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Old 05-15-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
davidB382
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Default Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

My dad is looking for a decent calculator for laying out metal stair stringers. We have used this one in the past: http://www.southforktech.com/staircalc.htm

It was a pretty thorough program as far as I can recall. It also gives you a variety of stair types which is nice, especially for sets with platforms and turns that require different lengths. The problem is that Dad is not very computer savvy and he wants something as simple as possible. Also, I remember that one required a ton of dimensions to be input before you could get an output.

Does anyone have any suggestions on good programs that might help him out? For all I know, that is as good as they get, but I feel like there has got to be something better out there. Free is always better, but he'd pay a reasonable amount for a good program if it makes his life easier.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
willymakeit
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Im not trying to be a smart ass, but what is wrong with using a framing square. All stairs are rise and run which is simple math unless Im misunderstanding your question.
There are lots of variables to deal with.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Until I did the stairs for my garage and house, I thought it was complicated....it's not....

Like willy said...use a framing square.....

Typical rise is around 7"....avoid anything over 8"....
Typical tread is 12"....10" is min

Take your 2x14 and lay it on it's side...
Assuming 12" tread....you will typically have a 1" lip...so your actual cut is going to be 11"...
Lay the framing square on the 2x14...on one side find 7"...the other edge 11"....that is your 1st step....move up to the next point....repeat....

Mine was so exact that I was within 1/4" once I got to the top....it was surprising easy....

It's one of those things that is easy to over complicate....
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Sorry, I should have been more clear. The program allows you to select the size of your channel and select the type of treads you are using. When I helped him use it, we were laying out a bunch of stringers with bolt on treads. The program would output all the dimensions for where your holes would be drilled, angles to cut the channel, length, etc.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Just divide the total rise by 2/3rds to see how many treads. Then divide the total height by that number rounded off. Should always be less than 8".

Work in inches and decimal fractions.

Lay that number out on the square. Lay the length of the treads out on the other angle of the square. Connect the dots.

There has to be a YouTube on this.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

I once worked at an architecture firm and they told me the following:

Two risers plus one tread = around 25 inches

so if your riser was 7 inches your treads should be 11, 2*7 + 11 = 25

if your riser was 4 inches your tread would be 17.

It had something to do with the rythm of your stride
The main point was that all risers and treads had to be of uniform size, otherwise people would trip.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

http://www.decks.com/Calculators/Stairs.aspx
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Get in touch with a local steel detailer. We do these for a living and while some of us use everything from an Auto Cad based program to 3D modeling programs like SDS/2 and Tekla that cost over $25,000 a seat. ALL of us use a good old calculator (Jobber) to check them with.

If you are using grating treads, the holes should be 7/16 for 3/8 A307 bolts and they will be down 1 3/4" from the nosing line and back 1 1/8" and then another 7" from the first. That will work for any std tread of 10" or more. If you are running pan treads, you will need to know if a sanitary cove is required or not and the tread profile required.

There are also a LOT of other factor involved including handicap rail requirements, 4" and 6" ball rules on rail, minimum egress stair widths, whether or not NFPA or OSHA regs apply and a host of others. There is a reason we get paid to make fabrication drawings and a good detailer will save you a ton of money and time. A bad set of shop drawings will kill your production and cost you more money in the end.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Yeah,2X rise...plus run is at 25.With a general note....


That formula is at least a hundred years old....I got it from my dad back in the 70's....he got it from his in the 30's.So it is used as a guideline.....meaning,its based on the natural step or gate of people.We have gotten noticibly taller over the years......think doorways and a host of other architectural things that change with time.


This "25" rule also applys if you were putting rises in a concrete walk.By placing the steps in 25" increments(25,50,75,ect.)....it reduces trip hazards.You can go a touch bigger on the 25 on stairs....just a little.But it works nicely on walks.


For a quality check when you're laying them out.....plug the hypotenouse into calculator and make a running measure.Then its like connecting dots using framing square.BW
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

We must be shorter her in NZ.

