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Matthew Jones

There are several things of interest here that Matthew has done that should be pointed out. His treads are two layers of spruce 2x6's, The railing has a strip of wood on each side of the balusters to give the railing a thicker look, and his use of a router to round the tread ends instead of a band saw.

I have all the balusters in place and two thin wood spines stapled to them to hold them in the correct place. I'm thinking of leaving them there after I get the railing in since I couldn't make my thick railing like I wanted. It might give me the extra thickness look I wanted.

My steps are made from 2x6 spruce that I bought at my local lumber yard and are glued together in two layers to make 3 inch thick steps. I think the staircase looks pretty good considering I used common spruce 2x6's. It's getting lots of oos and aahs from everyone that sees it.

When cutting the treads I tried a reciprocating saw, but the blade wandered too much. I ended up using my router with a long straight bit. I made lots of passes, each a little deeper until I was all the way through. I found a long router bit at home depot. The cutting edge is only two inches long, but the shaft on it was four inches total. This gave me one inch in the router and three sticking out. Just enough. I had planned to cut from both sides, but when I saw that bit at the store, I knew I had lucked out and could do it all from one side. I made lots of passes and cut only about 1/4 to 3/8" deeper at each pass. I took the base off my router and attached a thin piece of wood so I could just swing the router back and forth at the correct radius. On the narrow end I just used a cap off a small bottle as a guide. After running through the planner and sanding, it almost looks like one solid piece of wood.

One thing I did that which I think helped making it easier to install was to stretch the railing out over night. I clamped it to the upper floor so it would hang out horizontally and not sideways and then hung some weights (just a couple of pounds) on the other end to stretch it into the helix. When I took it down today, it had about five feet of the helix permanently in it. I only had to stretch it the last three feet to install it. Letting it stretch overnight seems to have done the trick for spreading it out. It went right into place without any groaning or creaking. This railing is 7/8" thick. I'm planning on fastening it to the two splines I have running around the top of the balusters. I like the look of them, so I planning on leaving them in place. By fastening it to them, I won't need to drill and fill any holes in the top of the railing. I think it will look nicer that way.

ps. I was surprised how stiff everything got just by attaching the primary balusters between the steps. After the primary balusters were in place I started using it as my primary staircase even before I added the two splines up the sides.

My total cost for everything in the staircase is going to be under $500.

More pictures posted on Matthews own site.

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Jim Calvisky

Well I have finished the staircase, approx. 6 weeks and weekends while working full time.......The plans were excellent to work off. It took my wife and myself 6 hours last Sunday and myself a few hours Monday to finish the install. It is gorgeous

One thing that I did was to add a third baluster to the tread about 22 inches tall with a cross piece, also I did not have the room in my garage to build the handrail forms so I built the hand rail right in place. It worked pretty well.

In closing, a final thank you for the plans and am enclosing some photos.

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Jay Geil


I purchased plans from you last year and now have it complete. You are more than welcome to use them on your web site if you like.

My stair case is 72" in dia, 14' and rotates 420 deg. It is attached to my deck outside so it is built from 1" Ipe (Same as the deck) Since I have a 3yr old I needed to close off the openings a bit so instead of adding balusters I used 3/4x1/8 Aluminum strips that I pop riveted to the 1" balusters ( read 3/4 galv. water pipe). It fit well with the design of the deck that I used horizontal cables to close of instead of wood balusters.

I also used 4" PVC painted black as the spacers between the steps (you helped me on that one). I am very happy with the outcome and thank you for your assistance!

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Tony Gentile

Hey Jim,

Thought you'd like to see the finished product. Thanks for the plans!

Sure....you can post the photos....the antler inlay is redwood burl...the spacers are 6 pieces of oak, pressed and glued,,,,turned on the lathe,,,,then bored out. the handrail is figured cherry.....it was appraised at $25,000.00....I made it for my brother in Pa. just for the cost of material....lol!!!!!


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Lisa Baldwin

Hi Jim,

I have 2 pictures for you. It's still not completely finished because other house projects have trumped that for now. People can't believe I could built them, and they really love them!

I think i mentioned before that i had a welder cut the steel, but other than that i did it on my own. I knew how to how to use power tools, but mostly I just studied and followed the plans which are quite detailed. The stairs are quite solid! And yes, I did have fun! What a rewarding project...

thanks again, lisa

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Pine stair Painted handrailing

Lanny Graham


Building a spiral stair was a challenge but thanks to you it turned out ok. The stairs are at my sons residence. I tried to talk him into a regular type stair but he said we had done that before and now he wanted something different. He has had very much interest in the finished project as it can be seen by people from all directions. Sorry but one is enough so I give anyone interested, instructions to find you on the internet.

The green stuff is masking tape to keep any rain out of the predrilled holes until the railing was in place. Top post was cut to deck baluster height (42") later.

I used 2" (1 1\2") construction grade spruce, cut in 2" wide strips and edge glued with Tightbond III to make the tread blanks. Needed 16 strips for each tread blank.

The balusters were made the same way, only using 3 strips and the cutting them down the middle to get my 1 3\4" thickness.

The railing was made with strips of clear fir. Was able to get one 20 foot length.

All metal surfaces were primed and then painted with a high quality white paint. I don't paint so my son did this.

All wood surfaces were primed with a 50/50 mixture of turpentine and boiled linseed oil and then balusters were painted with 2 coats of white paint and the treads were coated with a product for decks call Spantex ( this is a three coat process that gives it a rubber like surface).

