Slick Surface: Stairs from Woodweb
down the stairs is no one's idea of fun -- no matter how attractive
the finish looks on. So, what are some suggestions to avoid a
slippery slope on your stairs? That was the topic of this discussion,
which began with one poster's question. - Editor
done a set of stairs with cherry treads spray finished with medium
rub Sherwin Williams onversion varnish. The owners are concerned that
the finish may be too slick. Incidentally, the adjacent floors are
almost identically finished. Any suggestions? My sense is that a bit
of normal wear will substantially normalize traction. However, I'm
not dismissive of this issue, and if there are any useful (and
applicable) strategies I want to be able to offer them. I am also
wondering about discoloration over time. I have an idea the West
system, boat builder people have much experience with this. I'm going
to check in that direction, too." - Dan B.
first forum member who responded to the query had a suggestion -- and
then he tracked down a container of it in one of his cabinets. -
have used full gloss polyester and stairs and have not had a problem.
Not that you want to do the stairs again, but check with your local
small paint store. There is a clean, sand-like powder that you can
buy to sprinkle on your wet finish that will make the finish
non-slip...That was a scary hunt. I found what you were looking for
in a storage cabinet that I do not think that I have been in for 10
years! SKID-TEX®. Says it contains no abrasive or metal particles
and will not change the color of your finish. It appears to be a very
fine silica sand. What you are trying to do is make your surface
rougher than what you sprayed down. To do that, you are going to
change the reflectivity of that surface by definition and actions
which will change the color's appearance. The last time I used this
stuff, I poured it into a bag I made of cheesecloth and used it like
you would a salt shaker over my freshly sprayed finish. Personally
unless your customer and his lawyer demands a fix, I think that the
perceived problem will solve itself. Unless you have a 'No Shoe
House' (in that case, socks will polish any surface), the act of
walking on the treads with shoes will abrade then soon enough!"
- Michael H.
had some other suggestions -- including the "wait and see"
option. - Editor
think just a light scuff of some sort would be the best if you don't
want to wait for normal wear. You could repaint with a high build
gloss and then knock the sheen down with pads or steel wool and also
the 'slickness.'"- Marc
System is not your answer; it is a two-part epoxy system used mostly
for hull or keel repairs. It is not generally used for decks. Most
decks are 1) teak, unfinished to prevent slipping, or 2) gel coat
with textured surface. Sometimes non-wooden decks are re-finished
with 1- or 2-part polyurethane. There are a number of varnishes (both
traditional and urethane-based) that have proven reliable for wood
stair treads. There are also a number of different non-skid appliques
made for that purpose, if needed. Try the stairs with just finish and
use the amendments if you find they're needed later." - RRM
a non-skid additive (usually silica powder). They knock the sheen
down a bit, but otherwise don't effect the finish quality. Be sure to
stir often or the powder will sit at the bottom of the pot." -
Your Shop is Smaller Than Your Tool Inventory from Sawmill Creek
a good problem to have -- and he admits it -- but this woodworker
wants to know where others store the tools that have overflowed the
space available in their shop. - Editor
always love seeing shops where every tool has a perfect place, and I
envy you. But I want to see what you guys do that don't have enough
room for all your tools. While it's a great problem to have, it can
be a real [pain in the *]." - Bill W.
received a variety of suggestions -- some more practical than others.
house has a formal dining room. I cannot remember the last time I ate
at that table. I suggested to my wife that I could use that space as
an annex to the shop. This idea did not work for me, but you might
have better luck." - Larry W.
I have an edge sander that blocks unloading the dust
collector.. Wheels make it possible. Since its not an all-the-time
thing, I push the sander out of the way. Another thing you can do is
think: 'What is the longest length I process? In my place, it's 7
feet. If a project needs more than 7 feet, I try not to build it.
It's amazing what you can get done if the shop is laid out for a
certain length of material." - Rick F.
used daily, within reach. Things used frequently, within a few steps.
Things used specifically (but less frequently), in cabinets, up high,
down low. Things used specifically (for infrequent applications), out
in the shed. Things used rarely, down the highway. I do 'it' another
way. I don't have space for such things; I need that space for wood."
- Glenn B
most others, I hang onto the plastic cases the tools come in and
store most of my tools in them. Always
the 'scrounger,' I also repurpose as much material as I possibly can.
The old plastic shutters on the house that I replaced last year
became lightweight shelves, and the shelf brackets came from Menard's
(free after rebate). Ugly as sin, but dirt-cheap and functional. The
old builder's special interior doors I replaced became a 7' by 32"
rolling storage cabinet. It has three good-sized compartments that
hold a lot of 'stuff.' 'Stuff' can be anything from seldom used
tools, such as a doorknob hole jig, to miscellaneous hardware such as
shelf pins, etc. The 'stuff' is stored in small backpacks, the
original plastic cases and/or plastic totes. I built it to the same
height as the table saw so it can be rolled over to the saw and used
as an extra-long outfeed table as needed." - Rich E.
I sold my 148x48 shop, I moved to a 48x36 and a 24 x36 garage. I am
using the garage right now as the bigger building needs everything. I
have shaper/planer/jointer/planer in the garage all the time and
rotate other tools as I need them out of the bigger building with the
tractor. It's a pain in the tush, but this too will pass." -
in my 'shop' (garage) is on wheels. I made a stand, for my belt/disc
sander, scroll saw and benchtop 10" band saw. I put the 3 tools
on plywood that is the same size. I made the bottom of the stand with
cutouts big enough to hold 2 tools, and the top with a larger area
with the same sized cutout, so you can move the tools from the bottom
to the top 'working' level. You can only put 3 tools where 2 fit, but
it's a little space savings. And you get a semi-worktable." -
thing for me that has been a big help is my clamp storage. I clamp
them to the rafters of the loft overhead. That gave me the most
available space on the walls." - Bill W.
have my table saw in the middle of the shop and I made an
assembly/outfeed table with storage underneath. I made a cabinet
underneath the extension table for the router and under the TAS to
the right. The table is 4x7 so there's a lot of storage under it. On
one side where I sand, etc., I made cubbyholes with doors for the
random orbit sander, biscuit joiner, jigsaw. I also ran power so I
have plugs on all sides so I don't have to come off the wall."
- Don J.
'stack' tools up the wall using heavy-duty shelving standards and
brackets, then plywood mount boards. I store hand tools in clamshell
cabinets that offer multiple layers of storage in a small footprint,
my air compressor lives under a stand I built to lift my dust
collector intake even with my separator can top, and I presently have
ongoing projects to build multi-drawer storage cabinets to go under
every major machine. My handheld power tools are stashed away in
their cases, or in ballistics nylon tool bags that I have added to
help organize things. I have a long way to go, but if it all works
out as designed, I will be able to eventually move my entire shop,
INCLUDING the long extension wing table saw, AND a 12x36 lathe etc...
into a 12x16 shed." - David H.