Step 5: Putting it all together
And it begins to take shape. Start off by putting the header and footer on the outside stringers and then put the middle stringer dead in the middle of them. Make sure to put 3 16D nails in each one. Its easiest to do this step with them upside down but be careful you don't break a tread off or you'll have to cut a new one.
Flip the stringers over after you have them all nailed in and layout all the treads you cut on the stringers. I normally wait on the top one till last just cause it a little bit of a pain. Now remember that there is an inch over hang on each side of the stringers. What I do is make sure one whole side is good and nailed in with the right over hang and then go to the other side and try to get it as close as possible. This is where the board bender comes in handy but don't push too hard or it'll break the stringer. After you get the outside ones nailed you can just nail the center one in and not worry too much about if its dead on. Remember to use 3 nails in each stringer when putting the treads on.
If you want to put these up without being self standing this is when you can do so. Just nail it up to whatever it is your putting it on and then add the top tread then skip to adding the railing
Its time to add the legs onto it. Its easier to have someone help you hold them in place while you nail them in place but you can also take scrap blocks and nail them in place (to where you can still get them out mind you) so it is held up while you nail it. I put about 5 in each side of it that were touching the stringer and the header and then 2-3 through the top of the step just to make sure. when you put the legs on make sure the let ins face the inside as pictured, they can face out but its more or less for looks to have it face in. Nail it in the same way as the other legs just make sure its flush. when you nail the let ins together nail one side then nail from the opposite direction and do that with 4 nails, 2 on each side.