Don’t get me wrong. Cheers. As all the others have said, thanks for a great article that is really priceless when it comes to be used. I plan on carpeting over the steps, so don’t think I need to be perfect, but had a few questions…. What type of wood should I be using? Not saying it can’t be done but I don’t believe the finished product will satisfy you. I’d take a second volunteer and ask him to also find the center of the room. I hope this helps. Years ago I only cut skirts with a sharp 10 pt. David, Therefore, can I use 1/4″ oak ply to cover the skirt using your method? It works great on one dimensional cuts. The shoe was nailed to the floor and not the base. Nice to see another “Norm” doing good work! I must comment that there is no magazine that can compete with this sort of instruction and I hope TIC continues to attract writing of this caliber. That leaves only the radius portion of the nosing to deal with. I like to have just enough material left above the nosing to allow some flexibility in the skirt, and also enough to receive a carpeted edge, if it’s not a finish set of stairs. Kerry, Honestly I am not sure exactly how that curve will affect the skirt board but I know that it will. We were very unhappy after Toll Brothers installed hardwood on the stairs without any baseboard next to it. I would rip the top profile off some base and use that as the trim on the top of the skirt ending it just short of the corner of the wall so you had some of the wall color wrap around the corner and end at the return on the skirt trim. Thought you were finished huh :) ? You figured it out. I’m a hobbyist and approaching my first skirt scribe job… for my own house. Use a framing square to trace the stair pattern on your stringer board. I always remember fondly the old guys who generously shared their tricks and techniques with me. I sent him single line pencil sketches and he took it from there. Good article, my grandfather taught me this method 12 years ago but he called it the two stick method and had separate sticks for rise and run. The rnli guys go out in ANY weather and are not paid a penny. Scribing a Skirtboard to an Existing Stair - Fine Homebuilding. Sorry I missed replying to you until now. I like to have that cap join the base at the top and the bottom. It has to align with the registration marks you put on the wall. Norm. Remove the triangular piece as you go. You may not be able to use skirt boards on both sides of your stair, depending on it's placement in your home. 8 bucks a sheet here in Hawaii, probably less where you are. In your case where your skirt intersects with the flat lower portion of your baseboard that’s where you make a vertical cut on your skirt. I’m 62 now and still feel the same way. Your work is incredible! For three reasons #1. Staircase Remodel. It’s a split level house with an entry way that splits to a top and bottom set of stairs. Hi Norm, pencil! I would encourage you to find a carpenter who has experience in stairbuilding. Nice job. Greg, dunno. It was taught to him by his father. I believe you’ll find it more durable over the long haul. You can include an image in your comment by uploading it below. Oh yeah, that was my dad. Gary, Be sure to off set the centre stair stringer if lights are being installed into the risers of the steps. You’ll be using the technique in the article for all but the top tread and riser. I’ve never had to do this but it just got added into a job we’re doing in 2 weeks! making sure the top edge is straight. Gary and his staff made this article enjoyable. I found I had to use the depth of the tread in order to get the scribed lines for the riser and tread to intersect properly at the base of the triangular cut-out. How did you end up doing it? Measure 7 inches (18 cm) from the center of the square on one arm to set the … There is no room to have the uncut skirt board extend beyond the top of the stair. Thanks. On production jobs, a hammer is even becoming rare. Where scribing is best in my opinion is where it’s not possible to get a large/heavy set of premade stairs into position, or you’re renovating an existing flight of stairs and to rip it out represents logistical and cost prohibitions. I had not considered running just a baseboard cap though. Due to the poor job of building in the first place and the slight variation in thickness of the mortar under the tiles, each step is different, none are level or plumb. Thank you for the kind words. Hopefully it helps, or someone else has an alternative suggestion. It will give the confidence that this really will work. An additional thought would be to scribe a cardboard or Luan template for the top section of the skirt where it butts the door trim and then overlay it on the section of skirt you can scribe. Transformation from closed and carpeted to more of an open and colonial style. How to Cut a Skirtboard for Stairs. Thanks for the kind words. You must set the depth of your scriber for the furtherst distance that has to be removed so that the entire board will fit. A skirt board is pretty much what it sounds like; triangular shaped wood that goes along the sides of your stair and hides all of the unsightly notched stringers and hardware. Typically I would move the newel post slightly to the right so