Return to the Woodworking Forum | Post a Follow-Up

staircase construction- solid wood??

Posted by nutellasandwiches (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 23, 07 at 0:08

I just interviewed a staircase maker....
and I know very little about stair construction.

He said he normally uses pressed solid oak for the treads, and an mdf type of material for the stringers (which is then veneered)
Does this seem right?
I thought staircases were made of solid wood...or maybe they are more prone to warping?

Here is a link to one staircase he has done.
I will call his references tomorrow.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: staircase construction- solid wood??

"pressed solid oak" is not meaningful. You don't buy "pressed solid oak" at the lumberyard and you don't make such a thing in the shop. I don't know what he could be referring to.

I'm not a stair builder, but MDF does seem like an unlikely choice for stringers. It's a fine material for certain applications, but stringers require some tensile strength that I doubt MDF can provide. I did a search on a professional woodworking forum for "MDF stringer" and got no relevant hits.

Having said all of that, the picture looks nice. He could be a fine stair builder and a lousy communicator.

RE: staircase construction- solid wood??

Ok here is some clarification. Does this make sense?

Components to staircase-
The stringers are made of layers of plywood, regular plywood in the core and veneer plywood for the outer visible surfaces.
The risers would be made of either 1/2" veneered particle board or 1/2" veneered plywood depending on availability of species of wood chosen.
the treads will be solid hardwood and so will the trim.

RE: staircase construction- solid wood??

Much better. I wouldn't have any problem with plywood stringers. I'd rather avoid particleboard risers, but I'd be fine with plywood there, too. Solid makes sense for the treads, since a veneer there would soon be worn through.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Woodworking Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here