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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    woodstock GA
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    5,796

    Default source for speciality tools for stair building

    does anybody have a source where you can buy speciality tools for stair building? especially the balisiters drill holders at an angel site line up for upper hole line up etc.

    thanks
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North/Central FL
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    LJ Smith has the Bore Buster, but I just flip the rail end for end and drill down. They also have a marking tool, but my square works just fine with the rail across the nosings.

    http://www.ljsmith.net/lj-3047.html

    http://www.ljsmith.net/lj-3060.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    woodstock GA
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    5,796

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    thanks a bunch that was the perfect site I wil call them tomorrow and order the stuff I need !!!!! thanks again
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    Another Idea I'm going to try that I've read and seen is use a plumb laser for marking balusters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Syracuse Ut
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    The laser plumb bob saves alot of time. I had a lj smith bore buster, don't waste your money. The new ones are junk, if you can find a pre-china one they are pretty good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Syracuse Ut
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    I looked at the links for lj smith and I've wasted money on both of those tools. The laser plumb bob is faster and more accurate and the bore buster is a waste of $600. My laser was the same price as the baluster marking tool, I find alot more uses for it too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    Kreg- I'm not sure if you can order directly from LJ Smith or not - I was thinking you had to go through a distributor. I've gotten most of my install tools from the local lumberyard. Rail bolt wrenches, balluster fastener drivers, epoxy guns & the like. As the others said, the laser plumb bob is pretty handy too. A wooden folding ruler with an extension is great for measuring spindle lengths.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    Kreg,

    Here is an online source. The bore buster is an expensive item @ $900+. You may be able to do better going through your local lumber yard. If you have the Coffman guide it illustrates one method to drill the balluster holes in the rail by laying the rail on the stairs upside down and then drilling a plumb hole. More time consuming but much cheaper. Could use the laser plumb bob to mark the correct location and this method to drill the hole at the right angle. The Coffman guide is a good reference and is available at local lumber yards as well. Here is a link to thier site http://www.coffmanstairs.com/ to see if there are any dealers near you.

    http://www.stairservice.com/osc/adva...ywords=lj-3047

    http://www.stairservice.com/osc/lj30...9de6010192df3a

    Dennis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Essex, MA
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    Kreg

    For your basic straight or winding stairway, you'll be surprised at how many specialty tools you DON'T need. I do alot of stairs and the only "specialty" tools I use are the tread jig from www.stairtool.com, a rail bolt wrench and a plumb laser. All other tools are standard stuff. Unfortunatly the tread jig is no loger available. The knowledge of the stair building process is the most important tool.

    Most of the other specialty stair tools are just a waste of money
    Last edited by jeffaah; 08-08-2007 at 11:30 PM.
    http://www.putfile.com/jeffaah/images/107329

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oakhurst, CA (near Yosemite Natl Park)
    Posts
    1,562

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    David Collins has some tread templates too.
    www.telianconstruction.com
    Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. - Zeuxis, 400 B.C.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, Fl.
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    I would like to back up what a couple post are saying.
    Dennis in #8-- the Coffman guide is excellant to have as a reference. And it's only like 12-- $15.
    Jeffaah in # 9--- I don't really have any bought speciality stuff, gotta have a couple of the rail wrenches ( coffman ). Most of what I have is a s**t load of me-made jigs for layout and cutting fittings, even a me-made riser / tread jig. I carry a small Delta grinder, as most of my spade bits are resized to my needs. Measure the balusters w/ a tape measure or folding rule ( w/ the slider ), drill the rail holes fliped 180, on the stairs.
    That drill guide thing may look good, but, since mostly the rake angle seems to come out to an odd # like 38 1/2 degree or something like that, setting it to be right on seems like a PITA, when you could miter a block of wood, as a guide, ( say a post cut-off ) and be drilling. But I don't drill any holes in place ( with rail mounted ), if I can help it, hate that shower of chips in my face.
    The main idea is to be smarter than a piece of wood

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    i pretty much have done stairs exclusively for the last few years, and before that i did them as part of the trim package. i am an admitted tool junkie. if it makes my day easier, faster, or more fun its in my van.

    im in agreement that the bore buster is a waste of money. spend your money on sharp spade bits and eye ball your holes with a torpedo level untill you get the knack of it. i sharpen my bits with a dremel once they lose their edge and bits are still my biggest overhead cost. i drill in place so i can get the rail up so my helper can get to sanding fittings if he decides to come to work that day...

    i used the ljsmith baluster level for years and it works great. i needed an extra in a pinch so i got a fatmax laser plumb bob and i havent used the ljsmith ever since. i got my original 2 ljs from a stair part dealer.

    another tool i use everyday is a digital level. on cut-ins i snap lines for the tops of my skirts and put the digi on the line for a quick angle read out and can figure almost all my cut angles just from that number. (40degree stair basecap cuts will be 20 and 25 degrees) same thing for trimming out carriages, scrape off the drywall mud and read the digi off the skirt. these tools arent as popular as they used to be so theyre a little tough to find, watch ebay and amazon.

    i have 3 different stair angle/height jigs that i made from pine tread scraps and plywood. ive yet to see anything like this for sale, but theyre handy especially on complicated systems and long curves.

    i think that stairtool guy passed away so im not sure where you could find a cut-in tread scriber. i like mine, i bought 2 and still have one boxed up in my shop. years ago i made one out of 1x and plywood scraps and if i remember right it worked fine.

    most everything else you can get from your stair parts dealers. any coffman or crown heritage dealer can get you anything on the websites. one of my better salesman gives us new drivers and wrenches every so often, but we also do a ton of buisness with him.
    Last edited by nate g; 08-09-2007 at 08:09 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    woodstock GA
    Posts
    5,796

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    great ideas, thanks, i ordered the book yesterday and should be here in a day or 2 and I will pick up a plumb laser level also. I already have the tread guides from collins and they work great.
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    huntersville is close to charlotte, right? im in raleigh.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    woodstock GA
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    5,796

    Default Re: source for speciality tools for stair building

    Quote Originally Posted by nate g View Post
    huntersville is close to charlotte, right? im in raleigh.

    I am right off 77 at exit 23 by lake norman
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

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