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Flying Wood Stairs

Flying Wood Stairs

Flying Wood Stairs

A Pic from 1938 Mississippi...
I always have a hard time seeing how a floating landing like this works with wood.
Did the structural engineer give in to the architect on this one? smile

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RE: Flying Wood Stairs

Really? Engineer? Architect? In MS?

I'm guessing the CARPENTER tied the landings into the columns, and added some hope.
... and nobody living there could afford to get heavy anyway.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Flying Wood Stairs

Mike - re architect and engineer - I couldn't find a smiley face with a tongue-in-cheek.

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RE: Flying Wood Stairs

A really neat framing job...

Kudos to the carpenter.


RE: Flying Wood Stairs

hokie66 - Now that is a spectacular piece of woodwork but I would not have fancied climbing up it before the handrail was fitted.

RE: Flying Wood Stairs


It looks feasible. If both sides of the stair rails are tied solidly to their respective floors, then the only possible movement is to rotate up and down. This can be tied to the columns. I am not saying they did it that way. If you are going to do a carpentry project, you have to do at least one thing that looks cool.

Scroll down this page. There are some cool stairs at the bottom.


RE: Flying Wood Stairs

It's amazing what you can do when you don't know what can't be done.

RE: Flying Wood Stairs

I guess I just see the corner of the landing at the columns as being adequately supported vertically.

But the diagonal corner of the landing, away from the columns, would to me simply sag downward unless the far side stringer was somehow a kinked, or bent, rigid member that would have continuous stiffness through the bend at the top riser and extend past and under the landing.

It is very difficult to get wood moment connections to work.

And based on the era of this construction I would think the whole thing just sort of hung together, until the wood and fasteners started to get weathered a bit...a continuous, slow increase in flexibility until someone had to come along and insert a post under that interior landing corner.

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RE: Flying Wood Stairs

The carpenter must have used this design to catapult his career.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Flying Wood Stairs

Ah yes, I am very familiar with the architect's choice of materials here.......the ever popular leve-tanium. Very strong, very lightweight, and invisible to the naked eye. Often found in very long spans with little space allotted for framing.

RE: Flying Wood Stairs

MotorCity - Yes! - that is how this cantilever got constructed I think:

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RE: Flying Wood Stairs

As to cantilevers I had many lectures in this lecture hall in my first year at university:

Legend has it the 2 supporting posts about 3rd of the way out on the cantilever were added only after they found it deflected excessively once filled with Engineering undergrads.

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RE: Flying Wood Stairs

I had fun doing this series of cantilevers several years ago. But they all worked in terms of strength and stiffness.

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