How to make wooden spiral stairs

how to make wooden spiral stairs

Our Work is Done: Building The Roundwood Spiral Staircase

Spiral stair Site note I've been building spiral stairs off and on for nearly 35 years. In I first presented these plans for those that wanted to build their own spirals. I've tried to make these plans as understandable as I could, however there may still be some problem areas for you. Mar 11,  · Measure the height of the area where you will install the stairs. This is also called the total rise. If you don’t plan to make the top step level with the area where the stairs begin, be sure to account for this gap in your measurement. For example, if you are building stairs to go up to a deck, and you measure 3 feet ( m) from the ground to the top of the deck, then this is the total K.

Over the course of five days, literally up to the day before we left Dancing Rabbit, we installed the risers and treads. The spiral staircase design came from our dearest Tom Cundiffwho instructed us on the layout over the phone and in person during our last Timber Frame Workshop. It took us a while to fully how to make wooden spiral stairs the layout and the flow of things, but once we understood the principles, it went fairly smoothly.

Well, the actual building was extremely physically taxing, but I digress. Working this wood is not for the faint of heart.

Hoo boy. Using a daisy wheel to determine the layout for the spiral staircase. The layout was largely dictated by a daisy wheel with 14 points, drawn on the floor surface itself how to earn money on opinion outpost the post when into position.

We almost lost the original lines what color shirt to wear with navy blue shorts were drawn last year, but thankfully we were able to trace over the pencil lines with a marker and careful eye. The daisy wheel has a long and fascinating history all to itself, by the way, but this is neither the time nor place for that.

See the bottom of this page for a taste of what you can do with a daisy wheel. Anyway, the lines of the daisy wheel indicate the angle of the stair risers projecting out of the post, but not necessarily the exact position of the mortises. We had some wiggle room there. Using a level or stick held against the post, I sighted down to the lines and held the level parallel to said lines. Holding the level carefully in position, I moved it either towards or away from the previous mortise, attempting to achieve a consistent spacing, but what day of the week was june 30 2008 the pitfalls of being too close to the edge of the wood as the mortises spiraled around the post.

Drilling 1. When it came time for drilling the mortises, I had to sight down to the floor, using either the bit or chuck of the Hole Hawg as my guide to determine that the drill was parallel to the lines.

This was no small trick, as I had to simultaneously hold the drill level, and prevent the dang thing from ripping my arms out from the incredible torque of making 1. Thankfully, the drilling got easier by the 11th mortise. The chiseling was at times awkward, and downright painful at other times, depending on the position.

The bottom-most mortise was an exercise in contortionism. Making quick work of the tenons for the risers. These risers were fairly quick to make, as the tenons were pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

April sent the 3x5s through a planer so that the two visible how to make wooden spiral stairs would be smooth once the tenons were cut out. The risers in their final positions, awaiting pegs.

Pegs secure the risers in the center post, and prevent wiggling. The 3x5s felt quite solid once they were pegged. The wood for the steps or treads are storm-felled elm, lovingly sawn up by Tom with a live edge intact. This was one of the most enjoyable parts, as we could simply slide the wood around to decide what looked good. April uses a gouge to texture the surface of the stair treads. Once trimmed to size, April used a gouge to create a beautiful, non-slip surface texture.

Laborious effort, and gorgeous results. The finished treads — cut, gouged, and oiled. As far as fastening the treads went, we used two 4. Ideally, we will go back some day and shim between the treads and risers where need be, and hide some screws in the top surface of the tread into the riser. Note the two screws countersunk in each tread from the bottom side. Walking up and down the stairs, there is no creaking to be heard. There is some movement in the risers, but overall very little.

April and I walked up the steps simultaneously, and it fully supported our weight without issue. Like I said, it how to paint high ceiling benefit from some reinforcement later, but what are the dangers of nicotine construction is solid. We made no firm plans to include a railing, though leaving the risers long extended past the steps means that someone could retrofit the design later with a railing.

The staircase is a visual pleasure. I hope to have another opportunity to build one again someday. I think the hours of awkward drilling and mortising paid off. UPDATE: Read my spiral staircase redux post to see how we corrected the eventual settling of the risers almost a year later — now the staircase is more complete, and permanently solidified! View from the opposite side of the steps, and small storage space created by the spiral. InI launched The Year of Mud while building my first cob house.

Inwe started offering Natural Building Workshopsso you too can learn essential hands-on skills to build your own natural home. That is gorgeous work. Nice job guys. Paul: A railing is not out of the question — there was no possible way for us to build one in time before we left, but we left the possibility open by leaving the risers long for tying into.

I did a similar staircase using a telephone pole on my patio to access a sundeck. The tapered pole presents challenges. I knew it would not last forever but it held up 25 years in the weather…. Building in the round is very much a learning experience! Takes up very little room and I would think the center of a circular stair is already where someone is going to reach for support? Just food for thought for whoever ends up in this beautiful home!

