Monday, March 9, 2009

The Tansu Stair Project


3/9 ... Had it all together around 1:00 today. It's all disassembled now and the cabinet interiors are being shellacked and waxed ....

Proposed railing design including second floor landing

The case taking shape today 3/6/09

The cad drawing showing the three subcases seperated by color

About 20 years ago I made the tansu style stair cabinet above for clients who were remodeling a house up the road in Danby, Vermont. Last spring, I made another tansu style cabinet for a New York City entryway and one way or another, last summer a gentleman from California found my pictures on the internet and contacted me regarding a stairway project he had in mind. We went back and forth for a while, and now, they're underway on construction of the addition to his house and we have started the stair cabinet. Unfortunately, my contract doesn't call for me to install so I'll just wave goodbye to it, and, maybe, by then, it will be spring here and I won't be wishing I was in sunny CA.. It killed me back in January to get pictures of carpenters in shorts and sunscreen while it was zero or so here. Anyway .... More to follow .... This'll be a long one ... Click the pictures to enlarge them ...

Last summer's tansu cabinet in walnut
A sketch for the cabinet we're working on made by laying trace over the photo in the top left corner in the collage below
Photos from the client (sent in January) with my photoshopped sketching of the railings etc.
there are several other blog posts about these stairs. here is a link to the final one and you can work back to this post from that one ... great project !!!


6 comments:

James said...

HI - I absolutely love this design. If I may be so bold can you provide any specifics on the materials? Also are those butt joints? Thanking you in advance - Ryan

Dorset Custom Furniture said...

Hi James...the case is made from double layers of 3/4 veneer core birch and cherry ply. The face frame joints are all half lapped and will be glued to the case tomorrow. The back of the cabinet is 1/2' irch ply and there will be another 22" 'dead cabinet' behind the main one so the finished stairs wil be about 48" wide and you will walk up the center of the steps on the two vertical ply pieces where the front and back cabinets join. There will be updates to this post as the project progresses. Thanks for your interest .... dan

James said...

Not saying much for my skills here. But brilliant - I honestly did not think about a half-lap. I have scanned your photos for a good long while trying to I understand the joints - I never though of something a simple as a half lap.

slk said...

Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!
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Laurie said...

Beautiful work! Strangely, I stumbled upon the image of the Danby, VT tansu stairs for the first time this morning. Then, later in the day, I was researching child-sized banjos for my little daughter and found your blog on that project. Clicking around, I was amazed to see that you were the artist behind the beautiful staircase! What does it mean when that kind of coincidence happens? How neat!

Marc d'Excellence said...

Hi Dan, I've been curious for a while; is there any kind of glide for the drawers or are they just flush-ish in their boxes? (sort of like a box of matches, as opposed to a western-style drawer with slides)? Thanks,

-Marc.