As part of the project, I am trying to model alternating tread stairs (file attached). I would really like the model to look better. Any suggestions? For example, I am stuck on how to join the rails, stiles and treads in a way that it looks like a welded structure. The end faces, etc. don’t align and my use of solid tools leaves a mess. I know I am close…
Your ships ladder stairs are looking good, do they have glass treads? Intersecting round elements in SketchUp can be tricky as curves are represented with facets. The key here is generally to ensure you use exactly the same diameter and side counts for your circles, that your paths share a mutual center, and that tubes are plumb and square This will make the intersecting planes match between two “tubes”. 24 sides is usually enough, more facets just makes it harder to line up and they bloat the model with unnecessary geometry, as does a second ID wall. Turning on hidden geometry will allow you to see the edges in the smoothed tubes.
Here we use hidden geometry to see the misalignment of some parts in your model, the intersection here cannot be made smooth without first fixing the alignment.
When setting things up, it helps to ignore the tube and think about correctly aligning centers as edges. You can use solid tools subtract to cut exact shapes out of the ends, but I find that cutting a simple angle that matches the center of the intersecting tube looks good enough and is simpler. As with most things in SketchUp there are many ways to go about this. Here is one method.
Note that I am leaving the default 24 sides and typing in .75 each time for identical 1.5" Ø circles.