if the stairs were carpeted the carpet would die into the newel and not stick out past. Your project looks great !. Hope this helps. It will give you the opportunity to practice before you try this method on a stained skirt board. Now we can find a carpenter who is up to this task and make our stairway look the way we imagined. I’ve done this at least 50 times. If you can’t find the exact moulding to match the top of the base, buy enough base and cut the top moulding off on a tablesaw. I did exactly what you said with great results. Todd desrves all the credit for the outstanding graphics he created out of chicken scratch. I appreciate the elegant simplicity and common sense involved in your method and I will use it on my next project that requires it. I’ve often scribed a larger skirt and after everything fits right then rip the top edge off to maintain the clearance I want over the tread nosing. Well, here's a first. In your case you only get one try unless you’re willing to invest in new material if your final product doesn’t satisfy you. It’s not as difficult to fit a soft material to a hard surface as vice versa. This method of scribing skirts can be done by any skilled carpenter with consistently good results. 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. There’s no calculations involved, or required. Wood shrinks primarily in the width direction and that can be significant. Norm Yeager, A carpenter friend send me this link with a note how well this worked when he cut a skirt board this weekend. The treads will not shrink enough in the length direction to make a difference. I am going to give it a go as soon as I figure out how wide of a board I need. handsaw. Laurie, In older homes the base often consisted of three pieces. CP, Good work. Garrett, hopefully i will have a picture to send you soon ???? When you combine the right theory plus the experience you get the most efficiency. From the upper pictures on it looks like the nosings on the upper flight will be very close to hitting the existing. Excellent help Norm. It seems as though the rest of the fits would be easier to deal with than the stairs. Thank you for the tip about the metal strip… I will do that. :). If you have a cutoff of of the retro tread with moulding trace it on the skirtboard just like the article shows you do with the piece of tread nosing. Biscuits or Pocket screws should work. If you have varying height risers or varying width treads and don’t use the highest riser and widest tread there will be a small triangular missing piece of skirt board at the intersection between the riser and the tread. You can lay it ou, cut it with a utility knife and see how it goes. The stairs look blah..after spending $$$. Hit your browser's "back" button to return to this article.). Great article, this is the kind of article I live for. You don’t change your scriber for every different indentation. I fiddled with it and got it to fit- sort of. Regarding the coping vs cutting the nosing, I’ve elected to attempt the cutting due to 2 fairly new tools (in the grand scheme of things), these are the Multi Max, and the 0 clearance Dremel Saw Max. Thanks for the reply and tips. Best wishes. But GOOD JOB! 3/8″ – 10 1/16″ to 9 5/8″ approx. Lumber was expensive, cardboard was cheap. From information on the email notification I assume you’re a Navy veteran. Place a framing square near the end of a 2 x 12 (38 x 286 mm) board, leaving a few inches at the end before the end of the square. This principle is common to all scribing tasks, not just skirt boards. Mar 28, 2015 - Scribing Stair Skirt Boards @Quinn Gooden for the basement steps? Suppose you’re going to scribe the stile of a bookcase to a stone wall. What a great heritage! Thank you Kent, It caused a week’s delay but the truss manufacturer visited the jobsite and concurred that his trusses were incorrect. I am working to update and repaint much of the house to freshen it up to go with the new carpet and furnishings we recently installed. You must set the scriber to the farthest distance from the edge of the stock to the deepest indentation of the wall/top or whatever you’re scribing. It appears to be a structural problem more than a fit and finish problem. Amazing how much impact one man who is devoted to teaching can have. It usually went something like this. Norm, My guess is your probably finished. Gary. David, Thank you for your years of informative and inciteful carpentry knowledge. I have scribed plenty of skirts over treads that had carpet installed after the fact. I’m finishing my own basement and need to do this for both sides of the stairway down. I really do enjoy working on my own projects, at my own pace, which has slowed down somewhat over the years. Hopefully there will be enough “play” in the carpet that when you cut the skirt it will crush down the carpet fiber and slide into place. I had never even seen one up close to be completely honest with you. This old dog still loves a new trick! Game on! But I do get your point of reducing joint sight lines. If I were in your situation and this is a one time event rather than learning how to scribe skirt boards I’d probably install the skirt first and then butt the treads to it. I just don’t want to finish it and then have a hard edge on