Archive for the ‘ balusters ’ Category

This is a beautiful home on one of the Mississippi Beaches that we had the privilege of making stair parts for. The home owner was a very creative sot of person and wanted to use a maritime theme to go with her love for the water and sailing. As such, the two stairways incorporate lighthouse newels and balusters.  The newel is has a large 7″ wide base. The 1 3/4″ wide balusters alternate between barley twisted and a plain with lines complementing the shape of a lighthouse. In the end we had a few extra newels which we plan to turn into floor lamps.

plain lighthouse baluster

plain lighthouse baluster

plain lighthouse baluster

plain lighthouse baluster

Lighthouse newel

Lighthouse newel

first floor staircase

first floor staircase

I really love the profile of the wood balusters below.   Most of the baluster requests we get are for barley twists.  This particular customer had something a little different in mind.  He picked out the baluster profile from an image of a job we had done previously and decided to go with a rope twist instead of a barley twist.  I really like the way they came out.  The customer is in the New England area and installed them himself.  If you’re not sure of the difference between a rope twist and a barley twist you can view a previous blog post on the subject here:  Barley vs. Rope.   Please note:  Sanding has not been completed.

Rope Twist Balusters

Rope Twist Balusters

 

 

 

One of my customers needed several replacement balusters for her stair project in New York. After sending me an original, we carefully made a CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing and then had the templates cut by a local company with a laser CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine. You should be able to see the 8 lighter colored balusters near the bottom of the stairway.  If memory serves me these were crafted from cherry.  After finishing the balusters should blend in quite well.

baluster reproduction

baluster reproduction

These are exterior balusters that we turned for a customer to replace the other existing balusters that had rotted.   As you can see the white baluster was the original that we duplicated.  They measure 2 1/2″ wide at the squares by 32″ tall.   The wood used for the project was Spanish Cedar, an excellent species that resists rot and insect damage.

exterior balusters

exterior balusters

The lighthouse newel for this project was similar to a newel that we made for a customer in North Carolina. This particular stairway went to a customer in South Florida. The architect wanted to match the balusters to the newel so we created a simple taper with matching beads top and bottom.

lighthouse stairs

The wood paneling on the walls is salvaged heart pine as well as the stair treads. The stair handrail, however, is mahogany. We turned the balusters and newels from poplar.

lighthouse stairs

The challenge for the installer was to “cope” the handrail fitting unto the radiused newel (not shown). Most handrails attach into a “flat” on the newel or over the top in the case of an over the post newel. This one, however, attached to the round part of the newel.

Other images of the balusters and newels can be seen here: Lighthouse newels and balusters

This is a new baluster design that I thought I would draw and render before I actually manufactured it. I got the idea from a stairway I saw in the Pacific Northwest. It is a simple taper with a small bead right at the tread. The size is somewhat deceiving from the rendering. The diameter of the bead at the base is actually 2 1/2″ inches. The pin at the top of the baluster is 1 ” in diameter. I wanted to try a two baluster per tread pattern but a three baluster per tread would look equally as good.

The drawing was made in Google Sketchup and rendered with Irender. I like the first rendering “style” supplied right out of the box by Sketchup.

tapered baluster

Below is a close up of the baluster. Sometimes simple is the better than anything else you could do. BTW the newel is one drawn in a previously post. You can see more here: Pedestal Newels.

tapered baluster with bead

These beauties went into a home in the Carolinas. (You’ve got to love the balcony with the large radiused rail.) There were two staircases in this home.

Barley Balusters

 

newel and balustersThe image below is the balcony seen from the first floor

from underneathThis is the rear stairway in the home.  The difference in this staircase is that the balusters alternate between a plain tapered and barley twisted balusters.  The newel is what we call our “pottery” newel since it sort of replicates a newel one of my customers saw in a Pottery Barn catalog.

Alternating balusters

Barley twisted

These are white oak barley twisted balusters for a customer in Idaho. I am grateful that they remembered to send me pictures of the final staircase. We made the newels to match the balusters as you can see. The balusters are 2″ wide at the base. The “pins” at the top are 1 3/8″. The architect strictly wanted two balusters per tread with pin tops. The pins, as such, had to be quite large to meet the four inch rule which is required in most communities.

Barley Twisted Staircase

barley twisted newel and balusters under the volute

These marching newels and balusters went to a home in Key West, FL. Because Key West is a coastal city, the architect wanted to use a maritime design for the stairway. We had designed a lighthouse newel once before for a customer in NC and turned this one in a similar pattern. The balusters were designed to pick up the same lines as the newel. The handrail and fittings are in mahogany. This should make for a very fine staircase.

lighthouse newels unprimed poplar

lighthouse balusters

primed lighthouse newels

By the way, the large newel measures 9 inches wide by four foot 10 inches.  The smaller newels are 4 3/4″ and 5 1/2″ wide.

These balusters are going to a historic preservation site – a nineteenth century court house near Dallas, TX.   I have not done much in yellow pine – sappy wood.  The “committee” wanted yellow pine because they believe it is what would have been used in this locale 150 years ago.  The pine was furnished by the good people at Bunkie Wood Products in Bunkie, LA.  It’s not easy to find three inch pine (the “committee” did not want laminated pine).  The balusters measure 2 1/2″ X 27″

pine balusters