Here is how I just got finished with constructing the two stairways that will go on Heaven, at each end of the giant porch. They are not in place as they need to put in the footings, but at about 300 pounds, they will not be jiggling much I am fairly sure. This method uses tight grain 4×4 and 4×6 for the supports and the long treads are created with tight grain Long Leaf Pine 2×6 stock. All very hard, heavy, and capable of carrying elephants up the stairs if they want. The oil really kicked the color up a notch and will help keep them from soaking up water from the rains.
Finally assembled and ready for living in, this is a great example of what we can do if we want to, both in creating the house, but in getting it to a place no one thought it could go.
Soak the wood really well with the oil, add a second coat in a few week so as to insure they are fully saturated if you really want to keep them dark too.
Cutting all the pieces ahead of time and carrying them out allowed for not having to handle the 300 lb stairway by myself.
This is the stack of some of of the wood pieces before I started.
Pre cut all of the treads and they have as few knots as you can find so as not to deteriorate over time as much as big old knotty wood will.
Here you can see the parts all lined up. The first piece has the shortest rise at 5 1/2″ and the next is at 12 1/2″ so as to get a 7″ rise for all of them.
The third step goes up to 19 1/2″ and the highest at 26 1/2″.
In this case I uses some 4×4 so that there is some gap in the middle of a few for water to flow through just in case the property floods again, thus reducing some of the pressure on the sides.
The 2×4 is then screwed on to the vertical elements with ceramic coated torx head screws, 3″ long that will self drill so as not to crack the wood which is super hard. Notice the screws are staggered so as to reduce the chance of cracking the wood, both the 2×4 side locking braces and the blocks.
I used three uprights as the steps are 6′ and 7′ wide to match the width of the porches.
A small gap between the boards is a good idea to have room for swelling if they get soaked.
Keep the screws away from the very edge of the treads as you put them in to reduce potential for cracking them as you put them on, but also for when they swell up if they get wet later.
The outside looks clean by putting the brace side inward on the side that faces outside the porch.
Then I stood them up, lined them up to match, laid the treads on, and screwed them on with the same types of torx head screws. You can not screw into this hard of a wood with any other kind of head on the screws, so don’t even waste time trying, stripping out the head, and not being able to get it the rest of the way in, or back out when it strips out.
You can see the before oil shots are not near as pretty as the after oil shots. They should be re-oiled every couple of years to insure more life.
After the assembly, which took about an hour to an hour and a half each, with a battery operated drill, and 5 fully charge 18 volt batteries. I oiled them up with a 50% thinner/ 50% Tung Oil mix so as to shed water and last longer.
I do not recommend putting the clean out for the septic under the stairs though, especially nearly at the center of the stairs. We will see how that works for them later.