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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
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    39

    Default Need help building stairs

    I am a sr in highshool and i have volunteered to construct stairs for Prom. They need to be around 4.5 ft tall with a run of stairs on both sides and a platform on top for the king and queen there is a total of 8 couples. I am thinking wood or steel? wich would be better. they have to disassemble to fit through a door and store in a garage. any advise or ideas or pic's of projets like this would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    taxachussetts
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    416

    Default

    are they going to have to meet local and state building codes? is the school taking the liability on the structure? after you know this then you can decide on wood or steel or combination. and don't forget to take wight in to account.
    might sound like a lot but I'm a licensed CS. and you don't want to have any fingers pointing at you.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
    Posts
    39

    Default

    the school is going to take liability, theas stairs would only be used 2 times a year and for a short period of time. one reason i asked here is to find out about what people thought about strength. how big do i have to go i dont have a lot of experence with steel strength except trailers. iv built wood stairs for musicals and plays before. any ideas let them fly thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
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    Default

    im gessing no on the building codes as we do not apply them on set construction for plays and musicals

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    CDB Land, TN
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Does the school have a wood shop and teacher, if so get that person involved in the layout. If not, find a builder to help with the layout. Dont want anyone falling because of a faulty design. I feel wood would be more cost effective.
    With steel you will need a welder or bolt it up very well. If you go to home supply store and ask the manager to help you could get out with everything at below cost.
    Be safe
    Jeff

    Give more than you get and
    you will get more than ya need.
    This is true for the good and bad
    that life puts out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    taxachussetts
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    416

    Default

    OK thats a good start. now give us the overall dimensions and the size of the doorways that it will have to go throw. can it be in locking wheels? does it need to fold to fit throw a door? and have you tried sketching anything out? here is a good free sketching software.SketchUp 7
    http://sketchup.google.com/download/gsu.html
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
    Posts
    39

    Default

    it is a double door with a removable center post. around 4.5 ft tall not to wide. it is mainly for picture taking and to show off the fancy prom dresses. the only thing i have a against wood right now is the durability of it. it would be nice for it to last 10 years

    thank you all ill mess around with google sketckup iv used it before it just never came to mind for this project alittle thanks again

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Phila. PA
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mini-number1 View Post
    I am a sr in highshool and i have volunteered to construct stairs for Prom. They need to be around 4.5 ft tall with a run of stairs on both sides and a platform on top for the king and queen there is a total of 8 couples. I am thinking wood or steel? wich would be better. they have to disassemble to fit through a door and store in a garage. any advise or ideas or pic's of projets like this would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance
    As a contractor my first thought is wood for ease of work and costs.


    I would build 5/8"-3x4" 4'x8' plywood platforms framed with 2x6's on 16" centers. Use 4x4 or 6x6 posts to support the corners with diagonal braces out of 2x4's. I would build 1 "table" then bolt a platform to that then another "table" bolted to this. That would give you a 12' x 8' platform. Need it bigger? Just add more platforms and tables.

    Stairs are relatively simple. If you don't know how to figure out stringers you can just buy the precut ones from Depo. I would screw a face on the bottom tread to stiffen it and then 2x10's (or what ever size fits the tread size on the premade stringer)as treads attach a 2x6 to the back and bolt that to the platform. If you use premade stringers you may have to adjust your leg height to work with the stringers.

    Assemble the platforms with nuts and bolts. Legs to the platforms with lags, braces with lags, screws or bolts as appropriate, and the treads with screws.

    I could see doing the legs from steel tube or angle if you can. It might simplify the assembly a bit.

    Basically you just built a short free standing deck.

    Edit: wood is very durable. Your home is made of wood and has lasted many years of everyday use. These only need to be used once a year. If stored properly they should last longer than 10 years. The same idea can be done in steel. I would frame it out of channel or tall angle iron. Don't know how tall it would need to be to support the weight. I know 2x6's will span 8' no problem.
    Last edited by DSW; 02-16-2009 at 08:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
    Posts
    39

    Default

    thank you every one ill post some pics as i get started and the final result
    if u still have an idea throw it out. im not decided yet on what im going to do

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    835

    Default

    If you want to use metal, you could imitate one of these...

    https://www.schooloutfitters.com/cat...ath/CAT8_CAT62

    http://www.churchoutlet.com/Architec...FR8hnAodG2ZMcA

    But from what I see, it would probably cost as much in materials as it would to buy the finished product outright. Of course, I spent $175 making a meat grinder I could have bought for $60... and I'd do it again!

    Here's an idea... 14 gauge 1" square tubing for the framework, and plywood for walking surface. Self tapping screws penetrate the 14 gauge tubing nicely. You may need to do some welding in some places and utilize bolts in others to facilitate easy folding and storage.
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