Posts Tagged ‘ wood turning ’

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

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

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 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.

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