Surrey Carpentry

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Oak Banister Refurb - Alton, Hants

Oak Banister Refurb - Alton, Hants

Joinery – Oak bannister refurbishment – Alton, Hants

This job was a replacement of existing handrail, which was the largely undesirable 70′s “Planks nailed to the newels” look.

It’s always fun to put a sharp handsaw through those planks to make way for a nice new balustrade, and this time we used solid oak handrail, base rail and stop-chamfered oak spindles and newels with oak pyramid newel caps.

These were sourced from the Richard Burbridge American White Oak range.

The first step was to determine the height at which the existing newels should be cut, as the Richard Burbridge newels were pre-drilled to receive the handrail at the top, and spigoted at the bottom to be inserted into the stub of the old newel.

Once this was done, the existing newels could be cut, and a hole drilled in the centre to receive the spigot of the oak newel about the be inserted.

The edges of the existing newels also needed to be rounded over to match the bottom ends of the new oak newels.

Existing "plank" bannisters

Existing "plank" bannister's

Existing "plank" bannisters

Existing "plank" bannister's

Existing newels cut down, rounded over and drilled

Existing newels cut down, rounded over and drilled

Once the stub newels were ready, the new oak newels could be placed into position to be levelled. With the newels level, the handrail could now be cut to fit between the newels.

Oak handrail cut between oak newels

Oak handrail cut between oak newels

Handrail, baserail, spindles and newel caps fitted

Handrail, baserail, spindles and newel caps fitted

The finished oak bannister refurbishment

The finished and sanded up solid oak bannister refurbishment

With the newels and handrails in position, the baserails could now be fitted, followed by the spindles and newel caps.

All that was left to do now was fill the fixing holes and sand off the edges.

Another handrail success story! :)

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Bespoke Pine Winding Open-tread staircase - Guildford, Surrey

Bespoke Pine Winding Open-tread Staircase - Guildford, Surrey

Bespoke Joinery – Pine Winding Open-tread Staircase – Guildford, Surrey

Staircases are always a pleasure, and even more so with this one.

There was a great deal of work involved but the end result paid off.

The open treads of the staircase and the stop-chamfered spindles work beautifully together with the dual pitches and the angles of the winding treads.

To conform with staircase regulations, in particular the one about not being allowed to pass a 99mm sphere through the staircase at any point, the 99mm sphere representing a baby’s head, each tread although “open” had to have a stub riser beneath it to bring the gaps in the staircase down to 98mm.

Gluing pine treads together

Gluing pine treads together

Gluing pine treads together

Gluing pine treads together

Routing tenons and tread housings

Routing tenons and tread housings

After setting out the staircase on a sheet of MDF, the first thing to do was glue up all the pine treads, as they were larger than timber that could be supplied, and while they were clamped and drying,  the next thing was to mark out the strings (sides of the staircase), and route the housings for the treads.

Newel housings and mortices

Newel housings and mortices

Cutting winding treads to size

Cutting winding treads to size

Checking sizes of winding treads on the drawing

Checking sizes of winding treads on the drawing

While the router was set up, I also routed the housings and mortices into the newel posts.

Next was to cut the winding treads to size, and check them on the drawing.

The assembled the risers and treads

The assembled the risers and treads

Assembling the main flight of the staircase

Assembling the main flight of the staircase

Main flight assembled including 3rd winding tread

Main flight assembled including 3rd winding tread

Pictured above are the assembled treads and risers. There was quite a bit of work to do to get them to this stage, such as plane off excess glue, sand them flat, route the grooves, rebates, round-overs and , as well as fix the risers into the treads.

Once this was done, assembly of the main flight of stairs could begin, as seen above.

Main flight assembled including 3rd winding tread

Main flight assembled including 3rd winding tread

The finished staircase, ready for fitting

The finished staircase, ready for fitting

As well as  the main flight of the staircase, there were all the other components to be done including the handrails, baserails, stop-chamfered spindles, apron nosing and draw-bore pegs to fix the mortice and tenon joints together. Once these were all done, making the staircase was complete, ready for stage two, the fitting of the staircase.

Building the stairwell platform

Building the stairwell platform

Building the stairwell platform

Building the stairwell platform

Because of the layout of the stairwell, which used to be the entrance to the house, a platform which was essentially the first tread of the staircase had to be built before installing the new pine open-tread staircase on top of it. The space where the windows are in the images to left would eventually become a small, rarely used “nook”

The main flight is offered into place

The main flight is offered into place

The main flight secured to the trimmer joist

The main flight secured to the trimmer joist

The main flight in position and on its platform

The main flight in position and on its platform

Once the platform was complete, the main flight of the staircase could be lifted into position, secured to the trimmer joist on the first floor, and have it’s newel posts fixed on, giving it “Legs to stand on”

Winding section, handrail and spindles now fitted

Winding section, handrail and spindles now fitted

Mitred handrail detail to get over (or under!) a low window sill problem

Mitred handrail detail to get over (or under!) a low window sill problem

Winding section and first floor balustrade handrail and spindles now fitted

Winding section and first floor balustrade handrail and spindles now fitted

With the main flight in place, all the other components could now be fixed on. These were the winding section, the handrails, baserails, nosing, aprons, and spindles.

Then it was time to stand back and enjoy the result! :)

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