Platforms to go with my stairs

Building three of these today. Materials:

8’x4’x1/2" plywood sheet, cut in three equal pieces of 48"x30"
2x4x10’ (8) for framing and legs.
3" exterior wood screws
2" galvanized nails
Assorted power & hand tools

First one made is very strong with dual 2x4’s in each corner. No need for center legs. Rigid as can be.
Each platform will be 16" high so when stacked, they will be same height as stair set. :smiley:

Edit: What I might do is add a four 2x2’s between each of the legs about 2-4" from the bottom just to provide more support to the lower end. But since the platforms are relatively short at only 16", that may not even be necessary. What do you all think?






That looks pretty strong. I wouldn’t bother with the 2x2’s.

This is what I mean. Running added supports in this area. If anything, I think 2x2’s should be sufficient.


Yeah I thought so. I can see if they were higher, like more than 2.5’ they would be a good idea. If these three work out well, I will make three more so I can not only have six cool platforms to mix & match for big gaps but also I can put two stacks of three at 4’ long each together, giving me an 8’ long platform for rolling hops off the stair set! Four feet might be enough to back up and roll hop off, but 8’ is better! :slight_smile:

Looks good. I would not bother with the 2x2s but I would consider adding little squares of plywood near the corners. Put them just inside where the legs would sit in the little corner formed by the 2x4s. That way you could easily stack them without worrying about them sliding off eachother.

It could also be a kids table for a back yard supper party :slight_smile:

Good idea! Yeah I had the idea to put short screws into the bottom of each leg, leaving only the round screw heads sticking out, then drilling holes in the tops of two platforms (the bottom one wouldn’t need any) so the screw heads would rest inside the bored out holes, thus keeping the platform from sliding off. But I like your idea. :slight_smile:

Think triangles, Terry, triangles!

Rectangular shapes don’t support against anything but forces that run parallel to the legs of the rectangle.

Triangular shapes will support against forces in any direction in the same plane of the triangle.

For more info, see Truss.

Looks nice! I would add a stretcher across the bottom to support the middle of the plywood(bisecting the rectangle in 2). Does that make sense? I don’t know how to add a drawing to show you.

I will be building something like this this week end but it will be a wheel chair ramp for my step father. A concrete ramp to a wooden deck with stairs down the other side. Sounds like some good trials stuff, I’ll bring a uni.

Here are the completed platforms. I bought a really cool power miter saw which makes for ultra-precise cuts, which were very helpful for getting all the legs of the platforms exactly the same! Turns out the stair set is about 5" higher than the combined height of all three platforms. It’s really no problem though and close enough for now. I can always add a small 5" high “filler” piece to make it all the same height later on.

I did end up attaching little plywood squares to the inside of each of the top two platforms to keep them from moving. I also made a mount for the stairs to rest on the top platform, and it’s very strong and secure. I like it because it’s not permanent and comes right off for transporting or moving it. :slight_smile:

Oh, I also had to improvise a repair of sorts to one top side of a stringer. It had slightly cracked when I added a couple of 3" wood screws through it to add some extra support to the back piece, which is what lays flush onto the mount on the top platform. Using four pieces of 2x4, I “sandwiched” them on both sides of the stringer, and used 6" bolts to secure them. Should be plenty strong…I hope! I might also add a couple of vertical 2x4’s on each side of the set, just to make it extra solid. :o







This project of yours has really inspired me. Thanks for showing us. I loved the idea of the squares on each deck to keep the legs of the upper platform in place. I am starting to sketch out my own stair / platform ideas (with easy breakdown for storage). I’ll probably break my leg, but my kids will be flying down the stairs in no time.

Question: What is your step height? Tread depth? If you had to do it again, would you stay with those dimensions, or change them?



8" rise (max) x 10" tread (min) is the set code for stairs, i would say make about a 12" tread and a 6 inch rise

Those codes are totally irrelevant for the purpose and application of trials unicycling! The reason most stair run lengths are in the 11-12" range, is to have enough room for people walking up/down them in a forward direction!

The long length is needed to give enough room for large shoes so they don’t hang off the front edge while waling up or down the stairs. Unicycle trials has the rider hopping sideways up/down the stairs, therefore we don’t not need all that extra run length. It also means we can get more stairs on a stringer that would normally have more if it were for normal, non-uni purposes.

My particular set has nine steps, each has a 5.5" rise, with 8.5" run, and almost 50" at the highest step. It also makes it higher than an average 6 set that has 12 inch run lengths and 7-7.5" rises. :smiley:

From GhostBusters:
Hey, where do these stairs go?

They go up.


They look good, Terry! How’s the ““compound miter saw”” working out for you?

It cuts through a 4x4 like butter! Amazing how fast it rips through wood, cleanly and perfectly! :smiley:

Just made this top piece so it would bring the height flush with the stair set. I used 2x3’s for the frame, and 1/2" thick fence post slats for the top, with a couple 2x4 supports underneath. I like the way these top looks better than the single plywood sheet, so I’m glad the final top piece looks rustic and cool!

(I know “tall-wise” would be stronger on the underside pieces, but I ran out of 2x3’s, and the 2x4’s used here would be too tall, so I had to lay them flat. They seem to provide plenty of support this way. :slight_smile: )




That’s exactly what I proposed for the dimensions when he was building them. But no no, everyone said. If I remember correctly, he has 6" rise, and 8" tread, which is too steep to me, but to each his own.


I just like the idea of putting more (shorter) stairs on a stringer, and making it steeper for higher drops! You just don’t need foot-long run lengths since you are hopping sideways on the steps. A total waste of extra wood when you could use it for more stairs! :smiley:

I say to just not be picky about stairs. Specially in a street/trials environment, youll be running into all sorts of shapes and sizes, and being able to handle them all the same is a big plus.

Hmm, not sure if it’s me you are referring to, but I just made it the way I thought would be fun for me that’s all. I could have built them any number of different ways, but I also wanted to make the most efficient use of materials, without a lot of extraneous “filler”. I’m pretty happy with the results.

But yeah, variety is the spice. I’ve done all kinds of different stair sizes with lots of run/rise variations, including a notorious local 7-set that has 14" run lengths, and only 4" rises! It was so low and long that is was more like a standard 9 or 10 set, with hardly any height! You really had to approach it fast and have long air time to clear it! :slight_smile: