One of the less comprehensible tasks when building from scratch is figuring out how to go about building a staircase that is in scale, yet unique and interesting. I have built
I hope that this series of posts will take some of the mystery out of the unfathomable stair.
This entry will address the part all of us creative types hate... the math. I am no math whiz, so when I faced my first staircase build, I had to do a lot of research. I still don't get math..and yet it is so essential to some tasks, and staircases are one of those areas where math remains a necessary evil.
Rather than go INTO the math...I will pass on a resource I found that takes the "math" out of the process! See, if one can avoid unpleasantness, one should. Don't you think?
Be sure not to tell anyone, OK? You have been entrusted with the most valuable of secrets!
There are some terms that we need to understand before the website above makes sense. These are several components to a staircase that are part of the "math" equation.
You will first need to know the "Total Rise". This is nothing more than the final height of the staircase you desire. For my Grand Staircase, the Total Rise is actually 12.5 ft. (inches). (After all, these Steampunkers are the cream of the crop! Their manse must be grand!)
This measurement is one of the more critical ones. You should measure from the floor of your room to the topside of the floor above. Your staircase must meet the same level as the floor in the above room.
Note that in your stair build, the stair will be slightly taller than the side of the room...this accounts for the additional height for the floor above. (The stair in the photo is ACTUALLY propped up on the side, but why would I share that?! There really WILL be a small difference in heights!)
This is the height that you want the riser on each step. The riser is the front vertical piece on each stair level.
If you want narrow and steep stairs, you might use a higher number...say 8 in.
If you wanted a more gracious look, you might use a shallower rise. Standard rise, on most staircases, is about 7".
The ideal run is the length of the stair footprint from the front of the stairs to the back of the stairs, along the floor line. This is not measured at the stair angle, but level along the floor. The total length that you need the stair footprint to stay within is the value you would enter into the Ideal Run.
And that is all you have to have! Press calculate, and you are left with your answer at the bottom of the page, for:
a) the number and height of the "risers" you will need
b) the number and width of the "runs" you will need (this is the horizontal width of each step from front to back)
c) the length of the stringer you will require
d) the width of the "throat" (this is the vertical length of the stringer at an angle at the narrowest point)
e) the total run and
f) the headroom required
All is laid out in a nice little set of diagrams at the base of the page!
Once you have completed the basic real life calculations, you are able to take the number of real life inches (or metric measurements if that is your flavor!) and convert them using a conversion table such as the one on the DIY Dollhouse Miniatures website. I also use the conversion table on the back of my well used metal ruler from Hobby Lobby. Would you believe it was new in February?!