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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
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    Thumbs down Stair Templating

    I need to put foam rubber on a wall going up a set of stairs on a play area. My problem is templating the stair to use one piece of foam. I know there is a trick to this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,189

    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Use a large piece of cardboard or paper, enough to do at least 2 steps. Cut the cardboard until you get the fit you want, test it on several areas of the stairs (minute differences from step to step are common ). Use the cardboard as the template for the foam.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Cut card board and tape into long strip, put it on the wall so it rests on the treads. Cut squares the size of the tread and tape to the long strip to fill the area from the strip to the tread with them resting on the tread.. It doesn't have to fit perfectly against the riser. Now take a compass (or protractor or divider which ever you call them) hold it parallel to the tread with the point against the riser, move it up the riser and around the tread nose marking the cardboard. You can do this all the way up. Lay the foam out on the floor and place the card board template on top. Now put the point of the compass on the line and mark the foam. The bottom flats of the squares will provide the line for the tread.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Overlap the pieces of paper for your templet and tape them with lots of masking tape to create a large one-piece templet. Then roll it up and lay it out to cut your item.

    Start with a big piece of kraft paper from a roll and tack that up parallel with the angle of the stairs only attaching with a few pieces of masking tape on the top side. Then tape smaller pieces that you trim to fit to each stair to the kraft paper above.

    I'd be worried that foam rubber on the stair wall could catch fire and burn fast and fill the stairway with black smoke and trap the kids.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    I should have mentioned that I have been a cabinetmaker for the past 40 years. I know how to make templates. The problem is you cannot scribe stairs in the normal way. As soon as I see scribe or hold the scribe parallel I know these people don't know what they are talking about. If anyone doesn't believe me just take a can and scribe it holding the scribe parallel and see what happens. I think there is a trick in the way you are suppose to hold the scribe at a angle. There was a tip about this on Ask This Old House by Tom Silva but I cannot find it.

    P.S. This is a 3ft high play piece with a stair and a slide. The complete item is covered in foam and then covered with a liquid foam. All my seams have to be very tight or the liquid rubber gets in and lifts the foam.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Quote Originally Posted by kb2151 View Post
    I should have mentioned that I have been a cabinetmaker for the past 40 years. I know how to make templates. The problem is you cannot scribe stairs in the normal way. As soon as I see scribe or hold the scribe parallel I know these people don't know what they are talking about. If anyone doesn't believe me just take a can and scribe it holding the scribe parallel and see what happens. I think there is a trick in the way you are suppose to hold the scribe at a angle. There was a tip about this on Ask This Old House by Tom Silva but I cannot find it.

    P.S. This is a 3ft high play piece with a stair and a slide. The complete item is covered in foam and then covered with a liquid foam. All my seams have to be very tight or the liquid rubber gets in and lifts the foam.
    Sorry to disagree with you but the method I discribed is a proper way to make a template for this application. As Tom Silva said in that show, the secret is holding the compass in the right direction. Once the line is drawn on the cardboard you must then use that line with the compass reversed (point on line and marker on surface you are cutting) Along with the flat edge of the patern that rested on the treads will mark a perfect match. I have used this method more than once to make trim boards that fit on stairs.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
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    north New Jersey
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Thanks

    I will try this.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    If it would make you feel more at ease. Lay the long piece of card board on the noses of the steps, cut pieces of cardboard a bout 2" wider than the tread and slightly taller than the riser and tread. Set the squares on the tread and scribe the riser and tread nose on the square with a compass, cut the scribe line and slide square over against the riser and nose. Once it fits snugly against the tread, riser, and nose tape to long piece on wall resting on the tread noses. That takes a couple of extra steps but allows a little more fine tuning of the pattern.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    north New Jersey
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    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Thats the way I basically did the template. I have alot of these to do and I guess I was looking for a easier way. Thanks for your help.

    Ken

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Stair Templating

    Start with a big piece of kraft paper from a roll and tack that up parallel with the angle of the stairs only attaching with a few pieces of masking tape on the top side. Then tape smaller pieces that you trim to fit to each stair to the kraft paper above.

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