Step 2: The Risers

The most complicated part of building a staircase is making the risers. If you are building an outdoor staircase with no overhead obstructions its gonna be a lot easier, you need only decide on the angle of your stairs, measure and cut away. if you are building a staircase indoors you need to take into account the headroom.

Due to the complication in these indoor staircase calculations I'm going to refer to a free online stair calculator. as well I'll post this detailed diagram.

for uncomplicated staircases and once you have your lenghth and angle calculations this is how you measure and cut a riser.

1. take the board you are using for the riser and measure the angle to the bottom left corner and draw a line.

2. measure your rise height from the line in step 1 to the edge of the board and draw a line.

3. measure from the run length from the rise point 90 degrees and draw a line

See Diagram #2

cut out all the lines drawn and then make a duplicate, and triplicate depending on step width.

Is that a pic of the stairs to Pilots Monument?
This instructable does not teach somebody how to build stairs. You are supposed to take a framing square and mark the rise and run on it and lay it on the stringers and make the marks for cutting it out. Or better yet use the inexpensive little brass stops that are designed for clamping onto the square that are made specifically for laying out stairs. You are correct in saying that the rise and run should be the same on all the stairs. The L shaped framing square will also show where the cut the top and bottom of the stringers. I'm a professional carpenter and have build many sets of stairs but I couldn't have learned to build stairs with this instructable. One thing that should be mentioned is when cutting out the notches for the treads and risers. You should finish out the cuts with a sawzall, jigsaw or even a hand saw instead of overshooting the cuts with your circular saw to finish them out, like I have seen done by so many carpenters. Many supposedly professional carpenters do this to save time and it severely weakens the stringers and it's just sloppy half arsed work
Very nice ,, thx alot :)
I've gotta build some steps off the back of my deck. I'll do it "to code", but they'll never be used by humans, as our spoiled dogs won't use the ramp I set up for 'em.
Thanks for sharing, I was looking for this some time already and the website you pointed is very usefull too, Now I can put in practice some ideas and renew one staircase in an old house of my., Thanks a lot.
What??? I can see that you have the knowledge of how stairs are built, but I can't even begin to follow your directions on laying out the stringers. And I am speaking as someone who has built a lot of stairs.
Sorry chaoscampbell, I have to agree that this great instructable could use more detail.<br><br>The awesome pictures &amp; diagrams really save the day: if one were to try this project, the text is inadequate.<br><br>Keep up the good work. P.S. I like your loft bed design.
Hi What a fantastic how to site I found the information I needed quick and easy A++++++++++++++ Cheers
Very nice and detailed Instructable. The pictures are <em>great</em>, the details are easy to follow along, nice job, awesome Instructable. +1 rating.<br/>(added to favorites)<br/>

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