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The Free Stair Calculator 2.0

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As you know, the process of preparing shop drawings for steel stairs requires many repetitive calculations to determine the required dimensions. This process is tedious and error prone. If you are working on a CAD system and use it to calculate the dimensions you must draw each stair to exact scale. Whether you are drawing on the drafting board or on a CAD system, one of the most efficient methods of stair drawing preparation is the use of standard drawings. These can be prepared with most of the drafting complete and the dimensions and minor detail left out. You can then copy the originals and add the dimensions and detail as required. The originals can be used over and over and as your library of standards grows, fewer new standards have to be created for each new project.


I wrote this software in Turbo Pascal over 20 years ago. No doubt it is unique antique software but today it is still a valuable tool for small steel fabrication shops and detailers which is very cool. It runs in a DOS box and therefore requires 32-bit versions of Windows but it will run on all 32-bit Windows versions. As with all DOS programs running on Windows you will have to map the LPT1 port to your printer to get it to print to USB printers. I no longer provide support for this software. It is provided free of charge.


Screen Shot:
Stair Calculator 2.0 Screen Shot

The Stair Calculator 2.0 is a perfect tool for this method of stair drawing preparation. The nine styles of stair stringers calculated by the program will provide you with all the versatility you will need to detail or check almost any stair configuration. Positive and negative distances can be used for maximum flexibility when using the program. In just a few minutes you can calculate all of the stringers for an entire stair tower. All of the dimensions required to detail, check, and fabricate are calculated and printed. The program can be set to operate in feet and inches or metrics. In metric mode all input and output is in millimeters except the angle.

Nine styles of stair stringers

To use the program you must first print out the schematics that are appropriate for the stair system you are going to calculate. There are two ways you can do this. You can use the Windows Start Button menu to select the Stair Schematic menu item. This will open the "StairDoc.htm" file in your internet browser. Follow the instructions in this file to print the stair schematics. You will need to download and install the Autodesk Whip drawing viewer plug-in to use this method. A link for this is provided. You can also load the drawing files that are included into your CAD program and plot them. The files are located in the program folder. They are furnished in library Release 12 format and also as DXF files. You can keep these as masters and make copies on your copy machine as required.

Sample Stair Schematic of a type 04 stringer

The next step is to fill out the input dimensions on the stair schematics with data from your stair design. The dimensions with letter labels are input dimensions. These are the dimensions that will be input into The Stair Calculator program. The dimensions with numeric labels are the calculated results from the program. The final step is to run the Stair Calculator program and enter the data from the stair schematics and then print the results for each schematic. You can then use these printouts as required to detail your stair drawings.


Sample Print Out:
Project name........:WEB SITE
Reference drawings..:DESIGN
Sketch number.......:101A
Stair type..........:04
Stringer material...:C10X15.3
Tread type..........:BOLTED
Running dimensions..:TOP

Input dimensions:
A..:3-9          K..:6 1/4
B..:5-0          L..:1/2
C..:6            M..:1 3/4
D..:1            N..:1 1/8
E..:8 3/4        O..:7
F..:3/16         P..:
G..:3-10         Q..:
H..:1-2          R..:1
I..:3/16         S..:2 1/2
J..:1/2          T..:3 1/2

Result dimensions:
1..:36.869898    10.:2-11 5/16    19.:4 3/16        28.:1-2 3/8
2..:9            11.:3 5/16       20.:4             29.:9-0 5/8
3..:7 1/2        12.:             21.:1-1 13/16     30.:5-0
4..:10           13.:8 7/8        22.:1-1 5/16      31.:5-0
5..:6-3          14.:1-2 1/2      23.:6 5/8         32.:6
6..:1-0 1/2      15.:5 5/8        24.:5 5/16        33.:10 1/8
7..:3-9 13/16    16.:1/8          25.:4             34.:1-4 1/8
8..:1-1 5/16     17.:1-7 1/4      26.:7 1/2
9..:2-8 1/2      18.:3 1/16       27.:4 1/2

Running dimensions for web holes.
Top gage line:   Bottom gage line:
2-3              1-9 3/8
3-3 1/2          2-9 7/8
4-4              3-10 3/8
5-4 1/2          4-10 7/8
6-5              5-11 3/8
7-5 1/2          6-11 7/8

Running dimensions for flange holes.
First hole:      Second hole:
7-1 1/8          7-7 1/8
Features include:


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