The information for the three part coating material my son used on the treads can be found on their website.

http://www.ducan.com look under Product & Information - Ducan Roll-Dek

With all this done I made only one mistake that I know. The bottom tread should have been level with the deck surface not one step up.

Thanks Again


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Brian McManus

Of particular interest here is how Brian has used 2 by 4s to temporarily hold the stair vertical while determining his handrailing requirements.

Plans are very good to work from. I have been taking my time becuase of too many other things going on but enjoy this project.

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Michael F. Meyer


I finally completed my project, thanks to your Great! plans. It took me over 2 years to complete. I started it then the project got put on hold for awhile. The landing for the top of the spiral was already there. The houses in our development have long stringers (with steps) running from the landing to the floor. I gained about 30 square feet of foor space in my living room from where the original steps were. The brass I found on Ebay. It started out as a roll of 12" wide by 25 feet, 34 gauge brass stock, which I glued on to the steel pipe spacers. It took a few practice runs at the gluing, as contact cement is not very forgiving.

People keep asking me if I would do it again. I say yes and no...:o) I probably would be a lot better prepared the second time around.

Finally got the hand rail done. We almost talked once, because I was frustrated with the hand rail part, because I didn't follow your instructions. Anyway, attached are pictures of the completed stairs. I think they turned out pretty good. Got a lot of positive comments on them.

Thanks again for the plans. They really do allow you a lot of flexability. I like Red Oak, so thats what I used. Didn't add any color to the wood, except the slight tint that is in Gym Floor sealer. I like the Gym Floor sealer because its pretty durable and covers nicely.

Anyway.. Have a good one and thanks again for the great plans.

Best Regards,

Michael F. Meyer Santa Maria, CA

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Michel St-Louis

It's started, look at the attached photo, I will send you a set when it's finished. Whe just had one problem, the piece that you screw on top broke while whe where tightening it, The welding didn't resist, We think that it's because the treated piece was in cast iron instead of steel.

Thank's again for your help.

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Oak spiral stair

Troy Moore

This one was looking like it's turning out nice, but I don't know anything more about it.

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Donald J Paul

Hi Jim,

You may remember, I'm the guy from North Dakota who bought a set of your stair plans several years ago. I thought I'd finally get around to sending you a pic of it.

Per your suggestion, I used the hollow plywood tubes from the company in Mt Clemons (I think) as the tread seperators. It worked just fine and was eaiser than the alternative. Don

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Dark oak spiral staircase

Mike Schlossmann

Hi Jim:

I attached a few photos of what I am doing with the treads. I wanted to show you what I am doing and, maybe, get your opinion. I'll try to explain the long and short of my reasoning.

Originally, the plan was to build the stairs according to your plans, but I did not want oak because I have grown tired of the usual oak finish look. I built a bar in the basement of my current home of pine, finished it with a light stain, and it turned out fantastic. So, I want a light color wood. Any place within an hour drive of my home only carries oak in 8/4 stock. I did eventually find a place that carries a variety of hardwoods, but I just found them recently.

After much time browsing at the home improvement stores, I got a plan. One store sells 2'x4' laminated, finger glued Aspen boards. Someone suggested that I use Poplar since it is a hardwood, but light in color and, Aspen I believe, is a sub-species of Poplar. The boards were only 3/4" thick, but a 2x4 board is perfect size to make 2 treads, So, I glued the Aspen board to a 2x4 sheet of 3/4" ACX Pine plywood to create a 1 1/2" thick tread. The ACX plywood is finish grade on one side, so the treads have the spliced board look on top, with the bottom being Pine.

I made a couple of prototype treads and trimmed the edges with some wood trim. The top edge was then routed to blend into the trim with an olgee bit. As you can see in the photos, I tried a couple of different styles of trim.

I do like the way the Aspen boards look. The finish looks blotchy in the pictures, but not in real life; besides, I will use a natural color stain, not the color in the photos. Some of the Aspen boards have streaks of purple and blue. I'm not sure if it is natural.

I don't like the way the trim looks. I am trying to find an alternate way to trim the edges.

Lastly, I appreciate your information and your responses. It is apparent that you enjoy doing this. $20 for your plans is a steal. I only found one other spiral stair plans for sale on the web, and it was not nearly as sophisticated. It was somewhat cheap, and he wanted $75.

I would appreciate any feedback. I can take criticism so don't hold back!

Thanks again


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Scot Mcginniss

Yes, I consider myself fortunate. Here is the start of the stair project. The loft height is 101.5". I believe I will shoot for a 48" counterclockwise design. The cabinet and counter are not fastened to the wall yet so my only impediments are the door and its' stepdown. The jamb to loft floor is 36", but I think that by starting about 16" under loft floor, I can wind around and still have headroom to clear main floor ceiling.

Here is a photo of the handrail after glueup this afternoon, Definitley a two person job. Worked my butt off alone. Had one of the screws on the blocks break so I had to scramble with some clamps.

Your plans and design are outstanding! Simple to follow and understand. Finished roughing out my treads and now working on the spacers. I made a slight devaiation on the spacers and pressed them into a piece of four inch PVC the same length. This allows me to have a 1/2" wider spacer and the contact cement seems to adhere well (using veneer on the spacers). If you clean the clear sealant off the pipe, the PVC can be pressed (hammered) over it and it gives an OD of four and 1/2 inches. I plan to start preassembly next week to fit landing and baluster

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Stair location Building handrail

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