Curved log stairs

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Project by sphere posted 02-11-2010 02:20 AM 6058 views 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a first. A curved 90 degree turn, log stair case. This is in the home of Alice Walton, of Wal-Mart Walton…Sam’s daughter. In Arkansas. I built it for the log home manufacturer that is in Tn. I was in NC and made the stairs as far as I could go, then disassembled and shipped to Tn. for storage till the house was ready.

Then me and a buddy drove out and packed the truck and sent it to Ark. followed along and erected it and finished it ( the railings tie in) in 4 20 hour days…yes 4, 20 hour days.

You’ll see dovetails of cherry in the treads…these are how I anchored the treads to the carriages , there is a J bolt in the DT that passes into the carriage that is counter bored from below, and washers and AUTO VALVE springs, with a coupling nut ( a reg. nut would strip off what with the enormous spring pressure , about 800lbs P2Inch) to cinch it into the coped log carriage. This allows wood movement, but NO SQEAKS and no return to tighten any hardware seasonally..I invented that.

All the treads are 1/2 slices of a poplar log, that I 1/4’erd and added a wedge, so the treads were wide enough to be passable on the outside radius and narrow enough to make the inside radius turn.
All is code compliant except the hand rail baluster spacing, but when ya have 16 BILLION dollars to your family name…it’s amazing what codes can be overlooked.

All the tenoned and drilled hand rails are Mtn. laurel, and Dogwood, and Rhododendron from the Nat. Forest in NC. Harvested by yours truly. It stood without any support , but Alice liked the idea of humanesque legs under it…so we added some.

No, I would not ever, in a million years, do it over again.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

21 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 02-11-2010 02:39 AM

WEE dogie those are some stairs I’m sure glad I didn’t have to build those. I like a challenge but any that involves heavy logs or 20 hour days. Your approach to these stairs Shows your years of fine craftsmanship and innovative thinking. Fantastic work my friend.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3057 days

#2 posted 02-11-2010 02:40 AM

All I can say is it takes a LOT of head scratching to cope them treads and have the whole works come out within 3/8th in. all the way up!

Esp when the shop is 400 miles away from the house.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3057 days

#3 posted 02-11-2010 02:44 AM

Jim, if she didn’t LOVE them, I was gonna saw it all up and burn it in the front yard.

She made the original contractor tear out the stairs he installed, the “industry standard” for these home kits.

Needless to say, she did indeed love them and had me do some addition work in the house with the twigs and sticks.
Great woman…she even caught a striper in the river and asked if we wanted her to clean it and we cook it over the log lighter in the fireplace..LOL

we slept ( not much) in the house, and drank voluminous amounts of coffee.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View patron's profile


13607 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 02-11-2010 02:54 AM

reqal swiss family walton (LOL) !

you do nice work there my man .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3324 days

#5 posted 02-11-2010 03:08 AM

Wow! That is amazing. Nice work.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3811 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 04:11 AM

What an undertaking, Fine Job!

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 02-11-2010 04:17 AM

That is way too cool! Truly a one of a kind and a work of art with natural wood!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3183 days

#8 posted 02-11-2010 04:28 AM

holy crap… amazing…. lots of work done there for sure… good work and great dedication… 4×20 is an accomplishment all in its own…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Wade's profile


18 posts in 3070 days

#9 posted 02-11-2010 04:51 AM

Looks like a MILLION bucks… Hopefully she paid you at least that much

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

View Puupaja's profile


310 posts in 3126 days

#10 posted 02-11-2010 04:59 AM

Wow that´s really work with your hands, great stairs!!


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#11 posted 02-11-2010 05:17 AM

love it – love it!
the dovetails are beautiful.
it looks like a rope bridge. Stunning!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3387 days

#12 posted 02-11-2010 06:22 AM

Hey Sphere,
Really cool man.

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3408 days

#13 posted 02-11-2010 10:53 AM

This is amazing, I really like it.
This would make the life in the house really fun, and happy. Wow, I really wanna do this someday!
Great job!!!

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View hunter71's profile


3186 posts in 3213 days

#14 posted 02-11-2010 01:18 PM

Being custom log home builders I appreciate the work [although I would never attempt it] We have done some open units but on the job. Making these from your shop and transporting them to a site. Just amazing. Custom log home plans are just that CUSTOM. Great job!!

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Jamie's profile


172 posts in 3286 days

#15 posted 02-11-2010 02:27 PM

Wow! Simply amazing a beautiful.

-- "Preach the gospel always. If necessary use words" -St Francis of Assisi

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