On entering a
building, almost the first thing that meets the eye is the
staircase and unconsciously it is made to serve as an indicator
of the quality of the architecture.
If the design is poor or the
construction faulty, this flaw immediately gives the visitor a
bad impression of the whole building. Furthermore, stairbuilding
is a rather difficult subject and the principles involved are
very little understood, which is evidenced by the fact that the
layouts as furnished by architects in their plans are often
Probably more mistakes
occur in connection with the stairway of a building than with
any other construction feature. It is with the idea, therefore,
of giving a complete though simple presentation of the
construction methods as applied to standard design of
staircases, that this book has been prepared.
The article discusses
straight and winding stairs, stairs with well hole, layouts for
curved turns, the proper proportions of rise and width of tread,
the design of hand railings and many other problems, the
solution of which will be found very useful.
Coupled with this
article is a most instructive section on the Steel Square,
containing many applications of this useful instrument to roof
and other types of construction.
The Standard Steel
Square has a blade 24 inches long and 2 inches wide, and a
tongue from 14 to 18 inches long and 1 inches wide. The blade is
at right angles to the tongue. The face of the square is shown in Fig. 1. It is always stamped
with the manufacturer's name and number. The reverse is the back. The longer arm is the blade; the shorter arm, the
tongue. In the center of the tongue, on the face side, will be
found two parallel lines divided into spaces; this
is the octagon scale.
The spaces will be found numbered 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and
70> when the tongue is 18 inches long. To draw an octagon of 8
inches square, draw an 8 inch square and then draw a
perpendicular and a horizontal line through its center.
To find the length of the octagon side, place one point of a
compass on any of the main divisions of the scale, and the other
point of the compass on the eighth subdivision; then step this
length off on each side of the center lines on the side of the
square, which will give the points from which to draw the
octagon lines. The diameter of the octagon must equal in inches
the number of spaces taken from the square.