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Production process

Wooden stairs

Wood is a popular material for attractive and durable stairs. There are different kinds of wooden stairs. Girder or wooden stairs usually have steps laying on a girder which is positioned in the middle; with frame stairs, the steps are held by a frame that runs down the side. Steps are fitted into appropriate slots in the frame. Alternatively, a groove is milled into the frame. The steps are clued to the frame and/or screwed in. Sometimes the steps are connected with risers inbetween the steps.

Modern, machine-produced wooden stairs are usually frame stairs that are produced as shown in the following procedure.

The rails for wooden stairs are frequently made of the same material as the steps and frames.

Source product

Dried timber in the shape of boards or decks. Alternative: Purchase solid wooden boards (in this case part procedure no. 1 'Board production' does not apply).

Most wooden stairs consist of a several centimetre thick layer of solid wood; often deciduous wood.

Alternatively, steps can be made out of wood composite board cores (ply or fibre wood; production see appropriate procedure), that are covered with a surface of another material (for example, a thinner layer of solid wood).

Solid wooden stairs are usually made of boards that have been made out of smaller, low on faulty parts, or perfect pieces of wood. First the used, dried wooden decks are cut into strips, the faults in the wood are cut out, and the smaller strips glued together to make large boards.

Stair producers usually buy the deck-shaped cut material in a dry state.

Often, the boards are glued together individually for a certain step or frame, ensuring as little waste as possible at the edges and achieving as good a look as possible. Alternatively, large boards are used that are bought from other producers. This procedure causes higher amounts of waste.

Production with hand machines and conventional standard machines without CNC control

Production Process

  • Producing boards

    Glued blank for stair stringers (illustration)

    Cutting decks to length

    The ends of the decks are cut off and the desired length pre-formatted. 

    Cross-cutting saw

    Circular saw blade

    Longitudinal separating into slats

    As a board or a wide slat cups too much, narrower slats are cut.

    Pressure beam saw

    Circular saw blade

    Planing slats on four sides

    After processing, the cross-cut surface of each slat is a rectangular with precise 90° angles and the slat is completely straight.

    Planing machine

    Planer knife

    Milling the gluing profile

    A toothshaped gluing profile makes the connection more durable

    Spindle molder

    Router head

    Sorting, intermediate storage, air conditioning

    The slats are sorted and stored intermediately, perhaps with air condition

    Putting shapes together

    The boards for steps and frames are put together. Often very individually for a single component. The specific component can be projected onto the table using a laser projector.

    Glue application

    Glue is applied manually. It is possible to use a hand-held glue application device or a simple glue application machine. 

    Hand-held glue application device


    The boards are laid together and pressed in diverse kinds of gluing presses that are operated mechanically, pneumatically, or electrically. 

    Gluing stand


    Depending on the kind of glue, the pressed boards need to harden.

  • Processing

    Stair stringer (illustration)

    Calibrating and pre-sanding

    The glued boards have a relatively uneven surface and are made an even thickness before they are processed further. At the same time the surface is evened out. This calibration is performed on a planing, or wide-belt sanding machine. 

    Planing machine, Belt sanding machine

    Cutting out steps and frames

    The components' shapes are drawn onto the board or glued on as a paper stencil. Then the shape is cut out. 

    Sawing machine

    Circular saw blade

    Milling / Chisel grooves

    Grooves are milled into the frames

    Milling machine


    Drill holes, for example for connection elements, are made.



    For post-processing by hand it makes sense to have ergonomic workplaces. An individual, tradtional flight of stairs is usually assembled in the workshop and corrected. 

    Manual workplaces, Manual machines

  • Surface

    Coated stair components (illustration)

    Sanding surfaces

    Surfaces are sanded manually, or longitudinal or wide-belt sanding machines are used. Sometimes the edges are sanded before the surfaces. 

    Belt sanding machine

    Wide belts

    Sanding edges

    The edges are often bevelled and rounded. This can be done by machine or by hand. 

    Edge sanding machine

    Narrow bands


    Stairs, and especially steps, are exposed to heavy duty. Surfaces need to be treated several times with varnishes, oils, or waxes. These can be applied manually, or by machine,.

    Varnish application , roller coater, Spraying booth

    Drying varnish

    The material is dried in shelves or trolleys


    Intermediate Sanding

    To improve durability of the layers of varnish it is necessary to sand in between coatings.

    Sanding / polishing machine

    Wide belts

    Appliying Top Coat

    Stair steps are exposed to extremely high wear and tear, therefore it is common to have several layers of varnish (foundation/cover varnish layer).

    Varnish application, Roller coater, Spraying booth

    Drying varnish

    The material is dried in shelves or trolleys


  • Packaging, transportation, installation

    Wooden stairs with risers (illustration)

    Packaging, transportation

    It is common to use elaborate packaging  protect the product, such as cardboard, bubble film, hard fibre boards, shrink film, bands, and material. Large producers use packaging machines. 

    Packaging machine


    The stairs are installed on site.

    Power tools

Production process:Wooden stairs – Traditional

Tools for production process Wooden stairs2

Besides machinery, also additional devices and gadgets are used in woodworking. Machine tools for Wooden stairs production are listed here.

  • Cutters with bore, HW- / special steel-tipped

    E.g. used in:Wooden stairs, Cross laminated timber

  • Long sanding belts

    E.g. used in:Wooden stairs

Necessary peripheral devices for Wooden stairs3

  • Briquetting presses

    E.g. used in:Windows, Wooden stairs

  • Chips and dust extraction systems (including filters)

    E.g. used in:Windows, Wooden stairs, Cross laminated timber

  • Fire and spark extinguishing systems

    E.g. used in:Furniture front, Windows, Flooring, Wooden stairs, Chip board, OSB- Oriented Strand Board

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