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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:16 pm 
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that wont help as you need to add strength rather than clad
you would also have to cover every one to remove the trip hazard

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:50 pm 
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I can't help thinking that while it might be inconvenient and messy to remove the covering under the stairs, IMHO it's better than risking some sort of makeshift job which will inevitably need redoing at some time. Odds on that there's more that wants doing than just a tread, if you have a proper look.
Stairs get hard, heavy use, which is why they're made the way they are. The proper way to make a repair is to put them back to how they were made originally.
I'd go as far as to say most joinery that needs repair needs to be put "back to original" as far as possible, rather than any attempts to make repairs with nails, screws, etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:03 pm 
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marc.knuckle wrote:
as well as the above question at the base of the last reply, i found this video on youtube that shows someone cutting off the bullnose and cladding the stairs as i had thought. any thoughts on it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tep_pcQ ... x=10&t=29s

Yes. It's a dangerous approach for the type of stairs you have. That's an American video and if you look carefully you'll see that the stair in question has NO visible stringers at the sides. That is because American stairs are often constructed on what is called a cut carraige or cut stringer, like Example B below:

Attachment:
Cut Stringer_Carraige Stair Construction 001_01.JPG
Cut Stringer_Carraige Stair Construction 001_01.JPG [ 23.59 KiB | Viewed 505 times ]


These cut carraiges are generally considerably thicker than the stringers in a UK stair but the treads and risers confer very little stiffness or strength to the structure. That form of construction is uncommon in domestic properties in the UK in my experience because it is costly in terms of the timber used. There are SOME circumstances where the nosing can be sawn back slightly to get a flat edge (so that, for example, a laminate covering and new nosing can be applied - but a laminate has insufficient strength unless supported by a tread in good repair), but on a British-type housed stringer stair it must NEVER be cut back completely in the way your video shows because that will rob the structure of a lot of its' strength and may lead to a failure when someone is traversing it at some point in the future, particularly on older stairs.

As I have tried (obviously unsuccessfully) to point out the rise on individual steps must be approximately the same (plus or minus 6mm) for every tread on the staircase - this has been enshrined in building regs for maybe 100 years for good reason. As Dave rightly points out if you do one tread, you'll need to do them all, but that then leaves you with the problem of a top step which is lower and a bottom step which is higher than the rest. Both trip hazards. Which is why a joiner would make a proper repair

TBH trying to glean answers from YouTube where the example is from a different country, with radically different construction practices in many cases, and where you yourself have no understanding of the construction of your stairs is likely only to get you deeper in the mire. If you go ahead and follow the advice of that video I can see somebody getting hurt eventually

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:17 pm 
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Job and Knock wrote:
marc.knuckle wrote:
as well as the above question at the base of the last reply, i found this video on youtube that shows someone cutting off the bullnose and cladding the stairs as i had thought. any thoughts on it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tep_pcQF4RE&list=WL&index=10&t=29s

Yes. It's a dangerous approach for the type of stairs you have. That's an American video and if you look carefully you'll see that the stair in question has NO visible stringers at the sides. That is because American stairs are often constructed on what is called a cut carraige or cut stringer, like Example B below:

Attachment:
Cut Stringer_Carraige Stair Construction 001_01.JPG


These cut carraiges are generally considerably thicker than the stringers in a UK stair but the treads and risers confer very little stiffness or strength to the structure. That form of construction is uncommon in domestic properties in the UK in my experience because it is costly in terms of the timber used. There are SOME circumstances where the nosing can be sawn back slightly to get a flat edge (so that, for example, a laminate covering and new nosing can be applied - but a laminate has insufficient strength unless supported by a tread in good repair), but on a British-type housed stringer stair it must NEVER be cut back completely in the way your video shows because that will rob the structure of a lot of its' strength and may lead to a failure when someone is traversing it at some point in the future, particularly on older stairs.

As I have tried (obviously unsuccessfully) to point out the rise on individual steps must be approximately the same (plus or minus 6mm) for every tread on the staircase - this has been enshrined in building regs for maybe 100 years for good reason. As Dave rightly points out if you do one tread, you'll need to do them all, but that then leaves you with the problem of a top step which is lower and a bottom step which is higher than the rest. Both trip hazards. Which is why a joiner would make a proper repair

TBH trying to glean answers from YouTube where the example is from a different country, with radically different construction practices in many cases, and where you yourself have no understanding of the construction of your stairs is likely only to get you deeper in the mire. If you go ahead and follow the advice of that video I can see somebody getting hurt eventually


Firstly again thanks for the advice everyone. However the bit here...
'As I have tried (obviously unsuccessfully'...
is rather blunt and uncalled for. I have been polite, thankful and have took everything in. I am merely looking to increase my knowledge and didn't at all say I was going to follow that video, merely getting responses and again trying to learn.

