At The Iron Shop, we hold a profound appreciation for quality craftsmanship, innovative technologies, and premium materials that are both beautiful and robust—elements that resonate in everything we create. As we step into the new year, we wanted to highlight some of...
June 28, 2022
How Spiral Staircases Are Made
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How Spiral Staircases Are Made
Spiral staircases are desirable for a number of reasons. For starters, they make for an elegant focal point in any room while providing practical benefits over standard staircases. Thanks to their efficient design, a spiral staircase results in less wasted space on the floors it connects. In the same location, a traditional staircase typically requires a footprint that is at least 25% larger than a spiral staircase would.
But how exactly are these marvels of design and engineering made? And what separates an excellent manufacturing process from others? Here’s an inside look at how The Iron Shop designs and fabricates the highest quality spiral staircase kits on the market:
Step 1: Investigating the Location
The first step in manufacturing a spiral staircase that will elevate any space is understanding the conditions that will surround the stairs. For example, how tight is the area it will be located in, how will the stairs be used, and will it be interfacing with any walls or corners.
Step 2: Design
The next step is designing a staircase that perfectly fits and complements the space it’s destined for. The design process is led by CAD (computer-aided design) engineers that carefully consider the materials, manufacturing techniques, and structural choices that will produce the best spiral staircase for a particular application and location.
Step 3: Generating a Bill of Materials
Once the initial design phases are completed, a bill of materials (BOM) is produced, which includes everything needed to manufacture the finished product, such as raw materials like wood, aluminum, and steel, as well as all the individual components that will make up the completed staircase kit.
Step 4: Custom Programming
A validated BOM is then sent to a computer programmer that writes a custom program for CNC (computer numerical control) cutting equipment.
Step 5: Computer Numerical Control
The Iron Shop utilizes a number of different CNC tools to ensure a high degree of cut accuracy and selects the optimal cutting tool depending on the materials being used in the staircase. For example, when cutting materials with a low tolerance for high temperature, waterjet cutters are employed because while they are slower than other methods, they are much cooler when cutting. For stronger materials like steel, laser and plasma cutters offer extremely precise manufacturing and at faster speeds than water cutting
Step 6: Metal Bending
Following the CNC stage, materials are sent to a brake operator who bends metal parts as dictated by the design documents.
Step 7: Grinding, Welding, and Painting
Next, all the parts, including treads, center poles, railings, and spindles, are cleaned, sent for grinding, welding, and finally painting. Throughout, quality control checks ensure that the BOM and the engineer’s design is being adhered to scrupulously. Then, the assembly of the individual components begins
Step 8: Quality Control and Packing
After the last quality control inspection, the entire spiral staircase kit is photographed, securely packaged so that parts will not rub against each other during transit, and shipped to its destination.
Quality Is Never an Accident
The Iron Shop’s manufacturing process is the culmination of over 90 years of expertise in designing and fabricating beautiful and functional spiral staircase kits that stand the test of time. From our complete design and manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, four generations of craftsmanship merge with the latest technologies and techniques for advanced fabrication.
Decades of custom metalwork teaches many lessons, the biggest of which is that details matter a great deal. A finished staircase is more than the sum of its parts, but all of the parts, as well as the care and expertise that goes into creating them, will determine the character, durability, and attractiveness of the final product. The consideration put into the planning stage, the quality of the materials and parts, the strength of the welds, how cleanly components come together, achieving exactly the right tolerances, and the meticulousness of the fabricator all significantly impact the overall success of a staircase project.
The Iron Shop manufactures beautiful, thoughtfully-designed, and easy to install spiral staircases that will make any building more functional and attractive. That’s why we have been the leading name in spiral staircase kits since 1931.