|Project by EarlS||posted 12-30-2015 10:35 PM||2397 views||8 times favorited||16 comments|
I know the title sounds a lot more glamorous than Arts and Crafts handrail. However, there is a connection.
I’ve been mulling over a handrail that would match the railing I completed earlier this year. Adding to the issue is the overall length needed is 17 ft and don’t have anything remotely long enough in 5/4 or 6/4 cherry to use.
After sorting and resorting my available lumber I realized that I had several 4-5 ft boards left over from other projects that I could string together to make the length. Problem #1 solved – I have enough lumber for the project.
Problem #2 took a little longer and a lot of trying out various looks until my wife agreed with the look of a half-lap joint pinned with 3/8 square G&G plugs made out of walnut. Just to add a little more style I also added a center spline to the joint, also made from walnut with a 1/16” pillow profile.
The second picture shows the relevant pieces. I over-sized the center piece to make the fit a little easier. From there it was a matter of making the 1/2 laps using the stacked dado set and mortising out the square plugs. I wound up making 5 sections and the top and bottom return pieces. I assembled the top half and the bottom half as separate sections and then checked the fit on the stairs before I glued the entire piece together. I did wind up having to add a small section to make the final length. The sides and ends were rounded over with a 3/8 round over bit and everything got plenty of hand sanding to make a smooth piece with no sharp edges. I applied some sealer, a couple of coats of Watco cherry oil, and followed up with 2 light coats of polyurethane. After buffing the finish out with a 1500 grit pad, I used Behlens wax to bring out the luster.
So you see, necessity drove the need for the handrail, but in true LJ fashion, I was able to “invent” some design elements to make it a little more visually interesting. You can also see my helpers, Charlie and Linus, in the last picture.
-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"