Log Stairs

Log stairs – simple!

To follow up last week’s overview of our jig usage at the shop, we’ll take a quick peek at an interesting and challenging job that required a couple of jigs.  One of the jigs we came up with is a one time jig.  It’s truly custom for the task at hand and will end up wood stove fodder.  Obviously we want to keep this a simple and inexpensive build for a jig.

We got a call from a repeat customer,  needs log steps and I think simple- Carve out a few stringers, throw on a few log treads. Until you actually start the build process.  A round stringer.  How on earth do I even get a reasonable layout on the darn thing – let alone cut it out with some precision and accuracy?

I started by turning the project flat.  Do the layout on piece of plywood the same dimensions as your over log width – the length will be determined in the stair layout.  Next I did a normal stair layout on that plywood

log stair layout

Here I used two widths of plywood (photo above) to be able to trace the whole log.  Because of the depth of the log, this allowed me to work off the tread line and mark down – still ending up with the desired amount of material left after carving (photo below)


log stair layout 2

I made two of these stringers as sister stringers.  After I cut the outline of the log I made a bottom and screwed the two side pieces on.

Effectively making the round log square

scored log using a chain
scored log using a chain saw

Here’s the constructed jig with a log in.  Note the ends are cut at the proper angle on the bottom and top  (the same layout as a flat stringer).  We made relief cuts with a chain saw – knocked them out with a chisel……

log grind

and finished off with an angle grinder equipped with a carbide tipped carving blade.

log string

Here’s the finished string!

And here is the finished stair

log steps

Very Nice!

Until next week  – take five, I might just take ten after this project!



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