Staircase upgrade ..

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Staircase upgrade ..

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:18 pm

I like this staircase. Chief Designer does not and as been waiting for me to refurbish it for a longtime. I think she sees it as a milestone. I see it as a millstone :lol:

Image

So first off, remove the metalwork

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Job done. Finished, dear 8-)

I tried to suggest that we put in glass panels but she wasn't having any of it. Ramped and wreathed is what she's after. So. ...

I've got the book

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Image

What could possibly go wrong ?

I gather Richard Burbidge is the Go-To Man for this sort of thing ;)
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Doug » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:51 pm

I’d be having a word with Dave Dalby, Rog, top bloke for stair bits
https://www.stairpartsuk.co.uk/

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:32 pm

Doug wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:51 pm
I’d be having a word with Dave Dalby, Rog, top bloke for stair bits
https://www.stairpartsuk.co.uk/
Sssshhhh..you'll give the game away ;)
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:51 am

That is a very good book Roger and if you spend the time to fully understand it's contents will see that setting out the staircase is very important to the flow of the handrail.

If you are going to keep the original straight flights with newel posts then my guess is you will have an odd looking transition midway on the quarter landing. It's going to look a "Bit of a pigs ear".

You have the space to fit a geometrical set of stairs which would look absolutely stunning so why not do it? The handrail is the most difficult part but if you make the stars flow on an even gradient then the handrail is a lot easier to make.

I'm very busy until February but have loads of links, book references etc which I can share when I have the time (after February).

If you are going to do the handrail you might as well do a proper job and Rip out those stairs and make some nice geometrical ones.

Go on do it Roger!

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:17 am

Kind of you to offer but not a chance!

Our ideal is a continuous handrail, no newels. Am confident that Dave Dalby can deliver the goods. Beyond my skill set/time available. Plus Chief Designer has set her heart on a type of spindle that requires a lathe. Which I haven't got.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:47 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:17 am
Kind of you to offer but not a chance!

Our ideal is a continuous handrail, no newels. Am confident that Dave Dalby can deliver the goods. Beyond my skill set/time available. Plus Chief Designer has set her heart on a type of spindle that requires a lathe. Which I haven't got.
Just took a look on Dave Dalby's site and I must say I do like his turned stair parts. The wreathed handrail in red hardwood looks very nice but the oak one dose not seem to flow as well (may be the angle of the shot). I think the transition of the oak set on the landing transition stunts the flow, just my opinion of course.

I'd think you have two options on this, either buy ready made stair parts and whittle away until they fit in with the transition on your stairs (will never look right) or have the wreathed sections made specifically to match the rise, going and turn of your stairs. I think you will find the second option much nicer to the eye and although very costly a worth while investment over time.

You really should consider a geometrical set of stairs, just imagine walking in to your house and seeing them in place.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:32 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:47 pm
...
.... have the wreathed sections made specifically to match the rise, going and turn of your stairs. I think you will find the second option much nicer to the eye and although very costly a worth while investment over time.
That's our preferred route as well.
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Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:47 pm
You really should consider a geometrical set of stairs, just imagine walking in to your house and seeing them in place.
They do look cool but then we'd lose our understairs storage ! Under no circumstances will I show photos to my wife.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:37 pm

Ok Roger but if you are thinking about removing the existing newels you will end up with a lot of making good work on your hands. Removing the existing newels and fitting a wreathed handrail with spindles would require a volute at the bottom of the flight. If you simply ramp it at the bottom and use a stock volute it will look flat and dull. By the time you have removed the newels and made good the strings, treads and risers you could make a new set. Essentially, at the moment, you have two straight flights separated by a landing, not a huge job to re make without newels. But then adding a curve is just a tad more work LoL

Good luck I'm looking forward to seeing this thread develop.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:49 pm

You've pretty much outlined my own thinking. Obviously the newels can't be completely removed and so finessing the end result and making good will be challenging. Bang on the money with the volute. Looking at something like this (but no newel).

Image

I think the LH newel can almost be cut flush. But maybe not, Need to investigate more.

