New staircase - adhoc remodeling

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Project by uswine posted 08-03-2009 10:57 AM 2126 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was in the process of laying new Santos Mahogany flooring down and it was obvious that the whole pink terrazzo – wrought Iron – Berber carpet staircase thing had to go. With no budget to tackle this in a traditional sense I decided to “just start” with materials I had available and see where this takes me, I had no plan at this point on paper or in my head. I striped the old stairs down to the floorboards and topped that with a new Walnut façade. I saw this as an opportunity to use some of the few hundred pieces cherry that have sitting out back. These pieces are very rough cut approximately 3 ½” x 1 ½” on a side and in random lengths. I used the cherry to make the side of the staircase paneled look by fabricating long straight slats with rounded edges assembled piece by piece to the side of the staircase. I also used the cherry for the edge cap details on the stairs themselves. The balusters and the starting newel are also made from the cherry. The newel was made from 7 pieces of the cherry glued together into a piece large enough to machine all the details. I had a couple of 3” x 10” x 8’ pieces of canary wood lying around that I decided to use for the banister. I don’t have access to a steam press to make the bends in the banister or for the like bends in the cherry stair cap details. Instead I jigged the bends in place and the cut the wood into .175 thick strips which allowed me to bend them while gluing each layer together, I used a boatload of c-clamps but it worked out well. When the glue dried and I finished dressed the bent pieces, you can’t tell they were fabricated that way. In the end it worked out well and cost me little since I had all the materials.

-- Never teach a pig to sing ... It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

9 comments so far

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 3609 days

#1 posted 08-03-2009 12:44 PM

great looking wood, great color, looks very rich..looks like a million dollar job.

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3812 days

#2 posted 08-03-2009 03:35 PM

very nice job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 08-03-2009 06:13 PM

Very nice work, it cartainly adds beauty to the space.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Jamie's profile


172 posts in 3495 days

#4 posted 08-03-2009 07:30 PM

Wow! What an improvement!

-- "Preach the gospel always. If necessary use words" -St Francis of Assisi

View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3710 days

#5 posted 08-03-2009 08:34 PM

Yes, well done… it does look much better than original with your new floor… one question though… will the space between the balusters meet code? I ran into that problem with a balcony… a little too much space in between but we weren’t too far along that we could place them closer—keep kids from falling through…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View uswine's profile


26 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 08-03-2009 09:19 PM

No it doesnt meet code (4 inch max spacing) but neither did the old one ... no kids in the future here. This house was built in 1952 ….. I dont think it could be brought up to code in general without tearing it down first.

-- Never teach a pig to sing ... It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3820 days

#7 posted 08-03-2009 09:55 PM

Wow uswine what an improvement. Starngely enough my son and Lucie his wife are about to do the same thing to their house, and have been asking advice from me.I think they should do a proper job like you did rather than a quick fix thanks for posting Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4009 days

#8 posted 08-04-2009 05:47 AM

Wow! what a difference this made. You did a great job! Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View TimN's profile


12 posts in 3697 days

#9 posted 01-21-2010 07:06 AM

Hey Allen,

Looks great, I am very impressed. Haven’t tackled a project like that yet. Reminds me of when you tore apart your bug….....

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