Cutting Stringers

Continue building the stairs for your deck by cutting the stringers.

Step 1

Go back to the top of the stringer and cut the run for the first step using a circular saw and a sharp blade. Then reposition your saw and cut the first step rise and the extended rise from one edge of the board to the other.

Step 2

Cut the next rise with a circular saw, stopping the blade just before it touches the line for the run. Cutting into the corners will weaken the stringer. Cut the run with the circular saw, stopping it also before it reaches the corner.

Step 3

Finish the cuts with a jigsaw fitted with a standard blade (the teeth cut on the upstroke, making the saw easier to control). Slip the blade into the cut before you turn the power on. Cut the outside edge of the kerf and hold the waste with your free hand.

Step 4

Cut the remaining steps in a similar fashion, starting each cut with a circular saw and finishing them with a jigsaw as you go.

Step 5

If your design includes a toe-kick, mark the dimensions of the board (usually a 2x4) and cut the notch with a jigsaw.

Step 6

Test-fit the stringer in the location of the stairs. Then use it as a template to mark the second board (and the third, if required by the design). Clamp the boards securely and outline the second stringer with a carpenter's pencil. Cut the other stringers in the same fashion as the first.

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