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rwalter7

Enclosing Deck Stairway - Angle Question

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I'm enclosing the underside of my deck and have most of it done. I saved the hard part for last and that is enclosing the stairway. The triangular frame I want to build for both sides of the stairs forms an obtuse triangle. It looks like a right triangle but actually the angle is about 92 degrees. I am using 1x3 poplar for the frames. Question 1: Computing the angles, how do you guys work with or build obtuse triangle? I can approximate the length of the sides but when determining the total of the three angles I'm coming up short by 2 or so degrees which tells me my measurements are not exact. Question 2: At the bottom of the steps is a deep angle cut which is about 27 degrees from 90. My compound mitre saw doesn't go that deep. How can I cut this with some sort of precision and accuracy? I guess maybe using a table saw and guide and rough into size is the only way I can think of..

525

525

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Well, looks to me like you got closer to a 45 degree angle there, but that is really here nor there. What I would suggest is fairly simple. Take one piece of 1x3 poplar and place it on the ground, on edge (if you dont want ground contact, use a 2x4 or some scrap to shim the board to the desired height). Next take another 1x3 and hold it, on edge, just below the stringer/skirt (touching the bottom side of the stringer). You can simply mark where the two 1x3's overlap and there is your angle (you can find the angle fairly accurately using a speed square, but if you just cut on your mark you shouldn't need to know the exact degree). I would overlap the 1x3 that is held under the stringer behind the one laying on the ground so you end up marking and cutting the top piece only: I figure it helps prevent water infiltration (I usually use 2x4pt for the backframe). The last piece should go easy. Put your frame together and use it as a guide for your lattice as well. For the cuts I would just use a circular saw, for both the frame and the lattice.

 

I hope that makes sense and that you find it helpful.

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Right up my alley smile.gif . Don't overthink this, you don't need trigonometry to solve this one. You know the length of all three sides of the triangle, correct?

 

Start by laying out the longest side. Next take two lengths of string that correspond to the lengths of the two other legs. put finish nails at the two endpoints of the long side and tie the two strings to the nails.

 

Make arcs at the far end of each string. Where the two arcs intersect is your third point on the triangle. Now you have all three points, connect the lines with a straight edge and cut your lattice.

 

Easy peasy. If you aren't sure you have the correct triangle, do it on cardboard and make a template first.

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North American Tulipwood is fine grained and stable. It is easy to work and commonly used for cabinet and furniture framing, i.e. internal structural members and sub-surfaces for veneering. Additionally, much inexpensive furniture, described for sales purposes simply as 'hardwood', is in fact primarily stained poplar. In the literature of American furniture manufacturers from the first half of the 20th century, it is often referred to as 'gum wood'. The wood is only moderately rot resistant, and is not commonly used in shipbuilding, but has found some recent use in light craft construction.

 

"poplar", so called, is not suited for outdoor use

 

it is in the Magnolia family, soft, weak wood, the fastest growing deciduous tree in north america

 

makes great interior trim, but outside use is a no-no

 

it really only classifies as "hardwood" in the sense that it has leaves instead of needles

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Push the existing vertical piece into plumb, and hold it there with a stake. Put a level piece at the bottom and scribe it to the ground contour. ( you may have to use a wider piece of framing) Put this in place with stakes also, thereby, forming two legs of a right triangle. Then you can scribe the long piece (hypotenuse) to the legs and decide whether to: A. cut the hyp. to fit, B. cut the legs to fit, or C, split the angles for that oh so custom look. Make the angled cuts with a jig saw and clean them up with a sanding block. You'll be golden.

 

Tim

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View PostFWIW, I agree with Dogboy. Never seen it used for exterior trim, never mind ground contact. Chunkah answered the question as to how...

 

Nice deck by the way!

 

ditto, Poplar /aspen makes a nice picture frame but wont last outside.

use cedar....

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Yeah, poplar is great for interior work, but I'd never use it outside - it rots at the drop of a hat (paint may slow it down, but it won't save it). Cedar, heart redwood, white (not red) oak, cypress, or pt will all work, or you could go with cellular PVC trim boards (definitely won't rot, and you don't have to paint if you're careful).

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agree on poplar being indoor wood and the paint on poplar slowing its demise. However, I'm not using paint. It's an epoxy type coating. Having a family member in the industrial coatings business I got an extremely good deal on the material. The poplar won't rot during my lifetime even if buried in muck.

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View Postyou also could have cut 4 inches off the bottom of the stairs, and made the first step a false-step.

 

 

Who built these stairs bud, if ya dont mind me asking?

Sure looks to me that they're backpitched. Might be the camera angle/s.

Sorta like the Chief said, looks like the could have ben built better smile.gif

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Yeah, my handy work. They have a slight pitch to them. First time I built steps. When the stringers were bolted into place I noticed the pitch after laying the treads into place and rather than disassemble everything to make the adjustment I said screw it. there's is an advantage to it though. In the winter time ice melts and goes under the stairway instead of down the front of the steps to refreeze. And with the back of house facing south they melt and dry off very quickly

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View PostYeah, my handy work. They have a slight pitch to them. First time I built steps. When the stringers were bolted into place I noticed the pitch after laying the treads into place and rather than disassemble everything to make the adjustment I said screw it. there's is an advantage to it though. In the winter time ice melts and goes under the stairway instead of down the front of the steps to refreeze. And with the back of house facing south they melt and dry off very quickly

 

 

 

icon14.gifsmile.gif

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