Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a railing for a tansu stair cabinet

chris and i installed the railings today. all in, all done, as they say.  
i am happy to cross that one off the to do list.  we made some other stuff
 in the room there, like the mantle with burl and abalone detials, and the coffee table.  you can even see some of jim's (aka mr. lucky) carved glass work from the 80's on the coffee table.  nice room.
back in 1989, when we had been at our craft full time for 9 years, we built this sweet 'tansu stair cabinet', based on a postcard my clients had picked up in a hotel in japan or china, i forget which.  anyway, i'd already made them a bunch of stuff, and in this spot, they had one of those slightly treacherous 60's era welded steel spiral stairways, and a desire for a place to hide the stereo.  the stereo went behind the double doors, and originally, i think, the speakers went behind the single doors.  that was fine for, oh, 24 years, until grandchildren came on the scene .. time for a railing ... click the photos to enlarge them.
we did a little photoshop work, talked about different combinations of wood and metal ..
and finally made a plan.
chris and i made some poplar temporary posts and took some cardboard to the house and made some rough templates and notes on fitting the posts to the treads and figured out how to attach them.  luckily, there were all those drawers we could remove and we just screwed into the half lapped posts from inside the casework .. a true no brainer.
we were able to translate that information into cad drawings from which we made the 'real' cherry posts and rough templates on the cnc.  we took those back to the site and installed the cherry posts, took some more notes, and turned those notes into cad drawings and the templates below that sam could weld the actual railings together on.

we hand shaped the top caps to mimic the original handraill and fitted them to the railings in the shop.  today, it all fit and we bolted them in place to make a surprisingly rigid assembly up to code and ready for kids.

it all fit like a glove, and in the background you can see the end 'volute' of the original hand carved handrail.  this was a satisfying project, and a nice visit with an old friend.  good job sam and chris !!!


Max said...

As expected , your work is a treasure! Well done. I find your hanging jigs as good as the final product! Truly an artist.

Dan Ackermann said...

I was going to say I didn't care much for the red railing, until I got to the text. What a wonderful room!