Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Screws, sandpaper? Jawohl — Stairmaking III

Indeed, I used a screw to make one of the joints, since eventually you will need to take apart the handrail and I guess that the guy doing it will need it. So the handrail has a screw on it. I also needed it to close the 2mm separation between the two pieces. 

I also finished it with sandpaper. It goes against my religion but it was really difficult to put the spokeshave on that corner. Lesson learnt, you need an open workshop where the full size handrail can be mounted and accessed by all directions. You also need spoon kanna and little spokeshaves, and those single handled ones would be a nice addition to the collection.

All the time this was going to be just a tryout thing, not the real thing. It broke in the way so I put several patches, and didn't even bother on using the same wood, so in the side it looks a bit funny. 

Julia wants to paint the whole thing blue, and I may agree to that eventually. Ours in graz was yellow. 

 There it is, most certainly the smoothest handrail made in Chile in the last 100 years.

Did you realise the way the curve produces straight shadows on the wall? In the night the shadows are beautiful, it really finishes the whole thing.

I want to change the one in Valpo now, so wait for more sexy curves soon right here.

I'm really proud of this one. It's like if a whole new dimension has opened, not only in what respect to tangent handrail but the process of understanding by making, the skill of just screw things up, fix them and in general just go for it not being sure if you will manage it. It took me like 2 years to finish this piece, almost 6 months for the little piece of the corner. And this is stuff you cannot buy and I won't sell, and has a quality that you will not find in any professional handrail here in Chile (I've been particularly keen on handrails lately, checking them in houses, restaurants, my university and such, and all the new ones have sharp edges and horrible discontinuities at the joints).

Next one I make, promise I use matching colours for the glue ups and mark the joints when the wood is still square.

Now I can move out in peace.


  1. very nice! I have a box of sandpaper very course to very fine (20 - 6000 git). Once I wanted a perfect (yea) circle cross-section; I used a scraper made from a saw blade, and a precision radius gage, and round india stones to make the profile. sharpened with a burnishing tool. worked well on rosewood.

  2. Nicely done! Getting work done, one task at a time. There was a vent that had kept falling out of the wall for ten years; my mother had just kept putting wood putty in the hole. It felt good to put a wood patch in it and fix a ten year problem.

    Shadows are some of the most gorgeous things I've seen. Yours seem to be really nice.

    1. Thanks! I catch your drift, I keep on finding things here I could fix and they've been 15 years or more waiting for it... but need to save all that energy for after moving. Next week!

  3. Having built a home I find it funny how quickly stuff starts breaking that needs mending. People are still asking me, is the house done yet? Its been five years now and I just shake my head and say, almost...almost. Love the hand rail!