Saturday, June 6, 2015

The finishing touch to a Staircase Handrail.

A while ago, I finally completed the handrail to the staircase I had written about in several earlier posts I have been meaning to tell the story, so here it is. Lets tell it in pictures:

The handrail awaits its end, which will curve down and around the corner.


The original profile my customer found on the internet in the USA.
I worked out the process on a 5 stage machining process.


Planning the curve. From above it needs to match the radius of Tread #2's curved nosing.
Over its length it needs to drop the height of one Riser.


Laying out the blocks ready to make the laminations, following the details on the horizontal and vertical axes. 

Laminations glued in place, with epoxy resin.

View from above, Cramps doing their job as the glue dries..

Meanwhile, as the glue dried I made up the jig for shaping the curve.

Cramps off, glue dry. Time to shape the block.

Router jig moves back and forth and around the curve to shape the outside surface radius. 

Router jig doing its job beautifully.

Planning the downward curve, by wrapping a piece of hoopiron around from point to point.. 

After the sweeping curve was cut out, it was shaped to square in section with a spokeshave. 

Beginning the routing process. This is the underside.

Power tools can only do so much. Then it is down to good old hand tools.
Here selecting the right radius moulding plane.

The shaping process continues. Getting there...

Planning the joints, top and bottom.

After careful planning and accurate marking out, the bridle joint is cut.
The top joint is progressing well... 
A little more fine tuning and we'll be there.

Top joint now glued and cleaned up.

The finishing curve now polished and ready to finalise the bottom joint.

The lower joint involved a steel bolt, epoxied into the wall and into the end of the handrail. 
Looking good.

Another view of the completed curve, fitted and fixed.

Job done.
 What a satisfying task this was. It was very tricky, too. Of course, it is the really tricky stuff that I love to do, so after making such a beautiful staircase it was a delight to finally make this final finishing touch to the handrail.

I wonder when I'll get to craft another staircase?...
The view up the top flight.

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