Top Tread (replacment)

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rokosz

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Some of you might remember this post from last May:
http://www.houserepairtalk.com/showthread.php?t=20446

Well that stair case previously had w2w carpeting and the carpet actually wrapped up and over onto the hall floor at the top of the stairs.

I'm finally ready to paint the risers and stringers -- and so, finally, remvoed that last bit of carpet. It was a bit of surprise. Turns out the Oak strip in the hallway at the top of the stairs appears to be laid right on top of the old floor.
Now, no way I'm redoing the oak strip but I need to install a "top tread" in place of the carpet.

My questions/wonderings: (there are two pics below)

The oak strips are not perfectly square to the edge of the tread. I've tried to even-up these strips before (on the side opposite the stairs in fact). I wasn't pleased with my inability to cut a nice clean straight line.

Anybody want to suggest a technique for the proper tool for cutting a stright line across the butt end of th strips? (I believe I used a small Porter-C recipro/undercutter last time)

I'm going to fashion a wood "top tread".

I'm thinking cutting off the existing nose of the old "tread" makes sense. Because, then my new tread can have a nice brace against the riser -- rather than that rounded tread edge. Yes?

since the tread thickness could be as little as 3/4" -- should I cut-away (alot) more of the old "tread" to allow for a thicker tread that's less likely to split under the stress of feet stepping on its nose edge? If I do this I can install ~2" thick tread instead of 3/4". (so instead of cutting the nose off -- cut a lot more that tread back toward the oakstrips.)

For the same reason of stair security: Should I cut the oak strip back even further from the nose-edge than it is now?

And finally attach the new tread with what? Screws yes? But what gauge and how many? With a 2" tread I could countersink and hide screw heads. With a 3/4" it seems like the thinness might end up causing splitting.

Thanks! Here's the pics

Face-on:


And Top-Down:
 
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rokosz

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Looks like taking the nose off is a sure-thing. These guys are [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaMWdM5TBQ0"]kind-of retrofitting[/ame]:
In their sitch the first step is take off the nose.
 

nealtw

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I would start with a tread end that matches the floor.
http://www.lumberliquidators.ca/can/c/'-Unfinished-White-Oak-Stair-Nose-UNWOSN/10023238

Then cut the floor to fit. I would not go thru 2 layers, that could easily get you into more unforseen trouble
Remove the quarter round on both sides.

Jig up for a skill saw and your undercut saw.
The jig. 3/4" plywood 10" x width of stairs.
and 3" x width of stairs.
The 3" piece will be used for the saw guide nail or screw it to the bigger board leaving 6" of the bigger board exposed.
Then using the 3" as a guide cut the bigger board.
Then when you are ready draw a line on the strips where you would like to cut and lay the jig on it so the jig is lined up and tack it down with a small nail on each end.
Set the saw at 1 5/8" deep and cut what you can from wall to wall and then use your trimmer to finish the cut using the jig as a guide.
 
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rokosz

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I've been thinking of that but also mahogany (like the transition from the same hallway into the bathroom (barely visible in one of the above pics)). I've got to get a bigger chunk of Mahog anyway because I've got an inside corner between two doors and casing moldings:
http://www.houserepairtalk.com/showthread.php?t=20230&page=3
oops looks like i removed the images ..sorry

But mahog is softer than oak yes? and it won't match the oak strips _or_ the lovely knotty pine treads... Course then I gotta try to finish the new oak tread the same as the existing floor...

Then cut the floor to fit. I would not go thru 2 layers, that could easily get you into more unforseen trouble
One thing I can say about this house (and my bottomless ignorance), yes I was aware of that possibility! Not to mention that the floor itself is not level either (again kind of visible in the pics).
I've also learned that if I don't address possibilities (eg thicker tread) I may be just pushing a problem (ahem, accident) down the stairs, errr, road.

Remove the quarter round on both sides.
Here you mean what I call the nose yes?

Jig up for a skill saw and your undercut saw.
The jig. 1) 3/4" plywood 10" x width of stairs.
ø 2) 3" x width of stairs.

step 1) The 3" piece will be used for the saw guide: Nail or screw it to the bigger board leaving 6" of the bigger board exposed.

Then using the 3" as a guide cut the bigger board.
:confused: Step 2) Cut the board? after attaching it to the bigger board, why would i cut it and what orientation is/are the cut/s?

Step 3) Then when you are ready: draw a line on the strips where you would like to cut and lay the jig on it so the jig is lined up and tack it down with a small nail on each end.