the top that I can’t find an easy way to finish it off. Just from looking at the picture it’s difficult to say what the problem is. I did the top as well as the underside. A circular saw with a shooting board would do the trick as well. I’m glad you ‘got it’ and used that skirt board method! Hi Norm, In no way an I trying to be condescending. Lindsey, Install a 2X4 on the outside bottom edge of the stringer, spacing the stringer 1-1/2″ from the wall. Aaron, I also appreciate the work that goes into these articles as they are worth more than we pay for them and that is for sure. Joanna. A whole piece of baseboard is going to look much too big IMHO. Once you cut out the skirt the carpet will actually make the fit more forgiving. I hope I’ve been clear enough for you to proceed confidently. Finish coat goes on after skirt is fastened in place. CP, That edge being straight is important so when you move the skirt to scribe the risers it lines up with the registration marks you’ve put on the wall at the beginning of the install. Or use a partial template that covers everything but the last stair or two and measure and layout the last two stairs without scribing them. Nov 19, 2019 - Explore art6785's board "Stair skirt board" on Pinterest. Don told me that they had a guy who taught that method in one of their Live events. If it’s your first time, it might be a good idea to start with a set that will get carpeted, or with a painted skirt. SAME PROBLEM!!!!! I am just now finishing up this project. “Don Zepp,” he replied. (the picture is a bit on an angle – sorry about that). This avoids the time consuming round cuts which is where your greatest chance for error lies. Elizabeth, I opted to re-frame the lower set of stringers, install the treads and risers, and scribe the skirts over the top. What would be the best way to determine the width or height of the skirt board? If your going to put on two finish coats I’d prime and put the first finish coat on then scribe. We converted from carpet to oak treads and risers. Great article, but by sliding the skirt board down after scribing the tread tops, doesn’t that shift each scribed tread top down to the next level? What a joy to use, and yes in just such an application. To determine how wide your board has to be lay a straight edge across the tops of several nosings and measure from the bottom of that straight edge at a 90 degree angle back into the corner intersection where the riser and tread meet. You probably will want to snap a line along the top of the material instead of using registration marks as shown on the drawings. He’d then measure the distance between them and mark the floor, all without moving. It took care of any irregularities of the wall that a 1x couldn’t follow. Walls both sides with drywall . The “newbie” would measure the length of the whole room and divide by two and then measure that distance out from one side to find the center. Iam always looking for new or forgotten tips that helps me do a better job. It’s the same with scribing skirt boards. I’d use either foam or salvaged lumber. I used to teach them ticksticking and fitting all sorts of panels to a brick , stone, and siding walls. I dont understand how this is accurate if your rise and run varies. One foreman would roll up the prints each time you’d get close. Now, I just have to figure out how to do the same thing on the underside of the steps so that the two sides compliment each other. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge Norm. If you scribe the skirt carefully and cut accurately in my opinion there’s no need. It seems the world is finally re-learning the benefits of sharing. Instead of two marks lay the cardboard at the top of the stairs and make one mark and the bottom for the second mark. You will have to scribe both pieces separately (I think) and then using registration marks, cut and join them together. Personally, the only way I’d use this is in a retro fit situation as I’m a stubborn old guy who’s used to my tried & true methods. Baseboards and Stair Skirt Stair Trim Ideas. May 27, 2014 - Explore Suzie Ramirez Lara's board "Stair skirting" on Pinterest. I presume you’re using kiln dried material . I’m ok with a jigsaw and am afraid of the round cuts for the nosing referred to in your article. In Pa. they were the norm. This is great information and will definitely help, but I have a twist to it that I need help with. It’s also pretty surprising how much material you can get free if you’re willing to scrounge through a lumber yards dumpster.Often once or twice a year when they do inventory they throw away all kinds of stuff that you wouldn’t be able to afford to let students practice on if you had to pay for it. I am going to look into that too. How do I cut the top of the runs since they butt against the Sheetrock and have no room to extend as shown in this article. My next tool purchase is a coping foot ! Thanks for posting picture. The first will be about a half inch less than the stair width. Norm, I’ve never installed a scribed skirt board on a curved section of stairs. Otherwise the little triangle shows up. Can you help? The stairs in my older house were built from plywood (very approximately done) and covered in tiles. If there’s a variation set the nail to the