Image

Image
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:55 pm

Those closer shots seem to suggest that the newels were an after thought, fit after two separate flights were fit. It might actually be a lot easier to remove the newels than I originally thought. That's good news if correct. This is a very interesting project which I will follow with great interest.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by woodsmith » Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:31 am

Those newels look like a dogs breakfast with nothing aligning to anything else so for me they would have to go! I’d temporarily support the stairs from below then cut everything out that offended me. The stringer looks very narrow for such a large staircase which gives you the opportunity to glue another board alongside it to strengthen and cosmetically enhance the stairs when you re-engineer them sans newels.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Doug » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:28 am

Got to admit when first viewing the photos it made me wonder if the staircase was, using motoring parlance, a cut & shut.
There’s probably a reason it was done like that but it does look awful.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:51 am

Image

Just think about the wow factor when your guests walk in Roger and the credibility with SHMBO.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:08 pm

That's a cracking article, thanks. Mmmm...I wonder. Will float the idea past Chief Designer over lunch. I think 'Cut'n'Shut' is an apt description.

Much appreciate all the input and suggestions. To help discussion, I'm calling this one - Newel A
Image

It is still in one piece. I can get access to the underfloor fixing to have a look and will take some photos. Not for a few days though. We do quite like the Victorian doofer hanging down at the bottom though.

Newel B
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The doofer has been added on at a later date.
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Again, should be able to see if the stringer goes all the way through and/or how it is fixed in a day or two.

Newel C
Image

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Newel D
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Newel E
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Obviously I can underneath and take more photos at later date.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:43 pm

Having seen the stairs in more detail I would not personally spend out on a wreathed handrail and new spindles and then fit them to what is there now.

I do not think the handrail transition on the quarter turn landing will work very well, neither do I think the balusters will fit the existing strings very well at the turn either.

Look at the photo showing the junction of the two strings and visualise the handrail sitting on top of the strings and now consider the difference in height between the two strings. In my opinion you will have a sharp drop at the junction and If you are going to have one continuous handrail wreathed at the junction imagine how it will look. Will it flow nicely?

If you look at the handrails and how they differ in height on the quarter turn you can see how the transition in a wreath may work out.

I think you may have your work cut out on this set of stairs.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:12 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:43 pm
Having seen the stairs in more detail I would not personally spend out on a wreathed handrail and new spindles and then fit them to what is there now.
I take your point, Mark (it is Mark ?) and let to my own devices I'd have left it 'As is'. However......

I ran the curved steps past her..."not value for money"....we've always got one eye on the market for when we sell and have decided that any money spent has to see a good return. Bit too sophisticated for up here !
Meccarroll wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:43 pm
I do not think the handrail transition on the quarter turn landing will work very well, neither do I think the balusters will fit the existing strings very well at the turn either.

Look at the photo showing the junction of the two strings and visualise the handrail sitting on top of the strings and now consider the difference in height between the two strings. In my opinion you will have a sharp drop at the junction and If you are going to have one continuous handrail wreathed at the junction imagine how it will look. Will it flow nicely?
As for the shape and flow of the handrail, I think something like this will work.

Image

The photos don't really show it but the two stringers when viewed from the top actually do line up so that the radius of the turn will work, I think.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:19 pm

Newel B

Start of the more detailed investigation today. This newel post is fixed with some strange looking bolts/nails/screws here.

Image

I propose to add some coach screws to 'belt'n'brace.

The stringer is simply housed in. As far as I can see or the metal-detector find, there are no mechanical fixings. I'm proposing that the newel post be cut at the red line. I'll put some large screws through the newel post into the stringer.

Image

If I look down to the rail line, it works for me and naturally flows on to Newel Post A which I'm expecting to be fixed the same as this one.

