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Bill Hope wrote;


Well, it's finally finished. Actually I have been finished for several weeks, but we had to wait for the carpet man to finish his work.

Your instructions were outstanding. Most of my family and friends were really questioning the hand rail construction. Actually, I think it may have been one of the easiest steps. Installation was a breeze.

Overall this was a very fun project. (especially since someone else was buying the wood).

Bill Hope
Logical Data Solutions, Inc.
(419) 886-4162

After 1 year and 4 kids running up and down the steps - They're still
holding up great.

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Jeff Solley was pretty close to being done this past December, might be now that the holidays are out of the way.

Here are some pictures of the stairs I have built with your plans. I am not quite finised as I have not done the handrail yet.

We tried to keep a square landing, but as you stated, headroom might be a problem. It was livable BUT! So we cut off the landing. I also had left the center pole long until we came up with a final handrail height. I had to take it back off and take over to the metal shop that made the spacers to get it cut. Big band saw, Perfect 90 cuts. I don't have those tools for that. Another reason for doing this was that the floor in the basement has a slope to it. I didn't know exactly where on the floor the bottom step was going to be and I wanted to make sure when the bottom baluster went on I could jack up the bottom step and preload the baluster. Made damn sure it was tight to the floor. Yet another thing we were looking at was that according to our figures the handrail will be a finish height of 35" instead of 36". I plan on adding three of the turned balusters between each of the square primary balusters going down the spiral when we put the rail on. I couldn't get one long enough for the downstep next to a square one.

I got started with the turned balusters because I found some at a building material auction. I got the 39" for $3.75 each. I could have gotten others that were pretty nice for $1 each but I liked the long grooves in these. The company was still in business that made them and I ordered the 36" for around $7 the 39" around $8 and got some 41" for about $9.75. The corner posts will set me back good, $80 a piece.

The mill where I had the square balusters made wanted $7.50 each for them so I decided at that price I needed to fancy it up.

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Spiral stair setup Spiral stair setup Handrail balusters Handrail balusters Handrail balusters Handrail balusters Oak spiral stair Oak spiral stair Spiral stair picture Spiral stair picture

Glenn Rogers wrote;

22 Jan 2005

Hi Jim,

Well, I finally finished the spiral staircase and am sending you three photos of the finished product. One picture is from my living room, one is from the loggia and shows the modified platform and handrail, and the other is from the entrance hall.

Because I wanted to access the stairs from the entrance hall I had to build a platform out into the living room to support the stairs and modify the top platform to enter the loggia. Also, I wanted to match the existing handrails in the rest of the house so designed my own railing from the center pole to the wall. Other than that I followed your plans exactly and it worked. I will admit that there were times when I had doubt and took many unnecessary steps to convince myself that it would work.

Thank you,


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Dark oak spiral stair Dark oak spiral stair SDark oak spiral staircase

Mr. John Van Huizen really impressed me with what he accomplished starting with my plans. You should notice that he didn't veneer the center poles spacer pipes, but he did make some very appealing changes. First of note would be the cast iron mid tread balusters with the decoration half way up. John also used a turned newel post at the top of the landing. You should also notice how the balusters appear when the routed edges aren't carried all the way to the ends. I also see that he used straight sections of walls to surround the staircase.
Thank you very much John for sending over the pictures!

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Dark oak spiral staircase Dark oak spiral staircase Metal balusters Metal balusters

Peder Olsen surprised me with these pictures from Sweden. This is the largest stair I've seen constructed using the plans. I especially like the way Peder has rounded the small ends of the treads around the center pole. I often suggest this treatment for the smaller diameters, but it sure looks nice here too.

Hello Jim. 2002-11-09
Now I have finished the spiral stair at last! Ok, it was not so hard when I have your excellent plans to work after,As you can see, it's a big one. The diameter is 230 cm and in oak. The pole in steel is 90 mm and the spacers are 180 mm in diameter. I made the spacers in wood with a lathe and later wrapped them with veneer.

In Sweden It's recommended that you should not have more than 100 mm between the steps and 100 mm between balusters, that is why I have a bit of wood under the steps. I can feel a little movement when I walk down in the stair but not so much that is a problem, but if I do a another stair, I will do it smaller, not over 200 cm.

Many thanks to you. From Peder Olsen.

I suggested to Peder that some of the movement could be caused by the center pole moving side to side, which probably would be alleviated by filling the center pipe with concrete. I don't doubt Peder will be making more stairs like this when the word gets out about this one.

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Large spiral staircase Large spiral staircase DIY spiral stair handrail DIY spiral stair handrail Oak spiral stair Oak spiral stair Large spiral staircase Large spiral staircase

Kevin Wood is building one that I'm very anxious to see more pictures of. Those aluminum spacers look mighty fine to me.

Hi Jim:

Just thought I would send you a picture of "mock-up" of my stairs. All the treads are done. I need to find time to do all the aluminum stuff. I'm not sure yet what the balusters and handrail will look like.