Always been 24" or 600mm

eg 6" / 12" / 6" as ideal.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

I refer to the stair calc on this site on occasions. And there are several other calc's for other construction related jobs.

http://www.blocklayer.com/Default.aspx
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Guys,

Take a look at post #4. He is talking about a steel stair, not concrete or wood. He is wanting a program that will do steel channel stringers (C12x20.7, C10x15.3 MC12x10.6, etc). The output will give him a shop fabrication drawing that looks like this:



This will show him where to punch holes (and the size), the cuts required, welds, a bill of materials, paint, cleaning and everything else required to make a stair stringer. The treads are bolted in after the stringers are made.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Go to the library and get a basic carpentry book. those little clamps that screw on your framing square are a big help too. I can't recall there name.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Unbelievable....Did any of you look at the link the OP had?

To the original poster, try taking a look at SSDCP, Graitec or Advance steel on the low end if you are just having to furnish 2D details. If you are working on a BIM project with 3D modeling interfaces, you will need to look at SDS/2 or Tekla. If you are just checking dimensions on a detail sheet, try looking up jobber calculators or download their program

Are you trying to interface with any CNC equipment at your shop, IE, Controled Automation, Peddinghaus, Vortman, etc. If yes, do you need nc1 or dxf files for the plate duplicator? Are you running a drill line for the channels?

Do your shop drawings need to be reviewed by the architect/engineer and approved? Do you need any design calcs for the rail and do you have any other requirements (OSHA, NFPA, 4" or 6" ball rules, handicap rail, etc). Do you just use bolted grating treads or do you also need to detail welded pan stairs?

If you can give me a run down of what you do and the types of stairs that you fab, I think there are a lot of programs that will help out. By the way, I know the detailer at South Fork (Dennis), he runs the same CAD system we do (SDS/2 by Design Data) and a LOT of guys use his shape catalog. He is a good detailer and nice guy.

Last edited by GeorgiaHybrid; 05-16-2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaHybrid View Post
Unbelievable....Did any of you look at the link the OP had?

To the original poster, try taking a look at SSDCP, Graitec or Advance steel on the low end if you are just having to furnish 2D details. If you are working on a BIM project with 3D modeling interfaces, you will need to look at SDS/2 or Tekla. If you are just checking dimensions on a detail sheet, try looking up jobber calculators or download their program

Are you trying to interface with any CNC equipment at your shop, IE, Controled Automation, Peddinghaus, Vortman, etc. If yes, do you need nc1 or dxf files for the plate duplicator? Are you running a drill line for the channels?

Do your shop drawings need to be reviewed by the architect/engineer and approved? Do you need any design calcs for the rail and do you have any other requirements (OSHA, NFPA, 4" or 6" ball rules, handicap rail, etc). Do you just use bolted grating treads or do you also need to detail welded pan stairs?

If you can give me a run down of what you do and the types of stairs that you fab, I think there are a lot of programs that will help out. By the way, I know the detailer at South Fork (Dennis), he runs the same CAD system we do (SDS/2 by Design Data) and a LOT of guys use his shape catalog. He is a good detailer and nice guy.
That sounds really complicated for the average guy with no enineering degree.
Did you actually read what the OP said in post 1?
"The problem is that Dad is not very computer savvy and he wants something as simple as possible. "
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

That is the reason I told him to get in touch with a local steel detailer, use Dennis's program or take a look at the jobber calculator program that you can download.

Jobber Calculator
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:55 AM   #17
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Thanks for the input guys. No CNC or automation or anything. He does have a guy who does all the CAD drawings on jobs that must be signed off on. He basically said what you guys had said, he can sit there with and figure it out with a calculator, he just wanted to know if there was an easy button. Looking at the suggestions you gave Georgia, it does look more advanced than what he wants. Thanks for the feedback, sounds like you know a thing or two about this! I'll just tell him to keep at least one 32-bit computer going forward so he can keep that calculator.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

David,

If nothing else, by dad a Jobber 6 calculator, he will forever thank you for that. For guys that make a living running numbers on misc and structural steel, you will NEVER find a faster, easier to use calculator for figuring triangles. I have been using them since the Jobber 2 came out in the 80's and everyone at our office uses one daily.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

Fathers day is coming up, I'll check into it. Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Good stair stringer calculator suggestions?

I use the Home Pro app for IpadYou simply enter total rise (height) and run (length).

*@#$ Created in the iPhone/iPad app Home Builder Pro Calcs.
Get Home Builder Pro Calcs today.



Sent by JJ's IPad
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