Handrail work in progress

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Forum topic by Jim Baldwin posted 05-20-2015 03:08 PM 1278 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Baldwin

56 posts in 2592 days

05-20-2015 03:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: handrail

I’ve got the most challenging part of this custom handrail order done and ready to ship. Then I hold my breath until the customer verifies that everything is good and fits the stair. All the required curved parts are fabricated from “plans only” so I don’t have the benefit of any trail fitting of roughed out pieces . This kind of thing is possible due to “tangent handrail methods” developed in the 19th century and still available in old books or reprints and one or two contemporary sources. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to teach a few others or at least introduce the subject in seminars and speaking engagements. This has been fun but my real passion is the actual work which has been the focus of my professional career.

-- Jim Baldwin/

6 replies so far

View kreitzm's profile


22 posts in 2207 days

#1 posted 05-20-2015 03:41 PM

That is incredible. I would not be able to do that. Very impressive!

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1141 posts in 2469 days

#2 posted 05-20-2015 06:41 PM

I am gob smacked!

-- Jerry

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1456 days

#3 posted 05-20-2015 07:39 PM

Did you take the meas or was it supplied by another? Without test fits I’d be wearing depends right about now.

-- I meant to do that!

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Jim Baldwin

56 posts in 2592 days

#4 posted 05-20-2015 08:24 PM

I never set foot on the job sites so all field dimensions are furnished to me. In this case I did redesign the stair plan with round corners and large volute etc., in order to create continuous geometric handrail, but the actual stair construction is by others. And you’re right, it can be a nail biter as I must guarantee everything and nearly unconditionally. It’s been a few years now since such a fiasco but it has happened. I keep a few mistakes laying around as a reminder that haste makes waste.

-- Jim Baldwin/

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 05-20-2015 08:29 PM

Work of art my friend!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Jim Baldwin's profile

Jim Baldwin

56 posts in 2592 days

#6 posted 05-20-2015 09:04 PM

I know you can’t hardly see this, but here is a sample of the drawings required to complete the curved railings over the winders. All this etch-a-sketch work yields a few patterns which go out to the shop. There is one pattern for each of the conjoined pieces. No part of the curved railings are bent or strip-laminated but all cut and shaped from solid stock.

-- Jim Baldwin/

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