A Spiral Staircase Project

Here’s a staircase that I built for our house back in 1981 or thereabouts. It was about 9 feet 6 inches from floor to floor and I wanted about an 8 inch rise. That meant 12 steps or treads with the second floor representing step 13.


I figured out the location of the landings and designed my stairway so it would wrap about 3/4 of the way around the column. I built the column using 16 2x4s that I cut at 22-1/2 degree angles with an outward face equal to 1-1/2 inches or the width of a 2×4.

The wedges were glued together and strapped. I used a block of wood and a hammer to get the pieces flush with each other (see inset). Next were the supports and stairs.

I used a skill saw, drill, chisel and rasp to create holes through the column. I added blocks to keep them from slipping back. The stairs and rail posts were attached to the supports. I built the rail out of thin strips of redwood called bender board. I glued them together and sanded. I put one on the bottom as well, to stabilize the staircase and also look cool.

I never quite finished the project. In fact, about five years later, I changed my mind about the location of the landings and reversed everything. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and I wound up having to cut the column and then add a new piece in the middle, which you can see in the top photo.

Be sure to check out my new book, Building a Small Cable Suspension Bridge. There is a link to purchase it here: http://www.wildcatman.com. There is also a link there to contact me.

Images, diagrams, and text copyright 2013 by Marvin Denmark unless otherwise noted. Please do not copy and post my content anywhere without my permission. Thank you.