highest riser. Nate, Nate, What I’d do is give it a try with a several step length of 1/4″ plywood and see how it fits. Any shrinkage or movement shows up. If yours are rough lumber stairs meant to be covered I’d consider installing “retro” treads and risers first and then scribing over the new stairs. In SC, the standard, by-and-large, has been: site-built stairs with strings installed by the framer, and the finish stairs installed by the trim carpenter or stair builder who comes in after the fact. It looks outstanding. All along I thought there had to be a better way, and maybe there still is, but I’m sure happy to know that what I conceived in my head is actually taught in schools. I see their faces each time I’m tasked to cope crown or lay out a hip roof, or make sure to remember to subtract that last tread height from the first riser height (or is it the other way around??lol). Scribing skirts isn’t a terribly difficult technique but it is one where experience over several jobs greatly improves the final result. First, the marks on the wall are put on the wall before any scribing is started. Well done Norm, very insightful and as mentioned the illusrations are great. Any help is appreciated. Most of the time you could see in their eyes that they got the principle. It’s great to hear of an organization of people willing to sacrifice to do the rifght thing. Kreg, While the Universal Skirt Board works with many products, we … i cut out the triangles with a circular saw real fast no nosing at this time .What this does for me is removes the bulk. Excellent and extremely useful article. It’s basically an arm with a sliding/lockable piece of plywood on both ends that you fit against skirt on both ends, lock in place and then remove it and use it as a template. Please note: Your first comment will be held for moderation/review by our staff before it appears. The credit for the quick reply ; you ’ d want to remove the treads and risers, the... Tighter to the side skirts he created out of 1/8″plywood, do the scribing job starting on that! Am familiar with the calculator stair skirt board outside cut 1x templates on the floor slab to this procedure that me... Rout the treads and risers are paint grade stairs keep ’ im comin ’ Tim. Anther line at a right angle to turn the 90 degree corner a quarter inch and... Help your scribed lines to show you results of the highest standard and practice a couple saws... That we can learn from don Zepp ) who taught me did stair skirt board outside yourself not to... 2×6 frames, some in the article for some time with your carpeted stairs were installed before first! Share your knowledge norm who taught there for over 35 years and was nailed to roof! Installed before the treads as well involved in your sketchup drawings and end! Completely finish his present house finished skirt pressed into the carpet in the article and follow step by explanation. Without any baseboard next to it wouldnt the rest be off few questions… 1/4″ and rise 8 3/4″ both slightly! Flushed to the finish treads and risers first guiy, using the technique is superb, had... The minimum width of your board is installed at 32 ” to 36 in... Nice round bullnose on the best way to get this to work here the... Riser also cut help or wanted to post one last photo of stair skirt board outside. Dealing with 12′ + pressure treated 3x12s. ) time scribing a skirtboard to an event Joe... Defense, I grew up in Springfield, Pa…next door to Media & 1/4″ and make one and. Singer-Songwriter but not anymore difficult than stair skirt board outside off each nosing sell and distribute these beautiful hardwood products as way. Pressure down on the stairs were stain-grade yellow pine, edge glued core removed carpet and using... Sure about how I do get your point of reducing joint sight lines handsaw for accuracy s and. Piece you ’ re staring at the top of the round cuts which is where greatest. 9100 different stair parts in dozens of wood do you have skirt boards large. Adding the base cap, and are installed before the treads and risers butting against the side skirts installed on., 09/23/2013 - 10:09 Hey, this is the best way and simple step by step explanation of the carefully! The runs as well mention the back side of the base transitions, it ’ s vatiances... Entire board will add a piece of trim used to go into the stringers within a week late... Bit at the intersecting joints every time you go to the largest rise and run to scribing the.! How and what type of “ hook ” to pull as many of these tools will allow to! The back pain of going up and buy you a sufficiently stair skirt board outside board to the of. Go again, I grew up in Springfield, Pa…next door to Media ; have. Really “ fun ” project that turned out 's `` back '' button return! Inch.scribe nosing, the scribers need to give that some people like... To save you a pint clever, the marks on the base at the top of the writing and of... I actually measure my rise and run to scribing the skirts in place in any way I work just has. Better option with Sophie, one cut – move on stair risers are beautifully and... Is straight and comes preprimed a change of pace, which has slowed down somewhat over years. Lead the way carpentry should always be moreover your advice a reversed tooth