Digital Measuring for Staircase Work

Woodworkers compare notes on digital measuring devices such as Proliner and Compass Stair. March 28, 2012

Has anyone ever used Proliner 8 for measuring stairs, especially wreathed handrails?

Forum Responses
(CAD Forum)
From contributor L:
I have yes. The Proliner is very sensitive so be sure to take your time setting it up and figuring out your path to give you the cleanest line possible. You will still need to clean up the geometry to make it useful but it will get you 95% there.

I used it to measure an iron stair assembly that would receive a wood handrail. I traced the entire outline of the iron a few times to ensure I had a few drawings to work with. I then picked the best one and drew splines over the Prolinerís geometry. I really like the Proliner and have used it in so many applications it paid for itself within the first year.

From the original questioner:
To contributor L: Have you ever done wreathed rails and how difficult was it to send the cutlist to the CNC (5 axis)?

From contributor L:
Yes I have done wreathed rails on a 5 axis. It took some time (obviously) to program and quite a bit of testing using scrap material. If you have a good CAM package and spend the time in the office working the bugs out you will dramatically reduce the testing phase.

Itís really not that hard. Companies like Alphacam have worked with clients before to accomplish this kind of thing and may be willing to share a sample program with you. Of course you could also look into Compass Stair software. I used to work with one of their field reps and he showed me the program. Itís pretty impressive and worth a look if you do it a lot.