Volume 47, Issue 6 - July/August 2008

Picture Perfect
By Samantha Carpenter

We’ve all seen movies and television shows that depict a woman descending from a beautiful staircase. And many builders and contractors want to be able to provide these beautiful stair ideas to their customers. Members of the Stairway Manufacturers’ Association build stairs and provide stairways, stair parts, machinery and more that can make “picture perfect” stairs a reality for your customers. Read on to see what they have to offer.

Stair Parts
Create Stair Systems with Ease

Crown Heritage®, a manufacturer of wood and forged iron stair systems based in North Wilkesboro, N.C., has created a new line of forged iron balusters in 30-inch lengths for knee wall installations. The new size provides a perfect fit and adds visual style to knee wall installations, according to company information. The balusters are specially designed with tighter dimensions that are code compliant to fit between the rail and knee wall. 

In addition, the company has also created new 44-inch styles for traditional landing heights that let your customers create a unique look with 30-inch and 44-inch basket and twist styles. All of the new iron baluster designs are available in flat black or rubbed copper finishes. Crown Heritage’s complete collection of stair parts is available in its Design Library where you can create stair systems with ease. www.crownheritage.com

A Super Application

PC Superepoxy, manufactured by Protective Coating Co. of Allentown, Pa., is a translucent paste epoxy with a viscosity similar to Vaseline. Unlike conventional liquid epoxies PC Superepoxy can be applied to both vertical and overhead surfaces without dripping or sagging and, according to company officials, is perfect for installing iron balusters with no mess and has incredible strength and flexibility even in a thin layer. 

PC Superepoxy has a working time of about 15 minutes and cures for service in three to four hours. It is available in a 50 milliliter cartridge that comes with two static mix nozzles. The cartridges are to be used with the company’s PPM-50 dispensing gun (durable metal) due to the viscosity. www.PCEpoxy.com

Take Flight

AppliCad’s FlightMaster has been developed for the professional stair builder. Officials of the Victoria, Australia-based company say no other program makes the design of even the most complex stair components as easy. Volutes, turnouts and goosenecks on handrails as well as turned newel posts and balusters are all created accurately as part of the entire stair structure automatically. The operator defines the extents of the stair; that is, the stairwell opening and the floor-to-floor height, and the software does the rest.

Once complete, the software generates working drawings, customer specs, a detailed costing and customer quotation. The result is a more accurate quotation and a more detailed parts list. The fact that the software sits on top of a very powerful 3D CAD software package, which is included in the price, means that you can do all your regular drawing and also get a photo-realistic rendering of the staircase, which can be used to assist the stair builder in his sales process.4 www.applicad-usa.com

Not All Attic Stairs are Alike

The moment anyone first sets eyes on the Prestige model Rainbow Attic Stair, the reaction is “Wow!” That’s because it looks nothing like the wood folding stairs you’re used to, according to officials at its Stanford, Conn.-based manufacturer, Shelter Products LLC. The all-steel, scissor-like design folds neatly into itself and is self-adjusting for height. There are many features not found in any other attic ladders—such as a 2-inch thick insulated and melamine finished door, double weatherstripping, a 4-foot steel telescoping handrail, safety handles at the top, built-in steel trim, specialized steel hangers for easier installation, a 350-pound weight rating and a height range from 7 feet 4 inches to 11 feet 6 inches. www.rainbowatticstair.com 

No Preassembly Required

As you approach a Cooper Stairworks PreAssembled Stair, you immediately notice workmanship that reminds you of a different era—a time when pride was part of every single step in the process of building a stair. 

Cooper Stairworks are manufactured in Somerset, Mass., by North Atlantic Corp., and are offered in both straight and curved staircases and are available in your choice of custom or stock pre-fitted rail systems. PreAssembled stairs limit the labor required to build the stair by allowing the company to standardize many procedures and thereby reduce the cost. The final result is a first impression of uncompromising quality. www.cooperstairworks.com

Beautiful and Durable
With a combination of exquisite hardwoods and impeccable craftsmanship, Arcways of Neenah, Wis., creates a focal point with its stairways that are both beautiful and durable. 

Company officials say the company works closely with designers, architects and homeowners to create a stairway that integrates perfectly with the surrounding space and expresses a unique vision. Arcways’ stairways are found around the globe in homes of distinction, urban condos and row houses, historical buildings, mega-yachts and more. 4 www.arcways.com 

One-of-a-Kind StairsStair
Meister Log Works, LLC of Boulder, Colo., has been creating handcrafted stairs since 1992. The company recently created the two-story Millennium staircase—a log centerpiece that serves as the main focal point of the barn’s interior while graciously satisfying its primary function in granting access to each floor comprising the multilevel structure. The Millennium circular staircase consists of half log pine treads hand scribed onto full-log stringers.

In addition, the company was recently commissioned to design, craft and install a custom log staircase within an entertainment sanctuary. www.logstairs.com  

Two New Sizes

Merrick Machine Co. of Alda, Neb., has introduced two sizes of its new stringer cart to be utilized in any size stair shop. Triad’s Heavy-Duty Stringer Cart assists with easy handling of stringer material between its Smart Stair Router (SSR) or Template Stair Router (TSR) and the Staircase Assembly Clamp. The cart can also be used to stage material to be fed through Triad’s Open Stringer Saw (OSS). 

Company officials say the stringer cart is ideal for use in manufacturing facilities of any size. The Heavy Duty cart has a capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. Each wheel is equipped with bearing and grease zerks in the axle and swivel assembly, providing for ease in movement.

Triad’s Standard Stringer Cart is to be utilized much the same way as the Heavy Duty Cart; however, maximum weight capacity of the Standard Cart is up to 1,000 lbs.4 www.merrickmachine.com

Cut Box Stairs Quickly

Builders Automation Manufacturing (BAM) of Largo, Fla., engineers and builds automated equipment for the construction of prefabricated stairs. 

The company’s Multi-Function Stair Router CNC/MFSR allows the download of CAD drawings directly to the processor. You can select programs from a large processor-stored library or manually enter data into a menu-driven touch screen. It’s fully programmable to cut any combination of box, contemporary or open stairs and the CNC/MFSR is the only machine in the market that cuts top and bottom landing cuts on the stringers while still in the machine, at a favorable cost to competitors’ equipment, according to company officials. 

The stair machine is also capable of cutting down the middle of a 24-inch-wide stringer giving four open stringers with no waste. The two, five-horsepower, variable-frequency spindles cut box stairs quickly and the Windows-based processor allows the ability to download customers’ orders wirelessly to the machine on the shop floor. All new and reconditioned equipment comes with a one-year warranty. www.buildersautomation.com

Stair Parts
A Young Look

With 100 percent of the strength of solid wood but 60 percent of the cost, Young’s Moisture Compensating Oak Reveal Return® tread is an alternative to expensive, time-consuming false ends, according to a company release. 

The entire tread is hardwood while approximately six inches on the return end is furniture-grade red oak designed specifically for stairs with carpet. Officials of the Beaver Dam, Ky.-based company say their products offer you a way to save money and guarantee no gapped miters with Young’s patented tread. www.youngmanufacturing.com  


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