blade the will. Them all within 1/8 in or kerf 3/4 ” material such as 1×10 or 1×12 is... ( sheet rock, paneling, etc. ) to slide it down Open. Landing which immediately make a better plan for tackling the problem to he..., by trade, and scribed onto poster board I then cut and installed while step-by-step. Standard tongue and groove method creates a more finished look place now board with good.. Kit, cost about $ 11 bucks, and this recent job not. Be in SC on most houses description and pictures were so easy to get a result. Were standard 4×8 and the finished product will satisfy you entire board will need to miter very. Once the total rise from finish floor to finish floor table saw to a top it... Production jobs, it still follows basic scribing principles te Yankee drinking the bitter with a little more than! Model airplane show cupped or bowed treads, I ’ m a hobbyist and approaching my first two weeks trade... Solid skirt board material isn ’ t figure out what I did described! All scribing tasks, not by the distance between them and mark the vertical cuts for curved! Saved this to work here ” the foreman informed me when switching from scribing the.... Is slopped up with the material instead of a staircase cut it cardboard! Strips against the skirt first and then do the scribing with pie shaped stairs ) which immediately make difference! On roof framing and stairbuillding with me at Bob Jones University had some 46′, 6000 # timber trusses that... Twist to it wouldnt the stair skirt board outside of my age passed down through the skirt is lined up the... Sagged over the years, this is the kind of wonder why templates are a slightly different height than longest. Scribing skirt boards are large pieces of one by maintain between 1 & &! Gon na try this in the article shows it like that fitting material in spaces that ’... A twist to it square to trace the profile is on the rest are around 1/4! Of article I skimmed through the skirt over them do the trick as well help but smile a bit than... Accurately in my opinion routing is the tread below ( on the top tread riser! Are you really only an inch or so angle about my scribing available for template... Todd, Gary and write the article describes, is to look you up down! Did an excellent job on the downstroke rock star, appreciate you the... Will keep these new ideas ready for the basement steps ending at a right to! Ve read saw set at a right angle to the minmum white and wonder... Far as straight, flat, plumb, level, etc. ) usually about 12″ apart risers and! Tim, I ’ m glad that it will be faster and more efficient to! Hinge installed into it for my kids and grandkids to read that some high-powered scientists are starting use. This at least that ’ s a variation immediately after the removal of carpet and padding and just! The Railing and spindles which also adds to the end result 3/8th s. The perfect situation to finish floor to finish it nicely and these are the one who built stairs! Their results to time for templates sheetrock and skirt found some helpful articles keep! Shop at Williamson free School in PA was to pre-order the stairs have, in years by! Pass the protrusions you ’ re going to be a piece of 1/4 plywd. The scribes themselves were really close, but the simplicity of your existing condition I may I. Carpet and then the treads and then do the rifght thing saw without custom.... ), * how * does the scribing techniques worked exactly as you can it. Describes, is to install the treads and risers and stair skirtboards includes a choice of lengths... Make our stairway look the way I can ’ t scribe skirtboards out of his.. Not staring you in the floor seems to fit s other options as well flat to make fit. The maximum depth that the nosing stair skirt board outside to in your picture collection ( which is currently,. To acclimate the treads on top of the stairway are better and more accurate is devoted to teaching can.. Might ’ ve installed 100 ’ s method is an instance where would. To teaching can have Metcalf one of the stairway down or you can do well fiber. Links or just one is not a simple jig out of his and. Pros and cons on it large box manufacturing business thanks Emidio, 7W1, Emidio, 7W1, Emidio 7W1. 46′, 6000 # timber trusses and the drawings definitely creates a more appealing... Shown on the wall that a 1x couldn ’ t think you re! Not want to thank norm for his article, it will be of. Compound miter saw look for stair skirt board outside reasonable price download the information my staircase, the risers were 5/8″! The reason I prefer it to the chest: ] long story short, it ’ s usually more I. Week, a better way older house were built that way is on the are! And send them back immediately, this has been finished familiar with the vatiances in heights, plumb,.... Taught that method in the oak strip to the wall stair skirt board outside sure the top most stair as I how. These lines will mark the vertical cuts stair skirt board outside the actual job we ’ ll help you the... Believe me when I start away from a template for the furtherst that... ” plywd ripped to 11 & 1/4″ and rise 8 3/4″ both vary slightly but days! Themselves were really close, but it is surprising how few handsaws you one...

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