Image

That's as far as I got today as the sun came out and I needed to do some logs.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:52 pm

I think, in your case, it will be a 90 Deg curve on your wreath then a steep drop which may work for you but I don't think it will look the same as in the photo you provide. The handrail in the photo is set back from the edge of the treads which allows the corner spindle to be set so as to facilitate a cure on the handrail above, you can not achieve this with your strings unless you alter them. Would help to work on the strings to make the transition smooth. Somehow put a curve on the transition to allow the handrail to flow better above.

Whatever you do Rodger we will all be very interested in following your post. Best one for a long while.

Mark ;)

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:50 am

One question I have is how do you fix a continuous handrail to the spindles ?

I'm also thinking about removing the newels and mocking up the two key turns to get the look and feel right for the handrail. Just a tad concerned about not having a bannister for some time.

EDIT: I think I may be able to carve the existing bannister and newel post to approximate the new curved handrail. The metal detector is telling there are no nails/screws so it's out with the chain saw ....LOL
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by jfc » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:44 am

Ive just looked at one that is kind of what you are trying to do .This is a picture of it before vandels broke in and smashed the handrail into a million peices . :evil:
Image
I think unless you lose the closed strings its never going to look nice . If you remove the newels and tops of the strings then youre removing the bones of the stairs so it will have no strength . You could remove it if you added structure underneath .

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:49 am

Hi Jas..thanks for the comments. Chief Designer has picked up on the same and is after plant-on mouldings to add detail. I'm OK with that and think it will look OK. Only trouble is she can't visualise what things will look like from drawings ! I have to make a bloody sample. And again. And another different one.

The newels posts are only being cut down and so the important bits will remain.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:06 pm

Newel C and D

or...Houston we have a problem. But first the good news. The quarter-turn platform is supported by this and so quite substantial. But now for the bad news ...

Image

Newel C adds nothing to the support of the stringer. It simply slips over the top ! :( The stringer goes all the way through and is housed in newel D. And Newel C was the one I was planning on keeping :(

This arrangement pushes the end of the stringer outside the radius of where I want the turn to be for the handrail.

Newel D is not really attached to anything much. It relies on gravity as much as anything and simply sits on top of the bottom tread of the upper flight. There's daylight all the way around the verticals as far as I can see.

Image
The vertical load on that tread is carried down to the support shown in the first photo.

Underneath is a bit of a dogs' dinner. That bullnose tread on the quarter-turn platform looks to have dropped a little. Not surprising given that it looks as it it's just fixed with those two nails.

Image

The outer stringer on the bottom flight is only supported by some schenzy panelling.
Image

There seems to be a single nail holding it laterally at the top
Image

Apart from that, it's all looking good :shock:

I think that probably the best course of action is to remove the bannisters on the two flights and Newels C and D completely and start from scratch.
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:57 pm

This is what has me scratching my head. Assume newels C and D have both gone. As you can see, the outer stringer on the bottom flight terminates halfway into the bottom tread of the top flight. I really, really, really do NOT want to rip out that bottom flight, shorten the width of the treads to bring the outer stringer into line with the end of the top flight stringer.

And until I remove Newel D I don't know where the outer stringer on the top flight ends
quarter-turn platform.jpg
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:58 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:50 am
One question I have is how do you fix a continuous handrail to the spindles ?

I'm also thinking about removing the newels and mocking up the two key turns to get the look and feel right for the handrail. Just a tad concerned about not having a bannister for some time.

EDIT: I think I may be able to carve the existing bannister and newel post to approximate the new curved handrail. The metal detector is telling there are no nails/screws so it's out with the chain saw ....LOL
Same way as with all stairs but you could mortice them in the handrail which would be far superior. Most stairs of this design have an open string on the treads and so you chop the spindles in the depth of the tread then screw to the tread from the side and then apply a return cover mould which coveres the spindle and is returned to matches the mould on the tread nosing (under that you plant on mould, a secondary plant (fancy scrolling) for effect).

If you really want to use this type of handrail (wreathed and continuous) then the best option is to rip out the existing stairs and make a geometrical stair with a nice consistent gradient. If you are not up for that then I would just reinstate and leave alone. It's not an easy project but not rocket science either.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by cncpaul » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:27 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:58 pm
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:50 am
One question I have is how do you fix a continuous handrail to the spindles ?