I have therefore decided to simply replace those winders with the advice from posts above such as the batten method and then not clad the existing stairs but will remove the old paint, sand and generally clean up the existing steps.

To replace the winders, do i buy 1 big piece of pine (i presume, didn't think it would be oak but not sure) that is big enough and cut to shape or is it done with narrower pieces that slot together like floor boards?

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Yes, well, no less than three of us "old joiners" had tried to tell you exactly the same thing. Uncalled for is relative. My comments re- the efficacy of the "solution" proferred on YouTube are not. Unlike an architrave or a door casing a stair is a structural item where inappropriate repairs have a bearing on everyone using them. My experience of the type of repair you are talking about is that they tend to be impermanent and eventually do need to be replaced by a proper solution - often because they have started to squeak, although that may well take a few years.

If you look at your existing treads you will find that they are all made from a single piece of timber. The reason is that wherever you joint them it is a point of potential failure or somewhere any movement can subsequently give rise to squeaking. In that respect Victorian staircases are no different to modern ones

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:34 pm 
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Job and Knock wrote:
Yes, well, no less than three of us "old joiners" had tried to tell you exactly the same thing. Uncalled for is relative. My comments re- the efficacy of the "solution" proferred on YouTube are not. Unlike an architrave or a door casing a stair is a structural item where inappropriate repairs have a bearing on everyone using them. My experience of the type of repair you are talking about is that they tend to be impermanent and eventually do need to be replaced by a proper solution - often because they have started to squeak, although that may well take a few years.

If you look at your existing treads you will find that they are all made from a single piece of timber. The reason is that wherever you joint them it is a point of potential failure or somewhere any movement can subsequently give rise to squeaking. In that respect Victorian staircases are no different to modern ones


Again I am appreciative of the advice and I hadn't discounted any of it, I merely continued to ask more questions.

A few comments above suggested the repair from above could work. So especially if i dont try to repair the split treads and replace with new that will hopefully be the next best option to a repair from below?

Any suggestions where I'd be able to get either pre cut winders or boards big enough to cut them from? There is a Mahoney's builders merchant by me that sells most timber but I think they specialise more in mdf and plywood boards as opposed to solid wood boards.

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Any decent timber merchant should be able to supply material of the correct size and thickness and with an appropriate bull nose. The problem you may have is in matching the thickness, but again if the yard you choose has or has access to machining facilities then you should be OK. In my home area I have access to a couple of proper timber merchants who have their own saw mill as opposed to general builders merchants who generally don't. Additionally we have a couple of smaller firms who combine having a joiners shop with running a timber yard.

Only when you get the old tread out will you be able to see the thickness of the riser beneath it. There is no set standard thickness for these. The riser will normally sit inside a groove worked across the underside of the tread just behind the bullnose. Ideally you need to reproduce that so that your new tread will sit at the correct height, add rigidity to the new tread as well as adding rigidity to the riser itself (stops it flexing back and forward if, say, kicked by someone ascending the stairs). A carpenter/joiner would expect to do this sort of thing on site using an circular saw and a chisel or a router. It probably cannot be reproduced by the wood yard as you wouldn't want a big hole in your stairs for too long whilst they machine it (and until you get the old one out you won't have the thickness...). I am still concerned about how you intend to deal with the bottom edge of the riser above/at the back of the tread. It will need to be connected somehow to the new tread and because it extends below the level of the top surface of the tread it is not going to be the easiest of items to trim straight and level.

There is a reason why you cannot just repair a split tread in-situ. When stairs are made the treads are glued and wedged in position rigidly. For some or other reason, possibly because of excessive wear/loading over many years, or because that tread was moister than the surrounding stringers and shrank, or even that the building had settled and placed undue stress on it, the tread cracked. None of those reasons is reversible. The wear/overloading cannot be reversed, timber won't suddenly grow back to it's former thickness with the application of glue and building movement is most certainly not reversible. Plus to make a glued joint which is durable you need clean, flattened (planed) jointing surfaces which can be brought together under moderate pressure so that the glue infuses the wood cells next to the joint because glue itself has no intrinsic strength at all, so a wide gap filled with glue will fail in next to no time if loaded or stressed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:31 pm 
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may i ask how good your diy skills are and what tools do you posses
with a router [for groove and bull nose being handy]
and a 12"ish mitre capacity being needed for the winders and batons
and very essential for spindles spacers and handrails

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:42 pm 
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big-all wrote:
may i ask how good your diy skills are and what tools do you posses
with a router [for groove and bull nose being handy]
and a 12"ish mitre capacity being needed for the winders and batons
and very essential for spindles spacers and handrails


Unfortunately since my father in laws reducing ability to help I've had to attempt more things and have surprised myself with doing things better than I thought i could. Both he and my brother in law has a router.

