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curved cut string
July 30, 2014
8:54 am
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Ness

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Hi Mark,

Good to see that you can go ahead with this great project. 

Good idea to build the curved string using the horizontal laminates. You can also build the bottom bullnose using the same technique.

I’m not sure I understand exactly how you are thinking of mitring the risers and strings.

Can you send me some sketches so that I get it clear in my head?

If you use horizontal laminates for the string you can usually do away with mitring the risers to the string. As well as if you add a decorative cut bracket this will hide the end grain of the riser too.

I find that not having to mitre risers is a major advantage of horizontal laminates.

Is the underside of the stairs visible?

How are you thinking of making the wreathed handrail?

To advise you better can you send me the drawings and eventually any photos of the type of finished stair and it’s details, (mouldings, bracket design, newels, etc), ?

All the best,

Ness

July 28, 2014
8:47 pm
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mark wilmot

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Hi Ness the customer has now committed, so I am now drawing up a box winder stair on sd with an internal 300 mm radius string, with 2 straight steps into the curve and two out, the internal string is a cut string, with 30mm tulip wood treads, with birch ply risers mitred back into the string, bottom tread is a bullnose, supporting a tuned capstain post, with a bun on top starting the continious mahogany handrail .. We will go the horizontal laminate route to build up the internal string, the rest of the strings are no problem as they can be produced on stair designer and exported 2d dxf for cnc cutting,  if we produce say a 4mm template of each tread ,we can pull the risers up to each of these templates, including cutting the back mitres to the fronts of each horizontal laminate, what do you think ?

The job is due to start beginning of September, and as you know my workshop is 20 minutes from Heathrow, so could be a central venue

Mark

July 22, 2014
7:08 am
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Ness

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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the complements.

I’ve struggled with stairs for a long time now so I hope that I’ve learned a few tricks that I’d be more than happy to pass on.

Especially as high end stair building is a dying  craft with fewer and fewer people capable of building them correctly.

Ness

July 21, 2014
7:08 pm
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jimbouk

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Ness,

 

Stairs are not something I do apart from very rarely and then they are simple, saw this post and decided to have a look through some of your posts and videos on them. Really great stuff, you are a true craftsman and master of stairs at that. Looking forward to seeing more especially the curved ones!

July 21, 2014
12:09 pm
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Ness

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Hi Mark,

No problem in helping out with this nice stair project.

From what you say I would certainly not advise using a former to build this stair.

I would strongly advise using horizontal laminates to build the string and laminated sections to build the handrail.

Although it’s possible to use a former and laminate traditionally you will take at least twice the time compared with using horizontal laminates. This is because not only do you gain time not having to build the former, but you also don’t have to cut the step supports as the total shape of the string in built into the horizontal laminates from the start. the technique also does away with having to mitre risers and recess or cut out the back of the steps into the strings as this can also be built directly into the laminations.

Here’s an article that shows the basic principles:

https://wooddesigner.org/member…..laminates/

http://stairdesignsoftware.net…..rved-stair

https://wooddesigner.org/member…..ed-string/

and here’s a stair similar to yours build by my friends Rick and Andy using their CNC to cut the laminates:

http://stairdesignsoftware.net…..d-low-tech

Rick said that it didn’t take more than a couple of days to build the curved stringer with the CNC.

Another example is this stair built by Ron d’Alexandro of Kellner Stairs :

http://stairdesignsoftware.net…..cut-string

For the handrail you could use the traditional tangent solid handrailing but the easiest solution is to use the technique I developed for making wooden rails on metal rails.

This technique does away with having to mark out the handrail and has the neat advantage of not only being very easy to do but also make a handrail with a square section perfectly perpendicular to the upper and lower helictical surfaces which makes moulding the rail much easier.

There are quite a lot of videos floating around in the Handrails section of our Wood Designer web site, here’s a link to one:

https://wooddesigner.org/member…..al-rail-4/

If you want I we could organise some hands on training in your shop, or if there are several people interested find a way to organise a group training session in the UK sometime soon.

What do you think?

Don’t hesitate to post me your questions on the forum as bad decisions can cost a lot in time and effort on this sort of job.

see you soon

Ness

July 21, 2014
11:57 am
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Shane

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mark wilmot said
I have a stair to build for a listed property in central London, the stairwell requires a square box string to the outside and a curved string to the inside, with radius of 300 mm, this is a cut string with a bracket detail, i already use stair Designer and manufacture most of my stairs on a 5 meter cnc, so what I want to do in this case is take the file from stair designer for the inside string, and either unroll it in cad to cut it on the cnc ,and rebuild it around a former, or cut from 33 mm solid and build it up vertically in pre cut peices, 

Can you guide me through the process

Quadigit

hi mark, im cutting out on a cnc and forming it at the moment but am also wanting to use 33mm pre cut pieces. Im currently just trying to use my cnc for basic stairs and yet to set up my cnc with stair designer. just a question..How are you finding the program? do you also use it with mortising, checking out posts?cheers, shane

July 20, 2014
12:40 pm
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mark wilmot

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I have a stair to build for a listed property in central London, the stairwell requires a square box string to the outside and a curved string to the inside, with radius of 300 mm, this is a cut string with a bracket detail, i already use stair Designer and manufacture most of my stairs on a 5 meter cnc, so what I want to do in this case is take the file from stair designer for the inside string, and either unroll it in cad to cut it on the cnc ,and rebuild it around a former, or cut from 33 mm solid and build it up vertically in pre cut peices, 

Can you guide me through the process

Quadigit

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