I'm also thinking about removing the newels and mocking up the two key turns to get the look and feel right for the handrail. Just a tad concerned about not having a bannister for some time.

EDIT: I think I may be able to carve the existing bannister and newel post to approximate the new curved handrail. The metal detector is telling there are no nails/screws so it's out with the chain saw ....LOL
Same way as with all stairs but you could mortice them in the handrail which would be far superior. Most stairs of this design have an open string on the treads and so you chop the spindles in the depth of the tread then screw to the tread from the side and then apply a return cover mould which coveres the spindle and is returned to matches the mould on the tread nosing (under that you plant on mould, a secondary plant (fancy scrolling) for effect).

If you really want to use this type of handrail (wreathed and continuous) then the best option is to rip out the existing stairs and make a geometrical stair with a nice consistent gradient. If you are not up for that then I would just reinstate and leave alone. It's not an easy project but not rocket science either.

Here is a few picture of one I made for a Georgian restoration that is as Mark discribed
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:43 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:58 pm
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:50 am
One question I have is how do you fix a continuous handrail to the spindles ?

I'm also thinking about removing the newels and mocking up the two key turns to get the look and feel right for the handrail. Just a tad concerned about not having a bannister for some time.

EDIT: I think I may be able to carve the existing bannister and newel post to approximate the new curved handrail. The metal detector is telling there are no nails/screws so it's out with the chain saw ....LOL
Same way as with all stairs but you could mortice them in the handrail which would be far superior. Most stairs of this design have an open string on the treads and so you chop the spindles in the depth of the tread then screw to the tread from the side and then apply a return cover mould which coveres the spindle and is returned to matches the mould on the tread nosing (under that you plant on mould, a secondary plant (fancy scrolling) for effect).

If you really want to use this type of handrail (wreathed and continuous) then the best option is to rip out the existing stairs and make a geometrical stair with a nice consistent gradient. If you are not up for that then I would just reinstate and leave alone. It's not an easy project but not rocket science either.
Hi Mark..I'm missing something. If you've got a couple of newel posts at each end then your rail is fixed to them and you just slide up the spindles between handrail and base rail, glue/whatever littlespacers etc. (I think)

But a continuous rail has no newels...so how do you stop it falling off the top of the spindles ..OK...I'm being a dumb clucx, I know :oops:
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:46 pm

Oooh...that's super work, Paul. Really like those. Where did you say you were located ? :D

Where did those spindles come from? Did you make them? Do you have any full-length photos ?
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by MJ80 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:21 am

But a continuous rail has no newels...so how do you stop it falling off the top of the spindles ..OK...I'm being a dumb clucx, I know :oops:
The are fitted to the treads first then into the handrail. They can be dowelled or drilled into the handrail. Match the end of spindle diameter with a forster, use a jig for the angle and be very careful. Working out the spacings is the hard part.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:46 am

MJ80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:21 am
But a continuous rail has no newels...so how do you stop it falling off the top of the spindles ..OK...I'm being a dumb clucx, I know :oops:
The are fitted to the treads first then into the handrail. They can be dowelled or drilled into the handrail. Match the end of spindle diameter with a forster, use a jig for the angle and be very careful. Working out the spacings is the hard part.
Thanks for the info. Sounds like a lot if hands will be needed! What if the spindles are square ?
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by MJ80 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:07 pm

I would pre drill them for a hefty dowel then cut them, them put the dowel in for the joint. Round spindles would be simpler.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:20 pm

MJ80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:07 pm
I would pre drill them for a hefty dowel then cut them, them put the dowel in for the joint.
Thanks for that. Guess I could also use my larger Domino as well. More expensive though.
MJ80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:07 pm
Round spindles would be simpler.
Chief Designer wouldn't agree to that. :(
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:30 pm

Spent the day on the newels. I belt'n'braced newel B by adding some coach bolts through to the bearer. Interestingly, looking down on the top step and at the gap between the newel and the bearer, it looks as if that stringer had moved away. But the newel post is perfectly vertical. Who knows? The builder back in the day never owned a spirit level from what I can see and so it IS possible that the newel was installed out of vertical and leaning away from the stairs but the movement of the stringer pulled it upright !

