Posts Tagged ‘ stair parts ’

The images below represent the design process for one customer’s new stairway.  The changes are listed before the renderings.  The program used to model the stairways is Sketchup.  The rendering engine used was Kerkythea.  Let me know what you think:
In this first image the newels and rails and threads were painted black.  The balusters alternate (except the balcony – my mistake)

Philadelphia Newel

Close up of the balcony

Philadelphia Newel

Close up of the balcony with the alternating balusters

Philadelphia Newel

Here we have changed the color to the newels and handrail.  We’ve stained the threads and added box newels to the balcony

Philadelphia Newel

close up of balcony

Philadelphia Newel

In the last rendering we have gone back to the original newels.  The customer decided to go with square bases on the newels (not shown)

Philadelphia Newel

 

 

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 occasionally like to come up with a new design idea especially new newel designs. Below is my latest attempt.   Octagons have always had a warm place in my heart and apparently in the heart of many wood turners and woodworkers before me. Octagon newels and architectural design features were prevalent in the 19th century and before.
Most of the large stair manufacturing companies are more interested in smaller turned newels that can be produced quickly and never concern themselves, IMHO, with finer designs ideas.  Below are two possibilities. The first has a octagonal base – the second with a square base. Both are over-the-post newels – ie the handrail attaches to the newel cap and runs continuously “over” the newels.

For an understanding of how these caps attach to the handrail you might want to check out this article on my other site: newel cap installation

tapered octagon newel

tapered octagon newel

square base octagon newel

square base octagon newel

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

 

 

 

These maple newels posts were made for a customer in Michigan.  The base on these is eight inches wide by 44″ high (not including the newel cap).  As such, in maple, they weigh in at about 65 pounds.   You might not be able to tell but the newels are in soft maple (slightly paler) but the newel caps are made from hard maple (a little browner).  The grain pattern is very similar.  The reason for the difference was because my normal suppliers were out of hard maple.  My customer agreed to the switch.  After staining the difference will disappear.  These particular caps are flat as you can see on top (required by the contractor).  Normally I have little bit of detail on the top of the cap.  The caps will miter into a 6210 handrail.

maple newel posts

maple newel posts

Recently a contractor contacted us about replicating an old newel.  We’ve seen similar styles from the turn of the last century and before.  Apparently this particular style was popular in the 1800’s.  This newel post has an octagon base and an octagon detail above the base.   The original is in mahogany but the builder has decided to paint this one for a new home that is currently in process.  The old newel was a good bit shorter than the one rendered here.  Modern building codes require higher rail heights than those of a century back.  We have not turned this one yet but the builder has approved the rendering.  The newel cap is missing and will eventually match the handrail profile.

By the way the drawing was created in a CAD program, imported into Sketchup and rendered in a Maxwell rendering plugin designed for Sketchup.

 

Octagon newel

Octagon newel

Rendered Octagon Newel

Rendered Octagon Newel

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Pictured below is a set of newels crafted for a customer in Tennessee. The larger red oak newels, from our N108 style, are over-the-post newels and require the caps pictured as well to top off the newels. The “caps” or newel caps connect to the handrail and/or handrail fitting to make a continuos rail line “over the post” hence the name. The red oak newels will be installed in the home’s main front stairway. The poplar 5 1/2″ newel will be installed in the rear of the home as a secondary staircase. These will be painted. You may notice that the style of the poplar newel post is similar to a bell on top another bell. We call these double bells. This style can be seen in many homes in the New Orleans area

IMG_0443

newel caps

Large Newels

Large Newels

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