Elliptical Staircase, Images 10-19

I next made a story pole for the risers, to reduce cutting errors.

I measured the studs for the individual pony walls directly from the story pole, and stacked and numbered them for quick assembly.

I installed the support cleats for the backs of the treads as I went, constantly checking for level.

And so it went — nail off a wall, position and attach the cleat, all the way to the bottom.

Once the walls were in place, I cut the treads from 3/4-inch subflooring, taking the dimensions from the original OSB pattern.

The next step was attaching 1/4-inch plywood to the inside wall.

By using adhesive and staples and lots of pressure, we got the plywood to conform to the arc. I ran it long at the top, then clamped on a strip of 1/8-inch oak for scribing a fair curve about 4 inches above the tread nosings.

I cut 2x6 studs, beveled at the top to match the slope, and glued and nailed them to the elliptical plate at about 6 inches on-center where the radius was tight and 8 inches on-center elsewhere.

I blocked between these studs, using both glue and nails, and added solid blocking at top and bottom to provide anchor points for the metal railing.

The curved wall was topped with two layers of 1/4-inch OSB. I finished up with the sander, striving for a good visual flow.

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