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Stair Jig for Treads and Risers

September 23, 2016

The key to fine carpentry: smart shortcuts

Cutting treads and risers between two housed stringers is difficult because the angle of the cut (most things are not 90 degrees) AND the length of the board BOTH have to be correct.


Or you will look like a rookie.

In this video, Steve Maxwell demonstrates how to make a jig for exactly marking treads and risers for finished stair trim-out. The jig is made with two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood, overlapped and held together with clamps.

The front corners of the 'tread' are cut off, as is the long back edge (between the corners), to make the jig easier to align to and to create handles for tugging it out of a tight opening.

To use this jig:

  • Place the two pieces of plywood together, clamped lightly enough to allow movement.
  • Slide the ends tightly against the stringers.
  • Tighten the clamps.
  • Remove jig, walk to saw station, mark tread, cut, fit, and fasten.
  • Take your victory lap, get back to work.

Steve Maxwell is a home improvement contractor in Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. His website and YouTube page offer many informative videos, articles, and photos.

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