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A while back I thought about posting on the Wheaton tread template linked below, but the tool looked like more trouble than it was worth.  Then the other day I saw the above tread template on Hometime and thought, “Now this is something I can post.”

Why do you need a tread template?  If you’re carpeting the stairs or have an open staircase, you probably don’t have to scribe both sides of the tread to fit in place — but if you’re working on an enclosed staircase, you either need to take a bunch of measurements, make a cardboard template, or use a tread template like this one, because you know there ain’t ever been a wall built perfectly straight.

Collins Tool’s tread template is a simple and very portable jig consisting of two 12″ plates and a scrap piece of 1×4.  You slide the plates on either end of the 1×4 after cutting it a few inches shy of the final tread width.  Then you simply push the plates so they touch the back of the riser, adjust them so they butt against the wall, and tighten the clamps — you have an exact template of the tread you need.

This isn’t a tool you’d use every day, but the $54 it costs will probably save you a few headaches.

Tread Template [Collins Tool Company]
Tread Template [Home Depot]
Wheaton Template Via Amazon [What’s This?]

5 Responses to Building A Stairway One Tread At A Time

  1. J.R. says:

    Seems like you could build something out of scrap wood, some bolts and a few wingnuts for much less than $54. I am about to rehab my stairs with new oak treads – may have to at least attempt a DIY version first

  2. Jim says:

    I just re-treaded a staircase. I made a quick jig, but except for the wingnut and bolt idea, I just fastened it together with drywall screws. Go to the next tread, just take them out completely and re-screw. Turned out perfect.

  3. Darren Moore says:

    Tread templates work well. Enough time is saved on one stair to make the $54 investment worth it.

  4. fred says:

    We have 2 sets of the Wheaton jigs and would not aprt with them. They are a big timesaver and adjustable – being able to help replicate stairs that have other than 90 degree ends.
    We also have 2 sets of LJ Smith bore buster and their other stair tools – very useful productivity aids – albeit a bit pricey

  5. bob says:

    fold and tape newspaper templates, do all your cuts at once

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