I think that knot is the only one in all of the treads.


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Spiral stair parts Spiral stair tread parts

Wayne Lee just this January sent over these pictures to share. I'm glad he sent one along that shows how he made the handrail on what appears to be the garage floor. I also noticed how much the home changed from the beginning, what a lot of work went in there too!

Well, I'm pretty close to finished with my little house addition, and the stairs are one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. They have been up for a couple months now and I just need to touch up the pole where I scraped it tightening it with a pipe wrench. I was thinking unkind thoughts the first time the laminated handrail and I squared off, but it eventually saw things my way and came out fine. I have had nothing but compliments to the stairs and I'm very glad I found you on-line. Keep up the good work. Here's a few photos to share.
Thanks again Jim!
Wayne Lee

We're both proud of your work Wayne!

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Spiral stair assembly Handrail for spiral stair Spiral stair assembly Spiral stair setup Spiral stair setup

Here's another fine example of a spiral stair, built by Rupert Wilson. The stairs were built entirely out of ash. The spacers were painted with an earth tone color paint. The steps were joined with a router. I built the rail twice. Once for practice, I guess, but I just wasn't happy with it.

This one is built using two intermediate balusters. I especially like the clean look that this light colored wood creates.

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With the exception of the thicker landing handrail, Curtis Martin stuck pretty much to the plans for his exterior staircase.

Along with the pictures Curtis sent over some comments about his project.

"Here's the finished product. Came out great. My only concern now is how it'll hold up in the weather. I used a couple coats of spar varnish first, but then I found some "Verathane liquid plastic", supposedly good for above-water marine use, and it seems to be giving the wood a solid seal. Still heat, cold, sun, etc. is almost certainly bound to crack the wood eventually. I'm thinking, worst case, if any split, I may end up having to drill holes all the way thru the sides and run some long threaded rods thru there to tie it together."

"Your plans were great! It came out exactly as expected. The math all worked out great also. My top landing edge is exactly over the bottom tread, exactly a 360-degree spiral."

"I'm guestimating that the whole thing took me about 100 hours..."

I really appreciate your sending over the pictures Curtis!

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Exterior spiral staircase Exterior spiral staircase Exterior spiral stair Exterior spiral stair

Gary Williams built this one using cedar.

Thanks for all your help. I started on this back in March and finally finished it. Pretty happy with the way it came out. Finding 2" cedar was a little difficult, even here in Oregon. My staircase doesn't seem as shiny as the on your website, but I think he used Varathane which I've heard makes the steps pretty slippery.

I poured concrete in the center pole and that made it feel extra stable. I'm pretty happy with the way the rail came out, I like how it kind of simultaneously banks and turns the curves. Perhaps the most difficult part was figuring out how to make the scarf joints because the overall length of the rail was 22' and I used every inch! You definitely need a jig to make them come out even and straight. Very nice addition, it's an attractive but very functional addition to my backyard. I've attached some pictures of the final product for you to see.

Thanks, Gary

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Exterior cedar spiral stair Exterior cedar spiral stair Exterior spiral stair

Vern Gross did a fine job following the plans to complete a spiral for his home. Vern wrote: "Yes my friends were impressed, however they had trouble visualizing what I was trying to do but that was cleared up when they saw the end results."

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Brian Davis really surprised me with his exterior efforts. I'd be proud to say I made this if I'd done such a fine job.

Brian wrote a little note along with these pictures.

"I finished the stairs and wanted to share some pictures with you. Pretty good plans, altogether. The railing was fun to build and fit just right. Let me know if you want any more pictures. Thank you for your assistance."

I took a few more pictures and enhanced them a bit to show more detail. Feel free to use them on your web site. Just so you know more detail. I used 2X pine for the steps, clear Doug fir (a 20 foot board) cut in 1/4" strips for the railing, and used waterproof glue. We'll see how it holds up this winter. Since this is an exterior staircase I finished with the same stuff I used on the redwood decks - Super Deck redwood color. This is a penetrating sealer. I have had bad luck with surface coatings on outdoor projects (e.g. Varathane) because over time they always start to peel. This was a fun project that turned out great. I have had several positive comments from neighbors and friends.
Final comment, Cutting through all that thick hardwood for the balusters was tough on my 15 year old basic small Delta entry level table saw. It has been a good friend for years but is ready for retirement. The good news is my wife said I could get a new one for my birthday on 9/15. 675lbs of cast iron Powermatic 66 5PH 240V table saw is on a truck right now heading to CA. Can't wait!

I wish there were more builders that would share their pictures with me, especially those that show craftsmanship of this quality. I also accepted Brians offer for more pictures, and a little more about this staircase. When you look at the larger version of the pictures, note the edge detail Brian routed into the baluster corners, very nice!

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Tony, Geri and Hayden Hill recently sent a few pictures of a pine unit they've built in South Dakota.

