How to determine the spindle position.

Cut string stairs.

Setting the first spindle.

Setting the first spindle in position will allow you to determine the position for the 2nd and when required the subsequent spindles. Here we will look at setting the starting spindle postion on different types of tread and how that postition will alter the handrail centre line position in relation to the stringer. It is worth remembering that the bottom of the spindle in relation to the handrail centre line will detrmine the stringer postion. This spindle postitioning is used for many historic or listed buildings that have a cut string staircase installed.

Cut string, Traditional spindle position.
Cut string, Traditional spindle position.

Standard tread with return nosing.

The front of tread spindle.

The first spindle when set into the treads is traditionally placed with the front face of the spindle aligned with the riser face and the well side face of the spindle aligned over the well face of the cut string. when fitting to a double cut string stairs the same stringer/riser alignment will happen on both sides of the tread.

Primary spindle position, cut string stairs.
Primary spindle position, cut string stairs.


The perspective view.

Here you can see how the corner of the spindle sits directly over the corner of the riser/stringer juction.

Cut string, spindle front corner align.
Cut string, spindle front corner align.

Standard tread with return nosing and tread brackets.


The spindle set over the stair bracket.

The spindle positioning on a staircase that is constructed with cut strings and tread brackets is similar to a standard cut string stairs, the only difference is we now use the bracket face, rather than the stringer face to align the spindle face with.

Tread bracket spindle position.
Tread bracket spindle position.

Standard tread with stringer mounted spindles.

Spindle set back from riser line.

Due to having to cut into the nosing to set side mounted spindles it is best to set the spindles back rather than have the spindle recess cut at the mitre point. The best place to set this on a tread with only 2 spindles per going is to set the first spindle centre line 1/4 of a going in, the spindles will be 1/2 a going apart, therefore the second spindle will be 3/4 of a going in, leaving a 1/4 going at the back of the return nosing. Using this spacing will keep everything balanced. should the going be long enough to require 3 spindles per tread then the first spindle centre will be 1/6 back from the riser and 1/3 between spindle centres.

Spindle position, side mounted.
Spindle position side mounted.

The perspective view

Here you can see the spindle mounted on the side of the stringer and cutting up through the return nosing.

Spindle position stringer mounted.
Spindle position stringer mounted.