This project accompanied several others for our Harry Potter themed Halloween party.


The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series has many unique architectural features, and some magic ones. One of the more memorable features is the moving section of stairs making up the Grand Staircase. The concept of this project was to play off the existing stairs of our home with a fake moving section. The moving section of stairs would be at the top (far end) of the real stairs giving us:
  • a good means to play with depth perception (so the moving stairs don't need to be full size)
  • more separation away from traffic areas so guests aren't constantly in the way
The moving stairs would be motorized and setup to oscillate constantly while unattended.

Step 1: Materials

Here's a rough list of what I used to put this together - as the saying goes "your mileage may vary":
  • a DC motor with a low RPM (e.g. a 12 volt automotive window or seat motor)
  • a 12v battery
  • a PWM speed controller to slow down the motor
  • on/off switch and hook up wire
  • a few feet of aluminum strap or angle for making the linkage
  • a 4' x 4' piece of plywood (thin, like .25")
  • approx 3, eight foot 1x2" boards
  • approx 1, 2x4" board
  • one typical door hinge
  • two small swivel casters
  • liquid nails, a few bolts, nuts, screws, and nylon washers
  • approx 1 sheet of 1/2" foam insulation
  • paint
<p>Sorry to say this but I think that moving stairs in your home would actually be a lot more creepy than cool if they don't actually lead to anywhere&hellip;</p>
Too bad my apartment doesn't have stairs... yet. Mwahahaha!
And this is used for... ?
I just served chips :) Some party host you are!

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Bio: Web developer by day. Gamer by night. Halloween fanatic and DIYer, all the time! My projects tend to combine pop culture, technology, and craftsmanship to ... More »
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