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Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.

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Dadoed Stringers

Question

Some stairs are made by cutting a groove in the stringers for the threads to fit into. Is this done with a router? If so, what kind of jig does it require?

Answer

Yes, some treads are housed in the stringer. A router, circular saw, radial arm, etc. can be used to do this. For a router, a custom jig, such as a piece of plywood with a hole in it, is used. This jig would guide the router, fitted with a guide bushing, around the hole that would be the same dimension as the groove or dado plus the thickness of the bushing edge to the router bit.

I prefer to cut out the stringers completely for a couple of reasons: the stringer is not weakened and especially on outside work, the water can run away better, rather than get trapped in the dado and cause problems with rotting. I live on the West Coast with lots of liquid sunshine (rain).

With inside work, on a fancy staircase, I cut out the stringers for good support, then nail the exposed stringer on the outside of the support stringer; then assemble the two together on the wall. The extra cost of material usually offsets the cost of labour.

Dave

(Ask Dave) (About Dave)



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