Posts Tagged ‘ architectural design ’

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

We just finished these large stair newels for a customer in the Chicago area.   They are crafted from cherry and measure eight inches wide at the base.   I typically turn my over the post newels 44 inches high.  The top is 5 1/2″ inches in diameter with a 3/4″ pin to attach the newel cap (also shown).


The cap has the same profile  as a 6701 handrail from L J Smith Stair Manufacturing.  The installer is responsible to cut a “pie” shaped cut from the cap and attach the hand rail fitting.

Newel Caps

Other stair newel images can be seen here in my Picassa account.

Lyptus is a very hard hardwood imported from South America that has gained some popularity in the US in the last few years.  Lyptus is a wood that is being grown on farms and harvested by some produces.  In hardness it is probably slightly harder than red oak but it seems to me to vary quite a bit in harness from one piece to another.   It is pinkish in color with a rather wild grain pattern in many pieces.   These stair newels went to an interesting stairway in Illinois.

Lyptus Newels

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.

poplar rope moldings

alder rope moldings

These 4 inch wide rope moldings were made for a customer in CA.  The images are taken of the three footer and the  eight footer.  There was also a 6 footer and 4 footer.  The longer molding was made in poplar to be painted.  The shorter piece was from alder.  To make these the two halves were glued with news paper between.  After the pieces were turned and roped one simply has to use a hammer and chisel to split them with little trouble.  Presumably these will be used to apply to cabinet fronts.  Should look great.

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

Barley Twisted Table Legs

Pictured above are four barley twisted table legs turned for a customer in Florida.  They measure 3 1/2″ wide and 30 inches high.  Normally table legs are made 29 inches in high to produce a 30 inch overall high with  the table top thickness of one inch.  But my customer needed the extra inch to make a wider apron (the horizontal member that connects the legs and supports the table top).

For a table with a 30 inch height normally you would not have less than 24 inches from the apron to the floor for knee space though most would probably consider 24 inches a tight squeeze.

Court House Baluster Reproductions

These balusters are for a court house in Texas.  They are rendered but not completed.  In fact, the samples are not made yet but I thought I would draw and render them in Sketchup and Renderworks.  I’ll be turning about a hundred of them in pine.  They measure 2 1/2″ X 27″.  I have not seen the rail profiles yet so my rendering is not yet complete.

court house baluster

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