One Two Steps

Earlier in the year I built a stage set, and it was very successful with some novel approaches to the problems we faced. One problem was that the stage itself changed a couple months before the play, and that had to be adjusted for.

The biggest issue was that there wasn’t a way to get up on the stage, it being a temporary setup that has now become permanent. So, I built a set of steps to get up from the front, while we were able to borrow two others. The were simple, two stringers with a total of three steps being 18″ high in total. I learned how to cut stringers, and all the math that comes with it. The stairs were liked and appreciated so much I was commissioned to build the one on the sides, as those had been returned to whence they came.

Again, these aren’t complicated things. 2×12 boards are used for the stringers, and 5/4″ pine with a bullnose for the steps. The stringers are on a 6/10.5 setting, and I used stair gauges to set. I was able to get a set of stringers from one 8 foot board, and three sets from each 8 foot board, so the total width is 32″ wide. I decided not to use toe kicks on the steps, since these are going on the side of the stage. I cut the stringers with a combination of the track saw and the jigsaw, going to the latter for the entire second set of stringers. I was getting some binding on the saw, so while the jigsaw heated up pretty good, it all worked out. I cut the steps on the MFT, being able to take advantage of it being on wheels for the first time to cut the longer board.

They were assembled with 2″ Spax screws and everything was painted an Onyx black, the same paint that I used on the first set of steps. I used some cutoff 2×4 to support the last step and keep the assembly from rocking. It’s very stable, and could conceivably support 300 pounds or more.

Not a terribly complicated project, but a good skill builder, and very practical.  I will have to build something very similar when I build my deck.

E: I did figure out that some how I built one step an inch taller, which will have to be remedied by the track saw.

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