A few questions on staircase upgrades-
1. I'd like to put in stair skirt boards. I have installed an MDF basebaord (Sierra MDF-217A 9/16 x 5-1/4) throughout my house and I would like the 10" wide skirtboards to have a a matching profile. I think the only option here is to have a set of molding knives made. Does this sound like a good option?
2. I would also like to replace my false carpeted treads with solid wood treads. One side of my staircase is open with a balustrade. To get the treads in I will have to remove the balustrade. Their are 2 newel posts and the railing ends on a wall. It appears that the railing was glued to the newel posts because there are no visible plugs. At the wall, I can see a plug on the bottom of the railing. Obviously, I will destroy some parts when I disassemble this. I would really like to save the railing if possible. To do this I would proceed as follows:
a. Cut newel posts slightly below railing to seperate from railing. Thus I would need to replace the newel posts.
b. Drill out plug at wall ending to get access to bolt. The balusters are loose so I could probably save those.
For reassembly I would prep the railing as follows:
a. Drill out holes in railing for new newel posts to remove remains of old posts.
b. Make a new oversize plug for the wall end of railing.
3. I have a book on stairbuilding where they
build a housed stringer on the wall side and they use wedges to lock the treads and risers into place. Is this practical on a staircase where I don't have access from underneath? Seems like only the last tread would be tricky but it could be done as trial and error with the wedge and besides I will be using plugged screws on the top of the tread anyway.
They also use a tongue and groove on the back of tread/bottom of riser and a dado on the top of riser/front of tread.
PS. Another possibility I just realized may allow me to avoid removal of the handrail. Suppose I make the treads so the balusters end up right on the joint of the tread end return. This way I could drill the hole halfway in the tread and halfway in the return. Only problem is that the bulusters may be too close to the edge of the tread.