The interesting work was on newels C and D. As I'd worked out, newel C did simply slip over the stringer !

Image

Newel D

I jacked up the stringer and also jacked up the inside bearer supporting the nose of the quarter-turn platform. That actually brought that nose back into horizontal. Feeling confident that the newel was not contributing any more to the integrity of the staircase, I attacked it. As I thought, the bottom of the stringer had a tongue and that was housed in newel D.

Image

That's as far as I got. Most of the time was spent thinking about what was holding and supporting what.

So what next ? Time for the thinking cap. I'm thinking about a 'newel' to go down to the floor and be crved at the tiop to follow the line of the handrail.

Image

Don't worry about the black on the end grain of the newel post...it's not cracks but paint off the Fein blade.

I think that I can reduce the LH projection of the newel. Then make good the lower tread etc.

Image
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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:36 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:43 pm



Hi Mark..I'm missing something. If you've got a couple of newel posts at each end then your rail is fixed to them and you just slide up the spindles between handrail and base rail, glue/whatever littlespacers etc. (I think)

But a continuous rail has no newels...so how do you stop it falling off the top of the spindles ..OK...I'm being a dumb clucx, I know :oops:
The handrail will be flexible to some extent before fixing to the spindles but once fixed will be very solid. In a cut string you mortice the spindles into the treads which forms a very solid upright balustrade when all the spindles are acting together. The wreath also adds rigidity to some extent because you are adding a corner of resistance. At the bottom the volute is used to add a circle of spindles which not only adds elegance but a mass of rigidity and resistance to sideward movement. Once formed and glued together the handrail will be as solid as a rock.

As you intend keeping your existing flights which do not have cut strings you may wish to explore other options that will keep the spindles and handrail in place and rigid. You can use newels which locate under the handrail so they do not obstruct the continuous flow of the handrail above and this might help at the junctions (not a perfect solution but something to consider). I know I'm a pain for saying this but by the time you have finished it may be quickest to rip the existing flights out and fit a nice geometrical set.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:41 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:30 pm
Spent the day on the newels.

So what next ? Time for the thinking cap. I'm thinking about a 'newel' to go down to the floor and be crved at the tiop to follow the line of the handrail.

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You normally have the spindles spaced evenly and two spindles per tread. Try working that in with your existing stairs on a plan drawing to see how the handrail above might flow. Draw it out full scale on a piece of board,draw the curve of the handrail and the position of the spindles so you can see how it will work with what you now have.

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:36 pm

I can see now that it's going to have to be a right-angle turn as I can't see any elegant/strong way to provide a quarter-circular support where I intended. The support can be easily fashioned..just that it will jut out and look strange.

I jacked up both the upper string and also used folding wedges to support the underneath of the top tread of the lower string. Who needs an Acrow prop, anyway ?

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Cut a housing in the new 'external' newel post to take the top of the bottom flight stringer, made up some epoxy.

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Clamped and screwed to the bottom of the upper flight stringer and inserted some 14mm Domino's.

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It was somewhat reassuring to gently release the car jack and see the weight being safely taken on the new newel pot. All left to harden overnight. Current thoughts are to carve what's left of the old Newel D stub into something that looks like the end of the bottom tread.

This morning I had a good long hard look all the way round the remains of Newel D and as far as I could see, any fixings were largely cosmetic. So I set to with a chisel and carbide metal blades in the Fein.

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and it wasn't long before I could feel the whole stub moving about and clearly not fulfilling any useful function. After 30 minutes or so satisfying 'demolition' the stub dropped out of the bottom with a thud....felt like I'd extracted a wisdom tooth.

Dead chuffed that I've got rid of two complete newel posts.

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So now I've got to make good. This riser has seen better days and is twisted and split.

