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Floating circular concrete staircase


by jerryjaksha on August 21, 2013

Table of Contents
Floating circular concrete staircase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Intro: Floating circular concrete staircase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 1: Sketchup plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 2:

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Step 3: Landing and circular support beam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 4: Forming the spiral ramp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 5: Pouring ramp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 6: Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 7: Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Author:jerryjaksha Jerry Jaksha


DIY is a way of life for me, building a geodesic dome house, a swimming pool, solar water and house heaters, passive solar house (in Nebraska), and
recently a concrete house and pool in Mexico, For the last 20 years I have been manufacturing a tablesaw safety tool called the Grip-tite magnetic
featherboard that I patented 20 years ago.

Intro: Floating circular concrete staircase


This unique circular staircase at my casa in Mexico has no center support. It's 24 steps allow a 12' rise in a 10' diameter circular stairwell. I designed an built it with help
from my son.
Circular stairs usually need a center support, but I wanted to have the center open, so I designed this one to cantilever from the wall, leaving a 3' open center.
To accurately form the wall and steps, I cut a dozen 5' -1/6's from 3/4"
Rotating same boards around the pipe gave us the riser forms to pour the actual steps onto the ramp.

Step 1: Sketchup plan


Drawing it in sketch up made it possible to calculate step rise and run, rebar placement, and step placement.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 2:
The circular wall that holds up the stairs is made from 5" foam blocks that leave a 3" vertical and horizontal void for concrete and rebar. These styrofoam block forms are
made in Mexico. I also used them for most of the walls in the house.
Bars to hold the steps had to be placed in this wall as it was built, so I needed to know exactly where to place them so each step would have a rebar in tension off the
wall. By drawing this staircase in 3/d (sketchup) , I could place the bars exactly. The ramp/steps
We poured the ramp and steps 6 months after the wall was built.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 3: Landing and circular support beam


Because the steps ran 360 degrees, the landing had to support both the staircase and the upstairs floor. We formed a circular 1/2beam on the floor and lifted it up to pour
the complete circular beam.
Half the beam was in the wall, and the half you see supports the floor.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 4: Forming the spiral ramp


To accurately form the wall and stairs, I used a 20' 2" steel electric conduit pipe as a temporary center post.
I used a 2" u bolt fastened through the end of 6" wide plywood board to make sure the wall was round.
The same boards stacked and rotated to form the bottom support for a foam/fiberglass form we made by tweaking 1" beadboard to the needed warped shape, then
fiberglassing it. We made two sections,glassed both sides with epoxy resin.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 5: Pouring ramp


Rebar gets added to the bars coming out of the wall, and an inside form of 1/4" plywood added to the inside.
The ramp was poured in 3 sections, glued at the joints with latex concrete adhesive. This let us reuse the fiberglass and support forms, just by rotating the plywood
boards and locking in place.
The concrete was very high strength, mixed on site using super plasticizer to reduce water content.
All the concrete was consolidated with a spud vibrator.
The ramp is 3 inches thick.
You can see the "U" bars sticking out. They give a physical lock to the steps poured next.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 6: Steps
The ramp support forms get rotated to the top of the ramp and become riser forms.
Because the forms stack on each other at the main tube, all I had to do was level them and set them at my marks on the wall that came from the sketchup drawing a year
earlier.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Step 7: Finish
A plaster finish on the wall and you have one solid staircase, with less than 1/8" deviation between step rise and run.
Someday we might cap the steps with tile or wood, but they look very sculptural as is.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

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Comments
4 comments

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Tazmjm69 says:

Aug 21, 2013. 6:48 PM REPLY

They turned out great, I'm sure you put a lot of hours into it.

kenbob says:

Aug 21, 2013. 6:08 PM REPLY


You are an artist, well a craftsman and an artist. This is a thing of beauty. I have designed and built curved staircases, but never envisioned this. I love it.
Great instructable!!

AlexLPD says:
Nice Job... very nice staircase...
Uno se da cuenta de lo buena que puede ser la manufactura Mexicana. =)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Aug 21, 2013. 5:55 PM REPLY

jessyratfink says:
Ohhhhhh I want one! Beautiful work.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Floating-circular-concrete-staircase/

Aug 21, 2013. 4:49 PM REPLY