Building this pine stair was a lot of fun and educational. I especially enjoyed the handrail portion of the project. The plans are worth the money. Not only did I get comprehensive plans, I also received support and questions answered through-out the project. It's a great deal!


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Pine spiral stair treads Pine spiral stair Pine spiral

Ken Nelson from way up in Alaska, sent over these pictures of a spiral he built using pine. As you'll soon read, Ken has also decided after building that he'd like to do it again.

I have had a blast! I've never been a finish carpenter, more of a rough framer. (Although I did built my own house.) But I built myself a 24' by 36' shop last year and scrounged up an old table saw, drill press and other odds and ends. The stair was my first project. I took liberties with your plans in the interest of building it quickly. The steps are plywood laminated together and edged. The balusters dimensions are modified. I had trouble get the welding done, (a long story), so I drilled and bolted the bottom spacer on. The topmost post is 3" and treaded into the collar instead of 3.5" welded to the collar. I'm pleased with the result. It's not as well done as others on your web site, but it works. Now that it is in place I find the 48" is a bit small. I think I could fit a larger one in the available space. I am seriously considering starting over and building a replacement, this time taking my time, eliminating the short cuts and producing a first class product.

I'll be working on the railing this weekend, I'll send the picture in a couple weeks. Thanks for providing a great set of plans.

I attached the railing and the intermediate balusters yesterday. I think it looks wonderful, (as long as you don't look close for the evidence of my poor carpentry skill!). I'm positive now that I will build a 5 or 5 1/2 foot replacement.

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Pine Spiral staircase Painted handrailing

Bryan Johnson United Kingdom

Hi Jim,
Finally, Here are the pics of my stairs. Sorry its taken so long to send but i didnt want to take any pics until we got the walls re-plastered. Its hard to find a good plasterer in the UK.

It's pine, to make it out of anything else in the uk costs an arm and a leg! All the steel work was easy, as my brother is a welder. Actually, the 3" center tube we found in a field ?

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Pine spiral staircase Pine spiral stair Pine spiral stair

Kurt and Denise Lindstrom Just recently sent over these pictures of their staircase. Of particular interest here are the spacers between the treads, Kurt made them with cast iron.

Dear Jim,

I made a pattern and made the spacers out of iron, a little personal touch (image 2). If at any time you would like to have some spacers cast, I would be more than happy to accommodate. I can change any dimension on the existing pattern I have, or let you know how to make your own design on a lathe. You would be suprised on how easy it is as I work at a iron foundry.

I would like to thank you again for having your plans on the internet. I would have never guessed how much fun and how easy it would be build stairs like these. I did get a little creative with the spacer design, but your plans made the project smooth and enjoyable.

The house was a one story with a huge attic, so we utilized the attic space turning it into a master bedroom. I thank you much for your help and for having the plans on the net, Thanks again.


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Building spacers Building treads Building treads Cedar spiral stair Cedar spiral staircase

Donnie Filaski and I exchanged a few E-mails during his project.

Hi again Donnie,
You did good! I like the way the turned balusters look. Have you caught your kid climbing up the small ends of the treads yet? That was a favorite trick of mine when I wasn't looking.

Were you surprized at how stiff the stairs got after you built and installed the handrail?

Thanks for the reply. Yes I was surprised how stiff the entire structure became once the balusters and handrail were attached.

No the small ends of the treads have not yet been conquered and hopefully that idea won't be discovered. I would be delighted to have you place the photos on your web site. Thanks again.

I wanted to share with you some photos of my completed spiral stairs I built using your plans. I've never built any spiral stairs before and I am glad I chose your design.


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Build spiral stair Building a spiral stair

Bill and Marion Clarke have just sent over a few pictures of the stair they've constructed in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada.

Jan. 7, 2002
Dear Jim,

Last March I had you send me instructions for building a spiral staircase. Throughout the spring, my wife and I hummed and hawed about actually doing this, checking prices on stair kits, looking at my workshop equipment and wondering if I had the ability to tackle such a project. By summer we had decided and started looking for some equipment for my shop that would do the job.

By the beginning of December, we were using the most beautiful set of stairs imaginable!!!

Anyone who is considering building a spiral staircase should use your instruction procedure. It is the most accurate, precise and detailed description I have ever followed!!!

Everyone that looks at our stairs says: How did you do that? or, How did you bend that railing? etc. I simply tell them: I just did what the guy told me to do.

After totaling up costs for materials and new equipment, we still saved a pile of money and I have 3 or 4 nice new toys in my workshop.

Thanks for your expertise and keep up the good work.


Bill Clarke

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Carol from Cornwall went in a different direction and built with steel.

Notice how she used chain for a handrail as well as glass for an eye catching center post.

Carol also wrote: "We still have to put the wooden treads on, and we're Having some difficulty getting the width of hardwood we want but we will get there. My house is just about looking habitable now instead of a building site." Take a look at that giant spider web decoration!

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