To answer several requests for information on building curved strings using horizontal laminates, I have posted some photos taken in my workshop while I was making  helical central cut string stairs.

These photos are taken randomly along the construction process and show how the laminates are machined up, glued and veneered.

This first  stair was delivered in parts and the customer assembled the stair himself on site.

Here’s the link to the Windows Live album:

These photos were used to explain the stair installation to the customer:

This other album photos show the construction of a half turn central cut string.

The cut string is in larch with the external face veneers glued vertically and the edge grain glued across the width of the string.

The steps are in ash and assembled to a central post in 60mm steel tubing.

All the parts of the post are pulled together with  continous threaded bolt that goes through the middle the whole height of the post.

Here’s the link to the Windows Live album:

To read an article on making these central cut strings with horizontal laminates:

How to make curved stairs with a central cut string

Horizontal laminates is not only an easy way of building thick central cut strings but can also be used for building any curved part that is thicker than 60mm.

Here are a few photos of differnet projects that use horizontal laminates for curved strings and handrails.

You’ll find in this album some examples of the laminates being cut and drilled using a CNC router.

I don’t personnaly have a CNC router to cut the laminates but if you do it will certainly save you a lot of time!

Many thanks to  Ron Dallessadro of Kellner Millworks and Rick Suckely for the photos of the stairs being built with CNC.

Other techniques for building curved stair in this article:

How to build curved stairs and handrails

Please leave a comment to tell me what you think or ask on the forum.

1 Comment

  1. Philip Blackstock on June 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Ness,

    I’m a hands-on Custom Home Builder specializing in design-build of new homes, remodeling, and additions. I am also a Civil/Structural Engineer. I have designed, framed, and trimmed a number of sets of stairs, including winders, but nothing in the same league with your work.
    Your pictures prove that you are at the top, if not the top, of Master Stair Builders in the world. I’m quite impressed. Great work.

    Philip Blackstock

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