I’m building a hemlock staircase right now. Made the treads, newels, ballusters, railings, etc. I’m in Japan so I can’t get the proper hardware for installation. I usually use LJ Smith hardware, but their dealer here in Japan is super expensive (no wonder, they go between 2-3 trading houses before the product gets to me).
I was wondering if anybody knows any hardware or tool stores on the net that sell stair building tools and hardware. I’m not looking for manufacturer sites as most don’t sell direct.
Any sites? Thanks in advance.
Tatekata, I don't know what comes up on a Google search in your country but this site was at the top of many for me. I don't see it on this site but I recommend getting the drive tool if you are using the dowel screws for your balusters.
Beat it to fit / Paint it to match
Yeah, I ordered a dowel runner from the LJ Smith dealer in Japan here. I have about 150 pcs to install so its going to come in handy. The dowel runner sure makes things go faster.
There's a tip in the Taunton press stair-building book about modifying a 9/16" spade bit for drilling the baluster holes in the underside of the top railing.
Good tip - basically, you angle the spur edges and re-sharpen them so that the angled drilling doesn't rip out the grain from the 90 degree spurs.
Makes a huge difference in the quality of cut and a cheap alternative to the special ($$$) drilling jigs.
Also - I used the heck out of my laser plumb level - comes in handy for transferring the spacing positions from the stairs to the rail.
Nice tips, thanks. I'm setting the 7 posts tomorrow, and doing the railings, etc. It never occured to me to use the laser plumb, it'll make life a lot easier.
I'm pretty sure I used my rotary laser to confirm level and placement of all the parts too, but it was a while back that I did em.Few other tools that came in very handy - day before I did the job I came across a Milwaukee portable band saw at a rummage sale for $100 - clamped it up vertical on a temp table top and had a foot operated switch to turn it on and off - made for short work of cutting the iron bannisters - like butter, each one.Also picked up a Festool Domino for joining the handrail parts - was looking for an excuse to buy one anyways, but was very helpful seeing as how I didn't own any official stair-building tools.My first staircase job...Julian
I'm going to get a Festool Domino one of these days, was waiting until I was back in North America to actually see a real model. I've seen pics of them etc., but Festool isn't sold here in Japan so I haven't actually seen one or held one. I do a lot of biscuit work though, so the machine is appealing to me.
any chance you can have a buddy or someone order them from the states and ship them out to you direct?
Yeah, I have a few friends in Calgary, Canada who ship stuff to me all the time, I was just looking for the convenience of shipping direct from the tool store. Plus, tools, etc. in Canada always seem to be more expensive than the US.