Published at Friday, 14 September 2018. Stair. By Alwine Seiler.
Finished interior stairs are perhaps the toughest challenge that a wood worker will face and are often the exclusive domain of the "stair specialist". This is particularly true with the more complicated systems such as circular stairs. However, when it comes to straight runs, adjustable bracket systems greatly simplify the process. Using adjustable bracket systems allow a person with only basic skills to build a well finished interior stair with a high degree of accuracy and elegance.
Starting with two parallel 2x6 stringer members, the adjustable brackets are first positioned using a spacing tool and then attached to each member with a single "pivot screw". For finished interior stairs, the stringers may be "paint" grade or "stain" grade but will have a tongue and grove or spline milled into the parallel mating surfaces so that once the brackets are adjusted, the mating surfaces will be pushed together to form a continuous, decorative, one piece knee wall stringer. The remaining screws are inserted and the end cuts are made. All the risers and treads are now square cut to the exact length using a chop saw. It is recommended that a stop is used for accuracy and efficiency. The treads are usually cut slightly shorter than the risers (1/64") for fit. For fast assembly it’s best to first pre- assemble the stair and then lift into position whenever circumstances permit.
The biggest danger with AC powered stair lifts is that during a power failure, the stair lift will not function. Early versions of stair lifts were all AC powered. Trailing electrical cables presented tripping hazards, and the lifts moved in a jerky, start-stop manner due to the nature of the AC powered motor. At that time there wasn’t much choice because battery technology had not advanced as far as it has today. Today, DC powered stair lifts that only recharge from the household supply of electricity are the most popular lift chair designs. With DC powered stair lifts, if the power goes out, the battery can’t charge, but the lift will still be functional until the battery’s charge runs out. These models are quieter than AC models, too.
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