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Metal Stair Stringers Bringing You Down?

Updated: Aug 13

Every day, you and I walk up or down a set of stairs. Rarely, though, do I pay attention to the staircase itself. Well, except when it’s midnight and I’m sneaking downstairs for ice cream, trying to avoid those certain squeaky steps. Then I’m paying attention.


But in all seriousness, it’s easy to take for granted the functionality of a staircase, when in reality, there’s quite a lot that goes into their fabrication and design.


What do staircases have to do with plasma cutting machines? I’m glad you asked. After establishing a presence in the handrail manufacturing scene, EMI wanted to consider elements of the staircase itself that the handrail is paired with. EMI’s Angle-Channel Processing Center is a CNC plasma cutter specializing in cutting c channel for metal stair stringers.


So what is it about cutting steel or aluminum stair stringers that proves so difficult? All you need to know the number of stairs, the rise measurement, the angle of the staircase and tread, draw these layouts, cut and grind and weld…and the list goes on. So perhaps a bit more involved than I realized.


Metal stair stringers begin with calculations and making measurements for the stair treads and risers. Ensuring the accuracy of these numbers is essential before any cutting starts, otherwise you risk losing valuable time, labor, and materials.


Next comes marking the stringer’s ends with the cut angle. Unless you are direct welding the treads onto the steel stringer, you’ll also draw the rise and run for the stringer clips’ placement. Whether those angle clips are welded or bolted to the stringer, or the drawing is done using a template or a framing square, the manual layout step requires precision and accuracy. Otherwise, you may have to cut, grind, and weld all over again.


“Accuracy” and “precision” are words that keep popping up in the metal stair stringer conversation, and for good reason as the entire staircase depends upon its stringer.


EMI’s AC-PC is the answer to your “how to layout stair stringers,” “how to make stair stringers”, and “step stringers” searches.


How does the AC-PC bring that accuracy as well as ease to this challenging process?

The machine cuts and copes weld-ready ends and smooth connection points on the c channel so you don’t need to manually measure, draw, cut, or grind. If you are bolting stair treads to the stringer, the AC-PC will also burn bolt holes in that same cutting process. All of this accelerates fit-up time as well.


The AC-PC lets you directly import drawings from your steel software. Based on that drawing, the machine also etches layout lines for the stringer clips onto the stringer, meaning you don’t have to do any manual drawing or measuring or drawing interpretation.



Metal stair stringers – exterior industrial, steel, aluminum – are essential, yet time consuming and involved. Using EMI’s Angle-Channel Processing Center, precision AND speed are guaranteed.


See for yourself – check out this video.

Want to learn more about the AC-PC?

Questions or want more information about EMI? Contact us!

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