Custom Spiral Staircase

Two shipping containers with a hole cut in them

Have you ever bought two shipping containers, stacked them on top of each other, and cut a hole in the floor for a custom metal spiral staircase only to realize no-one on the internet sells such a thing? We can help with that too!

This one takes us way back to our first year as a shop, but it is one that I'm really proud of so I wanted to feature it here in the hope we get to do something cool like this again.  

Custom cut step tread for the spiral staircase on the plasma table

This was another one of those things that only I was crazy enough to take on around town.  I did some research to try and find what the customer wanted, but I couldn't find anything that fit the needs.  Shipping containers aren't very big and you don't want half the container taken up by your spiral stairs.  The problem is you also need each step wide enough to actually step on.  My solution: A square staircase.  

I started by drawing up the design in CAD and then using our CNC plasma cutter to cut out each step.

Press brake built to build the spiral staircase

Then came the problem of how to bend something that size.  Luckily our friends over at SWAG OFFROAD have a DIY press brake die that we picked up and used as the basis for our own air powdered giant press brake.  Once I got that all built I got to bending.

One step of the spiral staicase on a work bench

Another unique obstacle to this build was that it had to be built in pieces so that it could be built in the old shop, disassembled, powdercoated, and then reassembled and installed on site.  There was simply no way to get a fully assembled staircase into the location.  My solution was to make these individual treads which could be welded one by one and when we got to the site for install slid over a central pipe.

Building the spiral staircase in the old shop using an automotive lift

Building it in my old tiny shop behind the house was.... interesting.  I made due with what I had and got to work figuring the hand rails out as I went along.  I was able to interconnect the stair steps without having to have them reach down do the ground to increase the storage and accessibility under them for the customer. 

After powdercoating each piece it was time to assemble.

Installed custom square spiral staircase installed in two shipping containersInstalled custom square spiral staircase installed in two shipping containers

I took the stairs down to the customer's site and we finished cutting and framing out the opening by welding angle into the hole to give it a finished look and extra strength.  The steps were slid over the central pole one by one and the handrails were attached.

All in all it is an incredibly sturdy setup especially considering the small footprint. Have a tiny home and need a small set for yourself?  Send us a message!  Need a big set?  We can do that too!

Custom square spiral staircase installed
Custom square spiral staircase installedCustom square spiral staircase installed

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