This is an introductory thread dedicated to the process of cutting stairs underground and the camera view tools that will be your best friends. Keep in mind that you need to mine from the top down and not from the bottom up due to camera angles.
I started with a basic, straight stair case from the first tier of cliff to the ground below. Starting with the precision mining tool (single block, not 4x4), align a 4 x 5 mining area pointing toward the face of the cliff (pardon the messy writing, I suck with a mouse)
After your initial cut is made, continue mining downward, ensuring the camera is aligned to point down the path of the stairs.
When your third layer has been mined, begin mining forward, as well. The pattern is 1 block forward, one block down to keep a nice smooth stairwell
When you reach a depth of 5 blocks, click on the “slice” view (circled in red…kinda…my photo editor kinda sucks) and adjust the height as needed (5 blocks per slice so lower your view as you proceed)
Once you are down several blocks below the surface, it becomes easier and a pattern will form. Two rows of blocks on the bottom and two rows on the front. Once that is mined, the remaining single row is mined to finish that level and repeat for the next level.
Breaking through to the open air, nearly finished.
If you break through and your stairs don’t extend all of the way to the ground, it’s now very easy to fix from above
The stairs need to be one block lower. Aligning your camera so it is looking straight down the stairs from the top again, mine one block back (or however many you need to complete your stairs)
Once that top row of blocks is mined, pause the game so the hearthlings don’t block your view. Highlight each row all the way to the bottom and unpause the game to unleash the hearthlings into a mining frenzy. If you need to cut the stairs multiple layers deeper, repeat this process one layer of blocks at a time until perfection is achieved.
This is the method I use to cut simple stairs from surface to surface but the method translates to mines and caves as well. Your “slice” view is the key to stress free mining and stair building. If you use a different technique or noticed something I missed, please feel free to post