Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Stairway

Years ago I built this stairway to the 2nd floor in an addition
 we built onto our 1st house in Santa Fe.

I am in the Thomas Jefferson school on stairways- 
make them as compact as possible.

 This one was enclosed to keep the heat 
from migrating upstairs in the winter.

 You will notice the exposed fir stringers on the left
 and there is a doorway under the stringers to a closet underneath.
 I made up the paneling from ponderosa from a local saw mill.
 The window was an afterthought as I had found it used from somewhere.
Please excuse these poor quality photos.

The treads are red maple left over from the flooring
 in the addition with a cherry nosing as an accent. 
The risers are a combination of local fir and ponderosa.

Looking from above you will notice the cherry top step 
which is quite a bit wider than the nosing on the treads. 
Just out of view of the photo the red maple flooring starts.

The newel post is tied down with 3/4" threaded rod
 which extends down into the 4x6 joist below. 
The top extends to just below the light switches.
 One switch is for a double switched light in the stairwell
 and the other one operates the upstairs light. 
There is no movement in the newel post.

The hand rail was a real head scratcher for me.
 I don't like the brackets from the hardware store as they are too flimsy. 
What I came up with is to attach a board to the wall.
 To that I had glued and screwed brackets at a 90 degree angle
 with the supports you may notice underneath.
 A third board parallel to the one attached to the wall 
lifts the rail high enough, and far enough away from the wall,
 so your hand can easily slide along the rail.

The rail itself is more of the red maple rabbeted to the support 
with the cherry accent on the very end of the return. 
The maple is very smooth to the hand
 and the whole thing is very strong and sturdy.