Treads and risers

Luis continues building the stairs — riser, tread, riser, tread. This is craft. This is skill. And artistry. And passion. Luis pulled out his phone, scrolled through photos of his work to show Steven an octogon he built from six different species of wood, alternating colors into light and dark-banded orbits, gluing everything up, then assembling it into a large insert that was inlaid into a larger wood floor. This is the expertise and experience he brings to building the stairs at Emerald Hill.

By early afternoon, he’s about halfway up the staircase. He expects to finish cutting wood tomorrow, then start sanding and applying polyurethane.

A detail of how the riser and tread meet -- squared edges, with a 1/4-inch overhang for the tread.
A detail of how the riser and tread meet — squared edges, with a 1/4-inch overhang for the tread.
A second shot to detail the overhang.
A second shot to detail the overhang.
A third detail shot -- the squared nosing around the first stair up to the landing.
A third detail shot — 45-degree cuts to frame the squared nosing around the first stair up to the landing.
It takes a lot of tools to build stairs -- which is one reason Luis commands the house this week, with all the other trades distanced  from the stairwell.
It takes a lot of tools to build stairs — which is one reason Luis commands the house this week, with all the other trades distanced from the stairwell.
Luis closely checks the fit of a riser ...
Luis closely checks the fit of a riser …
He rasps away paint from the subfloor tread, because wood glue will not adhere to paint.
He rasps away paint from the subfloor tread, because wood glue will not adhere to paint …
Trims away the raw and uneven end of a plank of hickory that is to become a tread ...
Trims away the raw and uneven end of a plank of hickory that is to become a tread …
Test fits the 1/4-inch reveal of the tread over the riser ...
Test fits the 1/4-inch reveal of the tread over the riser …
Applies glue to the subfloor tread ...
Applies glue to the subfloor tread …
Drops the hickory tread into the glue ...
Drops the hickory tread into the glue …
Rechecks the reveal to seat the tread ...
Rechecks the reveal to seat the tread …
Taps the end of the tread to seat the plank tight against the skirt board along the wall ...
Taps the end of the tread to seat the plank tight against the skirt board along the wall …
Nails down the tread ..
Nails down the tread ..
Outside, Luis trims a narrow strip of hickory from a tread that is being used to fill gaps between the tread and the riser ... for this, he's working on a slightly larger, slightly more powerful Dewalt table saw, not his lightweight Black & Decker ...
Outside, Luis trims a narrow strip of hickory from a tread that is being used to fill gaps between the tread and the riser … for this, he’s working on a slightly larger, slightly more powerful Dewalt table saw, not his lightweight Black & Decker …
He taps the strip of hickory into position, test fitting it ...
He taps the strip of hickory into position, test fitting it …
During the test fit, he marked the wood to length. Here at the chop saw, he cuts the shim to proper size ...
During the test fit, he marked the wood to length. Here at the chop saw, he cuts the shim to proper size …
Applies glue between the back of the tread and the subfloor riser ...
Applies glue between the back of the tread and the subfloor riser …
Taps the shim down into the slot and glue ...
Taps the shim down into the slot and glue …
And nails the shim tightly against the tread.
And nails the shim tightly against the tread.

Repeat as necessary, riser and tread, riser and tread …

Share. Link. Like.

Pull me

Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets has been sneaking into the house at odd hours to work on the kitchen cabinets — weekends, early mornings, late nights.

Above, he installed the drawer fronts on the cabinet opposite the dishwasher where we plan to store cutlery, plates, bowls and glasses. And then he installed the Ikea cabinet pulls.

Here's the storage cabinet at left, with all the other doors mounted. The refrigerator slots into the open bay. All the white melamine surfaces are covered by dull plastic protectors.
Here’s the storage cabinet at left, with all the other doors mounted. The refrigerator slots into the open bay. All the white melamine surfaces are covered by dull plastic protectors.
From 180 degrees opposite, the same bank of cabinets.
From 180 degrees opposite, the same bank of cabinets — with Kevin Rehberg in the library rolling out heavy paper to protect the new wood floors.
The bank of cabinets opposite the cooktop where we plan to store cooking utensils, spices and larger pots and pans that are used infrequently -- with the cabinet pulls installed. You can glimpse the butt end of the quartz countertop under the layer of blue foam that Ron Dahlke taped down to protect the stone.
The bank of cabinets opposite the cooktop where we plan to store cooking utensils, spices and larger pots and pans that are used infrequently — with the cabinet pulls installed. You can glimpse the butt end of the quartz countertop under the layer of blue foam that Ron Dahlke taped down to protect the stone.
Share. Link. Like.