best magazine out there! I will need to give that some more thought. Over the years, this has been a great technique to know! After you have one comment approved, all of your subsequent comments will appear immediately. “I’ll let you do it right or I’ll learn when you do it different but I won’t let you do it wrong” I’ve seen the nosings notched many times with excellent results. Much Thanks, If it wasn’t 11:00 pm, I might have started this minute, lol. One foreman would roll up the prints each time you’d get close. CP, How hard would it be to find a base top molding that matches my current base molding? Thanks for the reply and tips. You do not have to reposition the scribe point for each level. I did everything described, but it didn’t fit so well. David, Scribing skirts isn’t a terribly difficult technique but it is one where experience over several jobs greatly improves the final result. Benjamin, Before he would try to beat the first guiy, using the same method I would stop him. I’m attaching some pics of what the stairs and entry way looked like before and after the removal of carpet and tile. I hope this has been a help. The kind words and endorsements from many men I’ve been reading for years are humbling. Moderator: please let me know if the links are correct, this is a shot in the dark for me :D thanks. Thanks to all who put so much work into this TIC. When that isn’t an option scribing the skirt is a viable alternative. Set it up, scribed, did it all very carefully. I had not considered running just a baseboard cap though. Todd would love it. It was taught to him by his father. I have the exact same job in 6 weeks time. If you use a pencil, use a #3. Scribing a Skirtboard to an Existing Stair - Fine Homebuilding. I wish I had a better plan for tackling the problem. Whenever I run molding in a room I start away from the entrance so the joints are not as visible. I know all about keeping your wife happy. In Pa. where I learned the technique and worked in the trades I never saw it done. Shawn, Sharon, Using an adjustable T bevel is another viable option. Thank you so much! I have removed carpet and padding and will be installing new risers along with stair treads with a nosing. Norm. Looking for a change of pace, in August 2010 Norm went into business at age 61. I am glad you opened my mind to using a base cap. Probably best if you are the one who built the stairs in the first place and did it right. Up to this point, I was planning to stack my existing baseboard molding right on top. but your right just scribe it over both thats a first class job. they are funded entirely by charitable donations. Norm… you have made it possible for me to support these guys more than I normally do. the far right side of the skirt board, find 7" on the inside of the square, and put the 7" mark at the right side top corner of the skirt. Art Director, THISisCarpentry.com. On the former job, and this recent job, the first riser was significantly higher than all the rest. It has to be glued carefully with high quality glue and biscuits/dowels. If I were in your place and wanted to have skirt boards I would try a small section of the stairs first to see how the skirt will fit over the carpet. I hope you have the opportunity to try it. If they made a mistake we just started over again. I’m not familiar with the Menard’s “skirtboard”. Norm, Wood expand/contracts so I’m not understanding why wood reads would be any different? is good. In this tip, learn how to scribe a skirtboard to an exisiting stair. Best wishes. The skirt is slopped up with old paint and looks bad. 3/8″ – 10 1/16″ to 9 5/8″ approx. Great article Norm -I’m sold. I’m a long time carpenter that has built stairs as the need has arisen. If you can get a good fit the first time I would tack my finished skirt board on the wall and follow the same procedure. Excellent help Norm. It’s critical that you use the highest riser and the longest tread when there’s a variance, and there always is. Each of these pieces served a purpose. The second article was written by Carl Hagstrom who, like me graduated from Williamson Trade School. I’m glad that it turns out I wasn’t a nut after all for doing it that way. Nice article. I am working on my first skirt board retro-fit and found this and thought it was a life saver. If you know only two things in carpentry level and plumb all else will go smoothly.. Great article! Don Zepp was an incredible teacher who never had a formal days instruction (to my knowledge) of how to teach. 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Say what the stairs that I ’ m missing something totally obvious, but… tricks out of cardboard or plywood... Took it from time to time….thanks for finally shedding light on it for a skilled carpenter be. Match their original scribed positions that extends to the upper edge of risers! Whole story sparkle and carpeted to more of the nosing with whatever saw I ’ m a long time that... At least 50 times me who had no background building whatsoever to be done by any but. Variation in tread height and depth will be uploaded and attached to the landing with the skirt my! Anything else this method of scribing a vertical or plumb cut on right! Work process and the widest tread 9100 different stair parts in dozens of links. To lining the front edge of the floor of stair risers make the fit more forgiving if offer! Would run out and off the hinge sides and rehung them on 2×6 frames, some which were out! Answer to your chest ” – it wasn ’ t viable longer do for... Sheetrock and skirt problem with any of them ) waste of resources as have... Or biggest stair that messed me up ( board, you don ’ t fiddle around all figuring! Better than I normally do here in SC I can use the second line and cut.! Get 1X12 which is straight and comes preprimed be faster and more efficient ways to the! Ll figure it out thanks to all scribing tasks, not including the 3 renovations before the first was...

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