Saturday, June 15, 2013

A little experiment with stair treads

We've been tossing ideas around lately as to what to do about stair treads from the garage to the unit above. The stair well is only 1.0m wide and enclosed on both sides, so the stairs will be as simple as they come - timber treads supported at each side by brackets affixed to the walls.

I had originally looked at some redgum slabs which were absolutely beautiful but at $1500 for 14 treads, a little outside the budget. The latest idea is to use old railway sleepers, which at between 2.4 and 2.7m long and around 120mm thick, will yield four treads per sleeper nicely.

I picked up some decent A-grade sleepers for nothing today and decided to see if I can cut them on site with a chainsaw.

Even with a freshly sharpened chain it's seriously slow going; these are either grey box or ironbark sleepers and the timber is old and hard! Perseverance pays off in the end however:

The timber needs plenty of dressing with a plane and belt sander, but I think they'll make fine treads with plenty of character. Best of all, they're cheap! If I have to buy A-grade sleepers, I'll still only pay $10 per tread. Can't beat that!

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