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Although the bottom tread is housed in the stringer, I'll still support the bullnose. I'll jigsaw down the length of that riser and remove it. Conveniently the front of the new riser will sit over the extreme end of the boards on the quarter-landing and so if I put a rebate on the bottom of the new riser, it will hide the grotty ends of the boards.

The bullnose and adjacent tapered tread on the quarter-landing platform can be taken out and new ones made to extend all the way across. Just that I'm not sure now quite how to finish off that end by the new newel post to take the ends of these new treads.

Any suggestions, sketches gratefully received.

We're getting there and its looking much, much better than I could have thought IMO. :)
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:03 pm

Things have ground to a bit of a halt.

I was planning to replace the short bullnose tread and half-width one behind it with a single bullnose tread of sensible width. But things didn't seem to be working out correctly on the quarter-landing and once I stuck the laser level on it, I could see why. I'd assumed that the muppet who built and installed them had actually used a spirit level.

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Nothing for it but to rip up the rest of the old boards and relay with some oddments that will never be used on a proper floor. They will be painted anyway with runner down the middle of the treads. The joint on one of the bearers will be covered by a runner. Full length board at the back nearest the wall as the runner won't extend that far. Needs sanding.

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Spindles have been chosen and ordered. Never got any email back from a possible woodturner I found on the web.

The first-pass reply from the handrail supplier is disappointing and also bloody expensive. I have a sense that they are proposing a very angular affair and not what we want. Have gone back for a revised quote/clarification but not optimistic. I can see me carving. I know that that is what you all wanted to hear and see.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:10 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:03 pm
Things have ground to a bit of a halt.


Spindles have been chosen and ordered. Never got any email back from a possible woodturner I found on the web.

The first-pass reply from the handrail supplier is disappointing and also bloody expensive. I have a sense that they are proposing a very angular affair and not what we want. Have gone back for a revised quote/clarification but not optimistic. I can see me carving. I know that that is what you all wanted to hear and see.
I thought you might obtain that type of reply from the handrail supplier because it's a lot easier to supply you with stock items to make up a turn than make a wreathed section that actually fits your stairs. You will need the scroll on the bottom and the top landing turn made up too so quite a fair bit of time making them.

I'd expect around a weeks worth of work for all three sections of handrail and around £1000 to pay but I may be way off as I'm only guessing: Two days on the quarter turn section, two days on the landing turn and three days on the scroll. You would first have to set them out, then bandsaw and clean up, then mould and carve the twisted sections with jigs etc so pretty time consuming.

Unless the handrail supplier ask for your exact rise, going and plan layout they will never be able to supply wreathed sections to fit your stairs.

You could probably conjure up a what you need from stock items yourself if you compromise a bit, there are lots of suppliers of stair parts, it's just finding what you need. I get the feeling this won't end up being a wreathed handrail but something as close to it as you can get.

I am enjoying this post very much indeed Roger, good luck with the second handrail enquiry.

EDIT...........Just took a look online and saw the price for a curved up-stand (one section) being quoted as £600+ https://stairpartsdirect.co.uk/range/c ... 2-4-weeks/...... think I'm going to have to get into this game!

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:35 am

Many thanks, Mark, for your continued interest, suggestions and support.

The company I'm currently in conversation with use a 5-axis CNC machine. They also come along (for a very hefty fee) and digitise the location. They are terribly slow at responding though - could be down to staffing/Covid. I'll see if I can PM you an attachment with the quote. It will make your eyes water.

SWMBO aka Chief Designer doesn't help. Choice of wood....wants to see a sample ...of the handrail before deciding. TBH I think the easiest course of action is to buy every damn handrail spindle moulder cutter out there, run a million samples of handrail to please madam, then buy an Arbortech and a bloody great vice, lots of practice on softwood and then six months downline actually do it for real.

As you may gather I am getting somewhat sick of this and her. :(

EDIT: Can't see how to attach any files to a PM.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Staircase upgrade

Post by woodsmith » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:51 am

£746 for one small section of a handrail and 6 week delivery!
Keith

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