|The final result: The foyer with the properly curved "flying" staircase against its curved wall. Nothing was easy, but all's well that ends well. The staircase is stained MinWax's Provincial|
The staircase becomes a problem:
We wanted the foyer to make a grand statement. As with the front steps, we had a long, discouraging time trying various arrangements of steps--straight run and various number and types of turns. The 11 inch ceilings seem to add problems: high ceilings are beautiful but making a long gracious “flying” staircase was eluding us. We took a pause.
We solve the staircase style dilemma:
One day, looking at staircases in a dollhouse shop, we realized that a curved staircase was the answer somehow, but I didn’t like the curve of the commercial stairs, plus we had 11 inch ceilings. Hmmm....
We bought flexible 1/16 inch thick “airplane model” plywood and picked the right wall curvature. Then came the real work: cutting the stairs into the proper number of sections and then to reassemble and glue them into the new curve. Then I had to widen the stairs to 3 ¾ inches, etc, and etc.
Need something to add more height:
We built a two-step landing with a 90 degree turn at the bottom to make up the 11 inches.
Widening the steps:
This was easy. I added a new flexible backing to the staircase to the new width and then, every morning before I went to work, I rolled out a 1/8 inch thick strip of Paperclay and added it the wall side of staircase. This is the way I built up the width to 3 ¾ inches over a number of days. Now I had the width, but ugly treads and rises. The risers were easy to fix, I just sanded and painted them. To fix the treads, I cut stained flooring and glued it on.
|Dry fitting the pieces. The staircase to the ground-level basement is behind this staircase.|
Curving the railings (or nothing is easy):
This was basically a lot of cutting and pasting of the stained railings, adjusting the height of the spindles, and putting them all back together, and attaching to the treads! This was a lot of trial and error and nerve-wracking moments!
|Moving right along, but with the permanent tricky rail-spindle attachment yet to come. The wood on the treads worked out well.|
|Railings and spindles are attached to the stairs and to the second floor railing and the curved wall is permanently in place.|
|The second floor curved railing was another, but smaller, challenge.|
|It's finally done!|