There is a site I was looking at that sells pre cut winders that already has a bull nose. It's called pearstairs. Looks okay.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:36 am 
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Whilst I have stated my comments and observations earlier in this thread, comments with which other contributors have concurred.
I would also like to air my concerns relative to successfully achieving an insitu repair to this stair.
The first being that originally it was made in a workshop environment, assembled while the glue was still wet in the rebates and all joints tightened up with a few pairs of sash clamps prior to wedging which tightened the treads into the top of the rebates in the stringers.
Following this, triangular glue blocks would be glued and pinned in place where the riser met the tread above and the bottom of the riser boards would be nailed into the back of the treads. When the glue had dried at least overnight, the stair would be delivered and fixed in place.
As most of the contributors to this thread will agree, the installation of a stair with winders into it's location is not an easy task.
To remove, remake and refix a number of existing damaged winder treads within the constraints of the stairwell walls; could in my opinion be an impossible task!
Assuming all previously discussed pitfalls such as correct thickness of treads and risers, machining of nosings and grooves etc. have been overcome. I serious doubt the feasibility of being able to locate each new winder tread in place to enable wedging in position. The existing walls of the stair well would prevent entry into the rebates!
But say it was feasible and the new treads were fixed in position, how would one fix the bottom of the last couple of risers to the back of the tread?
While it was not my intention to P on anyone's strawberries, those are the problems as I perceive them!

Davyp1


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:52 am 
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yes the biggest problem i see is getting support at the newel end
you have three winders to support off a probably 3x3" post on two faces

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:14 am 
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Assuming that we've opened it up underneath, I wouldn't be looking to remove any of the treads, just repairing them, the bearing in the newel and strings is probably still sound. It would be unusual for the wedges to be loose if they were glued in initially.

A large piece of 12 - 18mm ply (virtually matching the tread shapes) can be glued and screwed to take care of all the splits, the risers can be beefed up as well if necessary and fixed back into the treads.

It's all fairly simple and straightforward and can be made strong again from underneath without removing the original treads.

(I'd actually enjoy doing it). :sad: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:27 am 
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ayjay wrote:
Assuming that we've opened it up underneath, I wouldn't be looking to remove any of the treads, just repairing them, the bearing in the newel and strings is probably still sound. It would be unusual for the wedges to be loose if they were glued in initially.

A large piece of 12 - 18mm ply (virtually matching the tread shapes) can be glued and screwed to take care of all the splits, the risers can be beefed up as well if necessary and fixed back into the treads.

It's all fairly simple and straightforward and can be made strong again from underneath without removing the original treads.

(I'd actually enjoy doing it). :sad: :mrgreen:


Agreed!
i am totally with you ayjay; although I stand by my statement that access for refixing the last couple of risers to treads would be awkward!

Davyp1


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:57 pm 
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hey guys.

firstly an apology. not for all the questions i asked or for appearing not to take advice but for stupidly not seeing what was staring me in the face. i had presumed due to the ceiling in the under stairs cupboard that we couldnt do anything without pulling down that ceiling. however i hadnt thought to look and see that the celing isnt right up to the underneath of the stairs. so, see first picture for the area that i have now opened up.
i want to add the wood propping up the second riser wasnt done by me but does add strength as the wood underneath that prop is spanning from one side to the other and is screwed in to the wall and staircase.

Image

so i removed the thin piece of board from on top of the first riser that was the previous owners temporary fix and found it was the worst of the lot. 3 distinct pieces of wood as they had completely split and separated from each other and the 2 rear ones were loose. so i started to repair/replace.

i wanted to strengthen first including adding batons. so i attached a 4 x 2 to some 1 inch thick board and you can see in that first picture and the second that i have screwed and glued the board to the rear of the riser as the riser was all full of small nail holes from years of carpet fixing i suppose. you can also see the baton screwed and glued to the front riser so i had something to screw down the new treat to.

Image

Image

Image

i then measured and cut the new winder i had bought and screwed and glued in place.

Image

Image

so i cut the edges out a little to be able to wedge the tread into the stringer and post a little and will use woodfiller to the sides to repair that and then that will be painted. the screw holes will be filled and sanded using stainable wood filler as that part will be stained not painted.

so it is a bit of a hybrid but i am proud of my first attempt at this sort of work. it is absolutely solid and with the filler, paint and stain should eventually look nice.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Well done mate.
You did eventually take on board the comments and suggestions given to you.
Yes, the result is quite impressive and you have a right to be proud of it!
You will get quite a few more years out of that stair now.

Davyp1



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