A sculptural stair

This project was to create a finished stair in a home that had been using a rough construction stair for 10 years. The stair location was defined roughly, but this is a timber frame home so there was some design latitude. Working from a sketch provided by the homeowners I used Google Sketchup to create a 3d model for approval. Once the model was modified and approved, I used it as the basis of a set of Auto CAD construction drawings.

The design incorporates laminated poplar stringers, Ash treads and risers, laminated Ash handrails and wrought iron balusters. All of the laminations were vacuum bagged on an external form. Treads and risers were cut to a common form using patterns shaping. After the stringer was glued up it was placed back on the laminating form for layout of the rise and run, which was  cut in the shop. All remaining work was done on site.

The stringers were fit into the timber frame and secured to the first and second floor respectively. All notches and bevels for the treads and risers were then cut and fit. The return ends of the treads and stringers were then scribed and cut. At this point finish was applied to the treads, risers, and stringers and the parts were reassembled.

Reclaimed porch posts were modified and fitted as newels, both top and bottom. The laminated Ash handrail was fitted and finished, and the iron balusters were then bored in and installed, finishing the job.

The finished stair is extremely strong and meets all code requirements involving object pass through while maintaining a delicate and airy look.