Step 4) Set the saw at 1 5/8" deep and cut what you can from wall to wall and then use your trimmer to finish the cut using the jig as a guide.
Once I broke this out and digested I get what you're describing here (except for that cut of the bigger board. Thank You
 

nealtw

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I've been thinking of that but also mahogany (like the transition from the same hallway into the bathroom (barely visible in one of the above pics)). I've got to get a bigger chunk of Mahog anyway because I've got an inside corner between two doors and casing moldings:
http://www.houserepairtalk.com/showthread.php?t=20230&page=3
oops looks like i removed the images ..sorry

But mahog is softer than oak yes? and it won't match the oak strips _or_ the lovely knotty pine treads... Course then I gotta try to finish the new oak tread the same as the existing floor...



One thing I can say about this house (and my bottomless ignorance), yes I was aware of that possibility! Not to mention that the floor itself is not level either (again kind of visible in the pics).
I've also learned that if I don't address possibilities (eg thicker tread) I may be just pushing a problem (ahem, accident) down the stairs, errr, road.



Here you mean what I call the nose yes?

Jig up for a skill saw and your undercut saw.
The jig. 1) 3/4" plywood 10" x width of stairs.
ø 2) 3" x width of stairs.

step 1) The 3" piece will be used for the saw guide: Nail or screw it to the bigger board leaving 6" of the bigger board exposed.


:confused: Step 2) Cut the board? after attaching it to the bigger board, why would i cut it and what orientation is/are the cut/s?



Once I broke this out and digested I get what you're describing here (except for that cut of the bigger board. Thank You
Normally we would just tack down a straight edge for the saw to follow. But because you will not get close to the wall front or back you want a straight edge to follow with your trimmer.

So you can measure the distance from the side of the blade to the edge of the saw table and try to get the jig built exactly to fit or build it rough and cut the excess and make a perfect jig.

So you will be dropping the saw into this jig when you cut you may want to add a little more wood to the top of the 3 pieces just to make that drop easier.
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiSz7kPwFY0[/ame]
 

rokosz

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ahhh, tools made with tools for tools. 6:55 or so was the enlightener...
 

rokosz

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i'm all set up to install this tread now (thanks NealTW for your guidance/idea on the jig).

Looking forward: what kind of fasteners should I use to secure this tread?

Screws are stronger holding than nails -- and for a narrow stair tread that seems the safe way. If screws what size and how long?

Does anyone think nails are fine? if so, again gauge/size and length?

Nails won't be as visible as screws but screw heads can be a "design statement"

Thoughts? thanks.
 

rokosz

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couple of pics at the bottom

Took off the old nose, trimmed back the edges of the strips. I wish could've gotten the cut even cleaner -- but, given my track record, it sure could've been worse.

More questions now that I'm ready to attach:

NealTW, so true, never know what you're going to find.

1) The old old nose/tread was tucked into the stringer on either side, with the new tread in place those voids are pretty obvious. Is there anything more elegant/appropriate for filling that other than joint compound?

Since the underlying framing is approaching 130 yo there's been some settlement and wear/tear and its throwing things off:

2) with the new tread in place and allowing it to sit on its own it slopes a bit down-stairs. Is it ok to use shims to prop it back to level? (when I do this by hand it also, naturally, makes the gap with the strips a bit tighter)

3) I presume due to decades of use the center of tread sits about 1-3 mm higher than the strips (tread level or not). Careful orbital sanding of the affected area?

4) Mostly because I just have trouble trusting fasteners: since the tread isn't resting on the stringer on either side: What does any one think of some custom-made, hmm homemade, embellishments acting as support for the nose? Not that I need more work, but I was thinking of a maximum of 5 (each corner, center and mid l/r). They'd be columnar, resting on the tread below and snugged under the nose of the new tread.



 

nealtw

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If you still have the old nose cut the end to fit that hole in the stringer, then fill it, I would do that before attaching the new one. nobody worries about the nose overhang.
 

rokosz

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Does anybody have any idea (or experience) with matching a new white oak tread to the existing "stain/color" of old floor?
The existing is pretty light as you can see in the above pics. I don't mind trying a couple -- and it doesn't have to be perfect -- just thinking this could be something easily known. Just not by me. Thanks.
 

nealtw

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Did you keep some samples that you cut off the old, A pro at a paint shop might get you close. Remember some of the yellow may just be age related.
 

rokosz

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Nutz! Looks like I'll be digging a bit through the garbage. Luckily I only throw things out after my funeral. great idea. Thanks NealTW
 

bud16415

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The back side of the board is another place to test stains.
 

Snoonyb

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Looks to me to be Pecan with a dash of Walnut.
 

Snoonyb

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I use to blend cabinet stains from the residue in oil based paint.
 
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