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Thinking of 1x4 spacers and 5” wood screws to pull this back into the steps. The wood warped (bowed out) and separated. Attached with nails prior. Thoughts on tackling this?enter image description here

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  • A 5" long screw is going to be pretty beefy in diameter. What do those screws have to go into? You're likely to split treads or risers by trying to drive that long a screw into it. Why are you thinking a screw that long, anyway? You're going through 3/4" thick material, a 1-1/2" screw will go 3/4" into the tread/riser and should hold just fine. Nails are great in sheer strength, but have little resistance to pull out (as you've noticed). The screws will have great pull-out resistance, but less sheer strength which isn't needed for this situation.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2023 at 2:07
  • You’re right. Maybe 3” or 4” would be better? Putting a 1” spacer in between. 3” might just do it.
    – dbobrowski
    Jul 14, 2023 at 2:14
  • 3/4 - 1" embedment into what you're attaching to should be sufficient. Calculate your screw length from there.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2023 at 13:47
  • I suspect the OP is thinking of 5" screws because the thickness of the balusters, skirting, and air gap is probably over 4". He really doesn't need that much screw. Depending on the stair width, the easy button is to buy a 36/48/60-inch bar clamp, clamp and tighten it across the skirt on each side of the steps, then drive a screw through the skirting board into the stringer. The screw probably only needs to be 1.5-2".
    – Huesmann
    Jul 14, 2023 at 14:21
  • You’re spot on. It was accounting for the gap and ability to pull the skirt in. I was thinking about a c clamp bottom of skirt and attach to the stairs to pull it in.
    – dbobrowski
    Jul 14, 2023 at 15:30

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Screws are the choice. Use 1-3/4" outdoor screws. Make sure to drill pilot holes before, to keep the board from splitting.

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