spiral staircase?

How the heck do you build a spiral staircase? I can't even figure out how to make a spiraling handrail ..
Grant

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Depends on what type, and what materials. Nomma has some CD's for sale about doing it- http://www.nomma.org/index.cfm
I have built em by figuring out the rise, calculating the number of steps, then figuring out how many degrees of a circle the steps need to be to start and stop where I want. I made one for my treehouse using angle iron frames, with expanded metal steps- a 4" pipe for the center post- pie shaped steps, just weld em to the pipe.
Spiral railings are usually rolled on a big angle roll, thats how I do em. Not easy.
There are kits available pretty cheap- http://www.theironshop.com/home_01.htm
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any pics of your tree house/spiral stairs?
b.w.
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"Grant Erwin" wrote: (clip) I can't even figure out how to make a spiraling handrail . ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ It's easier if you make the handrail out of pipe or tubing. If you make it out of flat barstock, you not only have to bend it edgewise (the hard way), but you have to put a twist in it to keep it level as it spirals.
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Almost everybody builds helical staircases instead. Having a staircase of ever decreasing radius would be a real pain in the ass.
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I like the idea of having a central pipe core, and each step is a pie- wedge that welds to a larger pipe that fits over the central pipe. Could be 1/2-pipe sections that fit against the central pipe and then bolt on, or full sections that slide over and stack.
Of course, getting them onto the central pipe is the trick, but it lets you build each tread pre-fab on a jig.
Dave
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Over the last few years about 16 people have approached me about making a spiral staircase for them.
I learned a while ago, to either use a kit,
http://www.theironshop.com/home_01.htm http://www.salterspiralstair.com / http://www.stairwaybuilders.com /
or just have it made by the specialists who do it all the time.
Fairway Ornamental Iron 1144 Thorne Rd Tacoma, WA 98421-3202 (253) 572-5363
There are 2 more shops near Seattle,
George's Spiral Stairs Mukilteo,WA (425) 745-1559
Seattle Stair & Design 3810 4th Ave S Seattle, WA 98134-2210 (206) 587-5354
I have sent several jobs to Fairway. They will either do the whole thing or make you a kit. Just specify everything.
I have heard good things about George's as well, but have never used them.
The other guys I have yet to hear anything about.
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Now I am surprised! I built a spiral stair back in the early 70's by erecting a center tube and making pie shaped sections out of angle iron using a short piece of pipe that would fit over the center tube. The hand rail was made out of channel stock and is straight segments between the pipe railing which is welded to the steps. This allowed for slipping the steps over the tube and rotating them to get the right location for entrance and exit. Set screws held the steps in place until final welding. My surprise comes from me doing this and now a bunch of you guys who I think are real metal craftsmen are sounding like I did something great? Note: I did set fire to my socks a couple of times with sparks from the arc welder.
--
Stuart Fields
Experimental Helo magazine
  Click to see the full signature.
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The center rod is straight and from floor flange to floor ceiling flange. The treads are on larger pipe that slip over this rod(pipe) and are all the same length.
Then the real trick is the outside, but considering the rotating step the riser height and the run - determines the outside arc.
The inside is stacked up on pipe spacers so it matches the riser...
Try to find a picture on the web for conceptual drawing.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Grant Erwin wrote:

-
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If you e-mail me I will walk you through it. The easier way is to have a rolling shop roll it for you. Give them the diameter. the total rise, and the amount of turn bottom to top. I had to roll my own kick plate on a 14 foot spiral that was due at the end of the weekend. Fortunately the handrail had been done for me on the Friday. You can make the unit various ways but on a center post is the easiest. Randy
How the heck do you build a spiral staircase? I can't even figure out how to make a spiraling handrail ..
Grant
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R. Zimmerman wrote:

If you really, really want to do it almost yourself, you can. I did, and I'm no metal fabricator.
I had a fab shop cut the pie shaped "wedges", with a tab on one long edge that I had them fold down to 90 degrees to the tread. I welded these to a central pipe to make the stair itself. The bent-down tabs stiffened the treads and also rolled the leading edge of the treads so they weren't sharp.
For railing, I used pipe. To bend it, I tacked one end to the bottom stair tread (remember the stair itself is all welded together at this point). Then using two rosebuds and a weed burner, I heated the pipe so I could bend it in a fair curve to the next tread, and tacked it there. Repeat until done and you have a railing that matches the treads in diameter and helix angle. Break the tacks and move the railing up out of the way. Weld on the balusters, or whatever you call the uprights that the railing sits on top of. For these, I used angle, with each welded from the back of one step to the front of the step above. Weld the rail to the tops of the balusters, and you're done. Simple ;-)
Actually, it's a *lot* of work. At least it was for me, but I'm no metal fabricator (see paragraph 1).
-- Greg http://www.depmco.com
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On Wed, 21 Feb 2007 13:37:41 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,

Take a pipe the height you want your stairs plus the distance to the ceiling, find a tight mating pipe diameter which will slide over it, cut mate into 8" lengths, deburr. Weld vertical bars to somewhat triangular plates (5-12x36x1/4?) and to mates. Now take a 7" x 40' piece of 22ga sheet, add some math for the angle, then run it through your sliproll to make a 75" diameter spiral you can weld the plates to. Add handrails.
Done.
Simple, huh? <bseg>
-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions, some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

it's the handrails that are hard ..
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Grant Erwin wrote:

I've always wondered about doing this style...
Weld a piece of 3/8" or 1/2" rod to the top of each handrail post, working it to a fair curve as you go. Then using hose clamps, a dozen pals, tape, or whatever, fit a bundle of similar stuff around the first one. Get it all neat and pretty, maybe fill spaces with smaller rods? Then somehow make it into a single unit, by welding all around at regular intervals, or brazing at spots, or flooding it with epoxy, or however. It would have the feel and look of a steel rope, frozen into shape and ought to be pretty sexy.
Stuart
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On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 15:02:50 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,

So buy 'em already... ;)
---------------------------------------------------------- --== EAT RIGHT...KEEP FIT...DIE ANYWAY ==--
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it's the handrails that are hard ..
If the handrailing is round material with no direction then you can very easily roll it to the required radius. The radius is a combination of two dimensions. Logic will tell you that it is larger than the outside radius of the staircase. You find the length of the stair case perimeter as it climbs for a full 360 degrees then divide by pie giving you the diameter of your bent pipe. If you are rolling something flat like a kickplate then you just use the diameter of the actual staircase only you have to set the flat bar at the stair angle as it enters the rolls. Randy
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R. Zimmerman wrote:

.. and then pull it out to the desired helical angle, you mean?

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.. and then pull it out to the desired helical angle, you mean?
That radius sometimes needs a bit of a pull but in a 180 degrees of turn you might have to push up or down only a two or three inches at each end. It comes out pretty close on all the round rails I have installed. If you roll to the exact radius of the outside then try to pull the handrail to a helix you will be fighting the material. If you have a machine that will roll a helix on tube then it is the best way to go. On flat bar I used two diameter sweeps to check my bend. One to the diameter of the stair which had to be set against the material at the stair slope angle and the other the actual diameter of the material on the diagonal or stair slope. Randy
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