Let’s talk unique. This is one of those stairs that has unique written all over it. It may have started off innocent and somewhat simple, but once my dad got involved, well it all changed. He’s always pushing the envelope of creativity and expectations. I mean why do a stair the same way twice? Some might argue for profitibilities sake, for getting the hang of what you’re doings sake, maybe even so you can do it faster the second time. And while all these things are great points, it’s just not my dad’s way, which has become all of our ways. Which will happen when you work around him long enough. Not to say we are inefficient, I like to think we come up with ways to do things quite quickly and efficiently. And arguably, with some of the most basic tools of woodworking. It’s more the thinking and designing process that changes and is, in a sick little way, the most fun part. This stair did not lack in design and thinking. I can’t even count how long we spent thinking and rethinking about this. But, that’s the beauty of thinking it’s an easy way to take your mind off of the endless traffic that is the Seattle area these days.
So let’s talk about this stair already! It’s a beautiful curve, with floating just shy 4’ thick tread (the wood part you walk on), and as clean and simple looking as you can get. And if any of you have done any projects you should know that simple doesn’t mean simple when it comes to woodworking. Usually, quite the opposite, it takes the most accuracy because you don’t want to add any extra wood pieces and trim to take away from the simple look. Now for these 4’ treads you ask, what store can you get those, aren’t normal treads only 1’ thick? Yes, yes they are and maybe weigh 20-30 pounds depending on the wood. Not these babies. No they were custom made by us, consisting of 3 layers of plywood cut out into a sort of triangle shape to make the curve we talked about. Glued together, then ¾’ white oak glued to the top and bottom, but we still had to cover the edge of the plywood.
So we routered the edges and fit in more white oak around to create a solid looking piece of 4’ thick white oak wood. Why didn’t you just use solid wood you ask? Well remember when I mentioned the thinking and designing my dad likes to do. (Ok I do too I can’t blame just him) won’t stop me from trying though. For one that thick, wood is really expensive, two, it can be prone to warping and changing when it goes from warehouse to actual house, and three, we thought this would be a fun experiment. Looking back now, it’s been a few months, I can say it was fun, at the time I’m not so sure. Oh, and did I mention these things weighed a good 80 pounds or more. And had to be put in and pulled out numerous times in the building and fitting stages. I like to think I earned extra chocolate on that install, and extra biceps. Who needs a gym when you do work like this. Well I could bore you with more details of how we built this thing, but I’m sure I’ve lost half of you and the other faithful half just want to see the pictures. So here you go.