Posts Tagged ‘ newels ’

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.

lighthouse-newel

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.

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.

alder stair newels

These alder stair newels were turned for a customer in the Colorado Springs, CO area. They measure 5 1/2 inches X 44 inches. The newel cap is not shown but will match the handrail sample sent to me (below). Obviously the newels are over-the-post newels. The newel cap (with matching handrail profile) will be mitered to receive the handrail.

alder handrail

We were just contracted by a customer to make these poplar balusters and starter newel for a home in Connecticut. The post-to-post newel has an octagon base middle and top. The top id quite narrow and will require the handrail to attach horizontally. As such, an up easing will have to be used. The handrail attaching on the rake angle would be too wide for the newel top. The newel measures 8″ at the widest. The design is based on the image from a magazine article and came off quite nicely. The balusters are a based on the image from the same magazine article. The pattern was a common pattern used at the turn of the last century and prior to.
I did not turn these. My partner in crime (turning crime that is) turned these. Great job Walter!

Poplar Newel  8inch wide

poplar balusters 1 3/4 inch

These stair newels were made for a customer in North Carolina. They were designed to emulate a pair of cherry kitchen island legs that someone else had turned for him some time back. The newels were going into three stairways that he was in the process of redoing in his 8-10 year old home. They are crafted from mahogany and are 6″ wide X various lengths to accommodate his unique situation. As you can see they are over-the-post designs with newel caps that will match 6310 style handrails. For an explanation of how these caps attach to the handrails you might like to visit here: Installing newel caps

Rope Twisted Newels

Rope Twisted Newels

These poplar stair newels were created for a customer to be painted. They are over-the-post newels that sport red oak newel caps that will be joined to a 6310 style red oak handrail. Though the newels are painted, the handrail and newel caps will be stained. I have a good article with images on explaining how to join a newel cap to a handrail/handrail fitting. You can read it here: Newel Cap Joinery.
The smaller newels are 5 1/2″, the larger are 7″ at the squares. They can be seen on my web site here:N105 fluted newel N109 Fluted newel

Over-the-Post Fluted Newels

Over-the-Post Fluted Newels

Pictured below is one of the latest sets of stair newels we have turned out in our shop. These are turned from 8/4 mahogany in two different sizes. The larger 5 1/2″ newel will be used foro the base of the stairs. The 3 1/2″ newels will be used for landings and balconies. It’s hard to tell but there are five pieces that are split in half which be used at terminal points of the handrail. They will be attached directly to the wall. These are , of course, over-the-post newels and will require a handrail fitting attached to the top of the newels to attach to the handrail.

mahogany stair newels

mahogany stair newels

I made these newels for a customer in Tennessee. They are indeed in poplar and came out fine I think. The large N108 is 8 inches wide at the base and the N107’s are 5 1/2 inches wide at the base.

Large Newels

Large Newels

large newels

large newels

These six newels are my N112 newels from Architectural Turnings. The customer wanted them in Brazilian Cherry (also called Jatoba). The largest is 5 1/2inches by 48 inches. The smaller newels are 3 1/2 inches X 48 inches

Jatoba Barley twisted newels

Jatoba Barley twisted newels