Look forward to seeing what the future holds in your new direction. And so this is our attempt at a DIY wooden spiral staircase. The Wooden Spiral Staircase Design The three main components of the spiral staircase design are: the center post which bears the weight of everything the risers which sit in the post and the treads the actual steps that attach to the risers. Freshly drilled, and awaiting chisel work.

Another view of installing the risers and treads. Looking down the steps from above. Recommended Reading. Jay C. White Cloud says:. November 17, at am. Paul says:. November 17, at pm. Tracy says:. November 18, at am. Jerry Belsha says:. November 19, at am. Mark says:. November 29, at pm. Share Tweet Share Pin. I want more of this.

Laying Out The Spiral

Roll a small ball of putty large enough to fill each hole in each stair piece. Stick each stair in place on the dowel. Space the stairs out a half inch from each other. Fan them out gradually to form the staircase spiral. Let the epoxy set and harden fully. Paint the finished stairs to match your dollhouse. Place them where you would like the spiral staircase to be. Use platforms and start by placing the “front” of the stairs by cutting through the wooden beam. Start at the bottom two or three. Lay out the stairs by drawing on the outside of the square, sliding the square along until it meets the last mark to learn how to build steps. This will create a stair stringer calculator. In your layout, note: The top tread is 3/4-in. shorter than the other treads.

Building your own wooden spiral stairs can be a fun and exciting building experience. You should be an experienced builder before attempting to build wooden spiral stairs. It will require math, saws, precise measurements, and most of all time and patience. If you don't have that kind of experience, you can buy a kit for spiral stairs and it can be finished with nothing more than a drill in just three hours.

But, if you prefer to do it all yourself, this article will detail how to build a wooden spiral staircase that will last for decades. The most important part of stair building is the measuring. It is the one thing that you must absolutely get right in order for things to work. So be careful, and go slowly. First you need to measure the floor to floor measurement. This is assuming you already have an opening ready for the stairs to be installed.

If not, you need to go ahead and cut the opening in order to make this measurement. For the sake of this article, we will assume that the floor to floor height is 9 feet. In that case, to determine the number of steps needed, we divide the inches 10 feet of vertical height by 7. A 7-inch rise per step is ideal.

Since we cannot have an uneven number of steps, we will round down to 17 steps. The upper level will be the 17th step, so you will construct 16 steps. Using this calculation, you have found that each rise the vertical distance from one step to another is 7. The depth of each tread the run at the narrow end will be 4 inches to allow it to fit a 4 inch center column with room for welds on the top and sides. For purposes of sizing the treads at the outside end, let's consider the outside diameter of the stairway without the balusters and handrail.

The center column and two treads make a total diameter of 68 inches. You can determine the circumference by taking the diameter of the stairs and multiplying it by 3. So, 68 inches x 3. To allow for a 1-inch overlap, we will make the treads Now that you have your measurements, it's time to begin assembling the stairs.

We're going to build a wood spiral stair with a metal center pole and metal tread bases. You can later cover the metal pole with wood veneers if you choose, and each tread base will be covered with a wood tread. That allows inches for 17 steps, 36 inches for the top guard railing, and 2 inches extra for the sake of appearance.

If you do not want the center pole to be a part of the upper railing, just remove the additional 36 inches. Before installing the center pole, go ahead and mark the pole where you are going to install each of the treads, every 7. Tack the treads onto the center column at your marks, being sure to get them perpendicular to the column in both directions.

Advance the treads according to which way your stair is turning. Each tread needs to overlap the preceding tread by 1 inch so you can add your newel posts. Newel posts are the posts that connect one tread to the other. For your stairs, you can choose any type of material for newels and balusters, from metal to wood. Once all of your tread bases and newels are attached, go back and weld all of the bases to the center column. This is also a good time to add your wood tread that goes over your metal base.

Like our calculations in step 1, the treads should be cut 4 inches in the interior width, You can just notch the wood in the area that you have your newel post installed. Now that you have both the treads and newels installed, all that is left is to add the balusters and handrail.

Like the newel posts, you can choose any type of construction for balusters, but you want to choose something that will compliment your newel post choice. Go ahead and screw in 3 balusters per tread, so that there is never an opening wider than 4 inches, as per most building codes. After the balusters are installed, you can attach the handrail to the newel posts and balusters.

The handrail needs to be purchased pre-formed so that it can curve along the stairs. After the handrail is installed, you are finished and free to enjoy your new spiral stair. We welcome your comments and suggestions. All information is provided "AS IS. All rights reserved. You may freely link to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. View our Privacy Policy here. Toggle navigation subscribe. How to Build Wooden Spiral Stairs.

Written by Alanna Olicker. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. Gabriel Connor Salter. What You'll Need. Newel posts. Pre-formed handrail. Metal tread bases. Welding torch. Related Posts Please help Repairing chewed up deck. Read More. Stair Positioning. This house I purchased as an investment property had a spiral staircase in I consider myself reasonably handy, but stairs always baffled me.

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