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Project by rsmith71 posted 01-27-2010 04:56 AM 1528 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made this handrail at work for a house here locally. The turn at the bottom was way too tight for any pre-fab handrail pieces. Bent section is laminated white oak that was then carved out to match machined handrail parts.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113013 posts in 2364 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 05:00 AM

That’s an amazing job not anything a beginner should try.

-- Custom furniture

View Moron's profile


4803 posts in 2680 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 05:14 AM

a “winder” without a central newel post always looks… somethings missing

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

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 1833 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 05:35 AM

That looks extremely challenging.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View Tony_S's profile (online now)


487 posts in 1870 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 02:12 PM

Good job Robert! It looks great….what you’ve done there is actually one of my ‘specialties’ (custom stairs, railing and rail parts) and it look like you did a bang up job!!

-- Come Heavy...or don't come at all.

View hunter71's profile


2183 posts in 1973 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 02:18 PM

Great workmanship. Something I would not attempt.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Puupaja's profile


310 posts in 1887 days

#6 posted 01-27-2010 02:41 PM

I have done few stairs and railings but never this challenging, great work!!


View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 1829 days

#7 posted 01-27-2010 02:52 PM

Thanks for all the positive feedback! This is one of my favorite accomplishments and not something I do often but I really enjoyed it and the homeowner loved the finished project.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View blackcherry's profile


3212 posts in 2610 days

#8 posted 01-27-2010 03:00 PM

Very nice work, I hope your time was well compensated, that take time, effort and talent. Thank for sharing…Blkcherry

View sras's profile


3976 posts in 1916 days

#9 posted 01-27-2010 05:21 PM

Very Impressive!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View BTKS's profile


1971 posts in 2251 days

#10 posted 01-29-2010 08:35 AM

WOW, I’m impressed.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Woodn88s's profile


78 posts in 2328 days

#11 posted 02-19-2010 01:50 PM

Just thinking about where to start on a project like that gives me a headache, great job!

-- I want to know Gods are details "A. Einstein"

View devann's profile


1758 posts in 1479 days

#12 posted 02-18-2011 07:57 AM

Killer job on the curve. That is some twist. I too have done a couple sets of stairs and rails etc… but nothing with a turn that radical. Did you use a Bore Buster to drill the holes in the handrail? The reason I ask is I couldn’t find one the first time I had a similar job. I ended up making my own jig, but you can only use it on straight pieces of handrail. Again that’s some pretty good looking work.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Jim Baldwin's profile

Jim Baldwin

50 posts in 1145 days

#13 posted 06-09-2013 03:55 PM

Your astounding work and effort warrants a professional critique…

I can see you’re a craftsman who’s willing to go the extra mile (and then some!) If you’d like to improve your skills than you’re going to need to learn 19th century tangent handrail techniques.

Forget laminating strips and guess-work. The handrail for this stair would have been a descending elliptic loop from the over-easing to the level rail. It typically would have been constructed in two, conjoined solid segments and band-sawn from a wood plank of uniform thickness. In appearance it would have been a smooth, continuous turn with no abrupt easements of any kind.. It also would have been much (much) easier to make as your bent-lamination borders on the impossible.

I admire your herculean effort and understand the “hell” you’ve put yourself through for the sake of this job and the craft. Although it’s been a few years since you’ve posted these pictures, it’s never to late to learn something new (or in this case,..old). You should also be aware that you’re not alone in the struggle to produce beautiful, exemplary work and in this branch of woodwork, we have treasures of knowledge hidden in our past.

And yes,..I do critique my own work with an equally sharp pencil.

-- Jim Baldwin/

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