I'm building the whole thing from scratch, because I've spent so much money on this in other places that I have to save money where I can :) David has a workshop full of pine scraps and some cool tools, so he cut the strips of triangular wood on his table saw, and I chopped them to length on the chop saw.
This will be a bit of a tutorial on one of the many ways of building a staircase. This is what you need in 1/12 scale to get started building a standard set of stairs that would be 30" wide in 1:1 scale:
- Several feet of 3/4" triangular section wood moulding: either buy it from a lumber yard, cut it yourself or buy balsa or basswood already cut
- A thin piece of basswood or pine (or even cardboard) 2.5" wide and as long as you need to go from floor to above the ceiling. This is the base of your staircase.
- Lengths of thinnish strip wood as wide as your triangular moulding + base is thick.
Cut the triangular wood stock into 2.5" inch lengths (or whatever you want the width of your staircase to be).
Glue them, pointy side up, to your base. When it's dry you can add trim to the sides to conceal the construction, like so:
I'm making a staircase that will take up the whole back of the entrance hall. it's going to have three steps up, then a landing, then stairs all the way up the back wall of the hall to the first floor. The whole will be enclosed and panelled.
Here's the next step for me -- visualizing the construction (none of the side walls are permanent yet -- it's just to give me a sense of the space I have to work with.)
I cut a trial landing out of thin plywood -- it's resting on top of a table in the back right hand corner. I made a small set of steps to get to the landing and then the longer one runs right up. The whole area under the stairs will be enclosed, possibly with built in shelves and cupboards and so forth. I think it's going to work!
I'm going to build this unit so that it's totally self-supporting and separate. That means that I will just stick it in place when the rest of the decoration of the hall is done, which I think will be easier than trying to decorate around it. I've ordered my spindles, and I'm going to try to carve my own newel posts and handrail. We'll see how it goes - I may be ordering those, as well!