Archive for May, 2010

The balusters below are renderings for a job delivered to a customer in Oregon – I previously posted about them.  I thought I would load the updated renderings from Sketchup.  These were a quite nice profile copied from an historic home of a Silas Dean.

Silas Dean Balusters

I have to confess this is a newel that I have not made nor is it one that I cannot “easily” make.  I don’t have the proper equipment to make it.  The machine that would make this newel is called a hauncher (hence the title).  Though I cannot presently make it, I can draw it.  If there is enough interest in the style I will purchase a hauncher to make it.   The newel is 8 inches wide at the base and about 50 inches high.  I really like this design.

Hanched Newel

I thought it would be neat (different) to turn a baluster with a round or tapered base instead of the more traditional square base.   These are two of the ideas I tried.  The first is simply a tapered foot base with a length of square .  The square and tapered foot are horizontally oriented  The top taper is elongated to follow the handrail angle – “rake” angle.  The newel used is my fluted N105.

tapered foot baluster

The second idea was to use rope twists above and below a square center.  The square section follows the rake angle.  The second taller baluster has a longer foot.

Rope Twist Baluster

I think everyone loves lighthouses- at least my wife and I do. And as stair newels have a the general shape of a lighthouse it seems appropriate that some would take the form of a lighthouse. I have to say that I designed one for a contractor in New York several years ago and he really didn’t like the outcome. One of the challenges of designing one is figuring out where to attach the handrail.  Since lighthouses are predominately cylindrical there is no natural “flat” in a post-to-post lighthouse newel to easily attach the rail.   An over-the-post version would eliminate (or minimize) the top of the lighthouse features. The only reasonable alternative is to attach the rail to the upper cylindrical part of the newel – an installation challenge.

Whatever!! The following renderings was designed by me as a prototype.   It is 5 1/2 inches across the octagonal base.  The handrail (not shown) would attach just below the band below the lighthouse lens.


The design below was copied by me from a magazine image provided by the customer.  The base is 10 inches (mammoth) X 54 inches high

Lighthouse Newel

This is the same newel as above with the stair detail shown.  The tread sort of wraps around the newel base.  We turned this in poplar and the newel was painted as shown.  The customer installed square balusters however.

Lighthouse Newel

The following renderings are different versions of a pedestal newel I am developing.  They go from about 5 1/2 inch base with 3 1/2 inch turning to about a 8 inch square base with 5 1/2 inch diameter turning.  All models depict over the post style newel but certainly a post to post newel could be made.  These would have to be shipped in pieces so that the final length of the base could be cut.  The column and moldings could be attached after the base is cut and installed.

The spiral top of the newel below is another variation on a theme. Of course, there are endless possibilities. The bases on these have recessed flat panels which could be made with raised panels or left plain. The ionic columns could be fluted as well as plain.

mantel surround with rope twisted columns

This is another model and rendering I did recently exploring mantel design with split rope twisted columns.  Presumably this would be made in cast stone but it certainly could be fashioned from wood.  The eyebrow arch makes for an additional good show I think – I love eye brow arches.  The mantel shelf is visually supported wit ha large crown molding.

fluted box newel

As you can tell I enjoy modeling and rendering probably more than creating the actual thing though I do get a kick out of seeing the finished product come into being.  I design quite a few newels and balusters for stairways.  I don’t however design many box newels.  This one is quite simple with fluting, and an inserted star (great for the lone star state).  For Louisianians, a Fleur de le (especially after the Saints won the Super Bowl) would be nice – maybe a magnolia flower for Mississippi.

The newel also has a chamfered top.

Round Table with four column base

This is a round table similar in concept to the rectangular table in the previous post.   This is one however I have just completed for my own home.  I guess I should post pictures.  I painted the base (blue) and glazed it before spaying a clear sealer.  The top, however, is red oak – stained and glazed.

This is a table that I intend to build one day.  I like the base with the four columns instead of your typical table legs and aprons.  Asa bonus you have more leg room (room above your knees and thighs) -good for large folks.  I prefer a painted base with stained or natural wood top.   The painted base accents the wood better than having all natural or stain in my view.