One of our biggest interior projects was building a safe stairway to the second level–we’ve been using a rickety ladder for the past two years which dates to the 1960s. It finally broke with me on sitting on the top step and thanks to our cork floor, I’d be in the hospital. First, find a nice yellow cedar in your back yard and drag it out (two days–they’re heavy!) and peel it. Here we go:

This is the first step–pardon the pun. Designing a circular stairs about a log isn’t that bad; just tear up your plans and build it step at a time. Each of the eight steps gets 22.5 degrees and elevates 10-9/16″ which will take you 180 degrees and 95″ in height. Build a pattern with this angle and apply to each step.

Here we are half way; it took me about a week to complete everything averaging two steps a day. The problem was building in the woodbox (opening on right) and bench. Any changes required me to dismantle everything in reverse order; kind of like a Chinese puzzle or Rubic’s Cube.

Here’s the final product complete with a red cedar lid to keep the heat where it belongs and a bench matching our Tulikivi ‘hot seat.’ Now this is a set of stairs for a carpenter on the way up!

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