I looked at books like Andy Engels' "Building Stairs" before realizing that the conventional route of cutting stair stringers (pictured above) was a no-go for me, because my budget was exactly zero dollars and I couldn't afford the 2x12s or even 2x10s. But I did have a crapload of other lumber, mostly 2x4s and 2x6s of various length, and tons of plywood scraps, in the studio. Some was left behind by set builders, others I picked up off the street.
So I've started building a staircase out of the leftover lumber by building three touching two-by frames of increasing height, basically like giant stairs, and stacking smaller plywood-template stair units on top. It's made with simple butt joints and pocket screws in the plywood for added strength.
While building these, I realized one problem was space. I figured a width of two feet was the minimum I could still safely use to carry things up the stairs without looking at my feet, but that's two less feet of room I'd then have in the room. Plus the staircase would be displacing a wall of Ikea bookcases. If the stairs were going to take up that much space, they were going to have to earn their keep as cabinets.
but for books it's an impractical design, due to orientation: I don't have any books that are two feet deep, so if I arranged them with the spines level with the side of the staircase, there would be much wasted space behind; if I pushed them all the way back against the wall underneath the stairs, anything stored in front of the books would obscure them from view.
Luckily I had some full-extension drawer slides lying around, and I settled on using them and building drawer boxes to hold the books. Having the books tucked away on a slide has the added benefit of keeping the dust off of them--nothing is more unpleasant than cracking open a favorite tome in bed, and spending the next 30 seconds having a sneezing fit--and I can still see the titles when I need to by pulling them out.
As you can see it's a work in progress, still in very rough shape, but perhaps I'll post more photos as it becomes finished.
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