Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dollhouse: Stairs

The rest of the dollhouse story can be found at
Part I - The original derelict
Part II - Fixing her up
Part III - Repaired and pretty

A couple months ago I showed you the dollhouse I had when I was little that I fixed up for my kids.

Now I thought I might show you how my dad built those original stairs that stood up to all those years of abuse. The stairs are built from a single board, just one piece of 2x4. You can use a radial arm saw or a circular saw (you may want to make a jig for the second option). The blade is tilted at a 45 degree angle and the cuts are made 1/2" apart. Cut all of the angles one direction, turn the board around and cut them the other way. Now it looks like teeth.

Now it's just a matter of tipping it up to nail it in place and you have sturdy stairs that will stand the test of years and kiddos.


  1. I love your stairs! I've been trying to think of a way to avoid putting tons of pieces together, and this is the PERFECT solution! Thank you so much for posting this!

  2. Hi, I found this post from the dollhouse post on I'm a complete woodworking rookie and only have access to a circular saw. You mention above about making a jig, but I'm unsure how to go about that. Is there any way you could please elaborate?

    Sorry if this posts twice, I'm not sure what happened with my first attempt.


  3. You can use a jig but I don't think you'll need one. Here's what I would do today if I was repeating this:

    Most circular saws have an adjustable piece that will allow the blade to tip at an angle. You set it to a 45 degree angle and tighten it down. Next make sure that your blade depth is set to the desired stair depth, again by adjusting the guards.

    If you want a 1/2 inch depth stair then you are going to make cuts about .7 inches apart (remember that A^2 + B^2 = C^2 so .25+.25=C^2, making C about .7 inches). Use a pencil to draw lines across the 2x4 that are .7 inches apart.

    Clamp down your 2x4 as you won't want to hold it with your hands for small cuts. I would suggest using one longer than what you actually need so you don't have to move the clamps to cut everything. Then the excess wood can be chopped off later.

    Run your cuts along the lines, leaving a 1/2 inch deep 45 degree cut across the board. Do this all the way down your stairs. Then either turn the board around and reclamp or, depending on your set up, move to the other side of your work bench. Now make the cuts along the lines again and the angle will go the other way, revealing your stairs.

  4. Thanks so much for your instruction on how to do this. I think I'll just hire a professional to do this for me. Thanks again.


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