Challenging Staircase Installation

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Project by markrine posted 03-14-2009 11:51 PM 1831 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an interesting installation that I’ve been working on for my day job. It has had quite a few challenges for me to overcome. I’ve had to use a beautiful combination of power tools and hand tools in order to accomplish this installation. I am currently in the process of hand painting all of the forged spindles that will bring it all to completion.

15 comments so far

View azwoodman's profile


132 posts in 3376 days

#1 posted 03-15-2009 12:29 AM

that looks like it will be an amazing addition!!!

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (

View cedarforests's profile


8 posts in 3378 days

#2 posted 03-15-2009 12:31 AM

nice work john.Is this your house or on the job? I’m guessing on the job, do you specialise in staircases?

-- when a tree falls in the forest.......Quebec ,Canada

View TimberMan's profile


113 posts in 3459 days

#3 posted 03-15-2009 01:30 AM

very nice work. you should turn this into a blog and keep us posted on the progress. I would love to see it completed.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3423 days

#4 posted 03-15-2009 03:23 AM

You call it challenging…I call it impossible! Great work, amazing execution.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#5 posted 03-15-2009 03:26 AM

A fantastic installation. Make sure you post the completed version.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3444 days

#6 posted 03-15-2009 04:27 AM

looks great ….very well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View Devin's profile


164 posts in 3523 days

#7 posted 03-15-2009 06:44 AM

Wow! This looks amazing, please post pictures of the completed project.

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

View MrMark's profile


31 posts in 3371 days

#8 posted 03-15-2009 10:27 AM

as if it weren’t difficult enough to pull something like this off at a home shop…. to do it “in the field” is fantastic!

Nice work!

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3768 days

#9 posted 03-15-2009 01:46 PM

Looks like its going great Mark, I’m with Karson I’d like to see it when its all done. Reminds me of my staircase days.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View BillG's profile


82 posts in 3545 days

#10 posted 03-15-2009 02:50 PM

Stair work is the most complex finish work in a home. Throwing in a 45 degree turn only complicates it more. You have done a fine job. The iron balisters will really set off the staircase. That will be a job worth showing off in a work portfolio.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3888 days

#11 posted 03-15-2009 03:17 PM

i want to replace my own stairs which were never done right from the get go and looking at yours makes me want to do it sooner then later…...........nice work

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View joey's profile


396 posts in 3899 days

#12 posted 03-15-2009 10:48 PM

Nice job! 45 are always a pain
The last two staircase I did both had metal balustrade and the thing I hated about them was they squeak and the movement in the holes in the handrail. are you having the same problem? and if so any ideas on stopping it?


-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View markrine's profile


2 posts in 3359 days

#13 posted 03-16-2009 12:22 AM

That depends on the customers style preference and cost requirements. A dab of gorrila glue can go a long way. If they are using metal tops to cover the holes then you can fills the opening with shims. If you have the time and money a hollow chisel mortised handrail would be the best fit. Thanks to everyone for the positive comments. I will try to post as much I my work as I can.

View Jim Baldwin's profile

Jim Baldwin

56 posts in 2353 days

#14 posted 06-20-2013 05:53 AM

Yes your finish carpentry skills are astounding and without question… No the square, box-newel posts don’t belong on this stair (especially with a volute tossed in at the bottom).

As you started with a volute, the handrail should have been continuous… Yes I realize that this would have involved contacting a custom handrail guy (like me) but then you would have been doing something proper and without the nearly impossible cheek cuts etc. .

If they insist on placing newel posts at the angled corners, than they should have been octagon posts which would have in harmony with this stair plan and would have provided flat-faceted faces perpendicular to the adjoining handrails A larger octagon post at the start would have preserved the Elizabethan style rather than a misplaced colonial volute.

I suspect you already know all this but were stuck with standard parts. There is however a “right way” of doing things and professional stair builders should have some working knowledge of classical star design and construction.

Two thumbs way up on your carpentry work but thumbs down on stair design.

-- Jim Baldwin/

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#15 posted 06-20-2013 05:55 AM

Fantastic work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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