PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
11/22/20 3:27 p.m.

After lugging winter tires up and down to my loft on a ladder, I want to build some stairs that move out of the way. I can come perpendicular from the loft to the floor, but that would require moving a car out of the way every time I need to do it. Or, in this design, I have gone parallel to the loft, but then need to support the outside of the stairs, which I can do with a 4x4 post. The thing I wouldn't mind some review on is my pivot design.  This design uses a 1/2" or 3/4" lag bolt as the pivot points, one into the beam of the loft, and another through the 4x4 post.

Rise is about 80" and run is about 12'.

 

I'll have some kind of lock/support for under the stairs when it is raised. And I plan on using some pulleys to raise and lower them. The biggest thing I am concerned about is when it is being raised, the inner pivot point is holding all the load. Is a 1/2" or 3/4" lag big enough?  

Comments and suggestions welcome!  Thanks!

rustyvw
rustyvw Dork
11/22/20 3:34 p.m.

I'm no engineer, but that is a lot of weight hanging from one pivot point.  I would think that the new support post would have to stay in place all the time.  

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
11/22/20 3:42 p.m.

How do they sit up there?  If they sit upright, 80" easy to reach for most people.  Maybe you just need a single step.  Or a library type rolly-ladder.

What you have shown - I am very concerned about the stability of the outboard leg.  As well as the cantilever during the raised condition like you said.

 

 

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
11/22/20 3:49 p.m.

I don't think the inner pivot will carry all that weight if it's just a bolt. You could use an iron pipe as a pivot that goes through the top of the steps and has a long section secured under the loft. I'd shoot for twice as much as the width of the steps. 
 

or you could frame up a wooden beam that runs under the loft and the top step. Might not need the outside post if it's big enough. 

what's above the steps? Could your outside post go up and permanently attach to a truss or something? That way it could be fixed and support the steps in tension. 

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
11/22/20 3:50 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I've got a wall mounted tire rack up there so I need to get them all the way up. Here's the current situation to give some perspective:

 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
11/22/20 3:58 p.m.

Can you do a bi-fold ladder-like set of stairs (very high angle) so you can face them the right way?

If you do make the stairs as pictured, can you fab with aluminum so they don't weigh a ton?

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
11/22/20 4:31 p.m.

A pivot pipe may work. I can attach it to the underside of one of the joists and the undersides of the stair runners.  I will still use a vertical post to take any twisting load off of the loft but the pipe will be enough for storage and holding that side up when loaded.  I'll draw it up and see what it looks like.  I'll also have a more secure way of holding the vertical post in place when in use. 

If that fails the eyeball engineering test, I'll just go perpendicular and maybe steepen it up a little so cars don't have to move.

Keep the ideas coming!  Thanks!

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
11/22/20 5:43 p.m.

Have you considered a block & tackle type hoist with a platform to load stuff on and a ladder attached to the wall to get up there? Then you wouldn't have to carry things up/down.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
11/22/20 6:21 p.m.
NOT A TA said:

Have you considered a block & tackle type hoist with a platform to load stuff on and a ladder attached to the wall to get up there? Then you wouldn't have to carry things up/down.

Or, build the platform(dumbwaiter) and lift it with a cheap ($69.99) electric 2500# UTV winch from Harbor Freight.  I also like the pivot pipe idea and suspending the outboard end of it from the ceiling to negate the need for a post to the floor.

Edit: HF sells 120V hoists, too, just not for $69.99.

Hammeringman
Hammeringman New Reader
11/22/20 7:02 p.m.

If it's feasible, my suggestion is to use the iron pipe idea, but bolt it to the wall to the left. It eliminates the post  and gives much better stability to the pivot point. A pair of large, heavy duty hinges might work too. The stairs themselves don't look as though they would be very heavy. I would drill a hole big enough for a round steel spike at the bottom of the steps, and a hole in the front of the joist. when your done with the steps, you lift it up, slide the spike through the hole in the leg of the steps and into joist and its secure and out of your way. A simple, low tech solution.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
11/22/20 7:09 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:
NOT A TA said:

Have you considered a block & tackle type hoist with a platform to load stuff on and a ladder attached to the wall to get up there? Then you wouldn't have to carry things up/down.

Or, build the platform(dumbwaiter) and lift it with a cheap ($69.99) electric 2500# UTV winch from Harbor Freight.  I also like the pivot pipe idea and suspending the outboard end of it from the ceiling to negate the need for a post to the floor.

I like the UTV winch idea!

Yourself
Yourself New Reader
11/24/20 1:48 p.m.

Pivoting both sides of the staircase from the "wall" above and to the left would be much stronger than the proposed one sided pivot.  Also, it looks like there is an attic access right above there? Could the staircase be modified to get to that also?

This shows where I am suggesting to put it:

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
11/24/20 3:42 p.m.

In reply to Yourself :

I'll have to look at that a bit, but I'm not sure the angles line up right.  I like the idea though.

 

Here's a couple more renderings with a pipe style hinge. Contemplating a dumbwaiter type setup too.

The hinge would be held up by one of the joists with some loops. Same with the lock. The support would be attached to the hinge. Raise the stairs, then raise the vertical support once the stairs are locked in place.  I'm still a bit worried about the twisting load on the whole loft though and if I would even be able to move the vertical support out of the way.  Hence thinking about a dumbwaiter setup.

Our Preferred Partners
LJivzgOKSWPuRQEs5ayNwfsP0esX1oeOpSc3yX8icP33ZoMvI3TZJXcKA7LvANkb