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Ballustrading
January 15, 2018
12:14 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness

Thanks for these, I have sent them off to print at small scale so that we can get a feel for them. We won’t be cutting anything until the second week in March as we are holding a 30th birthday party for my son in the staircase hall …. more cooking …. but have a little bit of work to do to prep during that time. Once I have had a chance to look at the plan on paper we will see where the holes in our understanding are and will no doubt be seeking further advice.

thanks again and regards

Bob

January 15, 2018
11:16 am
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

Here’s wishing you a great 2018 and hope you enjoy making this impressive stair.

Your Christmas sounds like a lot of work.

I attach the pdf files so you can get an idea of the project.

I’m ready to look into the details and help optimise it when you are ready.

All the best,

Ness

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Bob Harrison
January 10, 2018
7:35 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi All, happy New Year to you. After a very busy Christmas – we entertained 100 people to full meals during the period! – and hopefully with a carpenter back next week, it’s time to get the staircase on the make. I have attached the most recent version herewith, could you let me have the templates in pdf format please? I would like to get them printed at full scale to assess the size of the task ahead ……..

Many thanks

Bob

November 24, 2017
7:57 am
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Ness

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Great, see you Monday.

Have a great week end,

best,

Ness

November 23, 2017
6:31 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness

Monday at 4pm should be fine, look forward to catching up then

Cheers

Bob

November 23, 2017
6:25 pm
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

Sorry but having not seen your reply before this morning, I haven’t been able to pick you up today.

Can we meet up Monday at 4pm ?

best regards,

Ness

November 22, 2017
7:31 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness

Pleased to hear that this project is interesting! I take on board your comment that this won’t be an easy build but then I suspected that would be the case – if I had wanted something easy and plain I would have used Stairbox …. this is indeed a personal challenge as I am no a carpenter – although I have one working alongside me though he has never built a staircase – his background is furniture. 

The handrail, and specifically the wreathing and volute, are a concern to me so I have attached drawings of the wreath that I was proposing to use. My thinking is to reverse engineer the stair to fit the rail – I don’t have the skills, kit or time to make this from scratch unless it can’t be done any other way! One for discussion!

As for the Radford’s construction, yes I am looking to use that. I can understand at least some of the complications, not least the fact that only two mitres will be at 45 degrees, but I think that with patience we can work our way through this.

Still digesting your reply but will have time tomorrow for a first Team Viewer session, please let me know what times suit you so we can get something mutually satisfactory

Regards

Bob

November 22, 2017
5:35 pm
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for all the documents you posted for your project.

This looks like a very interesting job, that if I had time would happily make for you!

A few of the questions and remarks that come to mind……

My first remark would be that this is a very ambitious project even for a seasoned specialised stair carpenter and builder.

So if you are not an experienced stair builder be prepared to spend a LOT effort, time and head scratching building this stair.

With this said, 

Even if you can get and approximation to the wreathed volute from Dresser mouldings, the quarter turn wreathed handrail will have to be built custom built either in solid wood with tangent handrailing or laminated. If you used one of our laminated techniques set up and construction will be much faster and easier.

Standard volutes from Dressers are not wreathed and only curved and flat mouldings joined to approximate a wreath. The final result is in MHO very disappointing and it would really be a pity not to also correctly wreath the starting volute on your stair. This will of course require extra work but very little extra compared to the total time spent on the project. 

Are you looking to build the steps and riser in the traditional way as in the Radford’s Cylopedia with mitred nosings and brackets? although this is time consuming it’s fairly straight forwards to do this on the straight steps,

However,  the curved and mitred mouldings on the wreathed strings, although not impossible, is going to be more complicated.

If the stair is painted you might find it much easier to make the steps over lapping the cut string and ends moulded directly cut on the step ends with a router with eventually a moulding nailed under the step. Using horizontal laminates the outer veneer can easily be scribed around the return moulding to give exactly the same effect as the traditional stair

The best techniques for this stair would be:

– Solid wood wall string, (one piece, 3 part stringer is not necessary)

– Horizontal laminates for the wreathed section of the outer cut string

– Solid wood (support beam with assembled step brackets) for the rake sections of the outer cut string

– Solid wood (same construction as the raked sections of the outer cut string) for central support string.

– Solid wood for volute

– Solid wood for the rake handrails

– Solid wood using tangent handrailing or laminated sections for volute to rake wreath and quarter turn wreathed handrail

– Solid wood for the rake to landing handrails.

– Horizontal laminates for the bull nose first step.

These would be the general construction techniques that I’d strongly suggest.

After this we’ll need to have the exact wood sections that will be used to build the different parts and we can start working on the (numerous) details

It would be good to talk through this over a Team Viewer session if you have time tomorrow or Friday.

All the best,

Ness

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Bob Harrison
November 14, 2017
8:13 am
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Bob Harrison

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Morning Stephan, thanks for the update. Please let me know if you need further clarification and I look forward to connecting with Ness next week.

Regards

Bob

November 14, 2017
7:53 am
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Stefan

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Hi Bob, thanks for sending this information through. We’re taking a look at it and Ness will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note, he is quite tied up this week installing a CNC machine on site. I’m sorry if there is going to be a longer delay than usual in him replying. Thank you for your understanding, Stefan

November 11, 2017
8:27 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness and Stephan

I have attached an extract from Radford’s Cyclopedia of Construction by William A. Radford (1909) which looks at the historical construction of open string stairs. The step detailing shows what we are trying to achieve here, albeit in 19th century language … and hopefully will help to explain what I was trying to in the last post.

Regards

Bob

November 9, 2017
3:26 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness and Stephan

I have attached three pdfs in response to your request for information. two are ground and first floor plans of the whole house – the key areas for this exercise are the staircase hall and the landing above. The remaining file is background and photos to give context and some answers to your questions – I’m sure that they will generate more!

Look forward to hearing fro you

Regards

Bob

November 9, 2017
11:03 am
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Stefan

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Hi again, I’ve just discussed with Ness the best way to proceed with your project. Please pull together the information Ness has requested. He can take a good look at it and prepare things ahead of your first TeamViewer session which we’ll then book in. This is going to make much better use of the sessions you’ve paid for.

Further to your email, we’ll process the invoice for you later today. Thanks very much, Stefan

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Bob Harrison
November 9, 2017
10:53 am
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Stefan

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Hi Bob, thank you for booking a training pack. We’ll be in touch by email to arrange the first session very soon, just checking some dates as Ness is quite tied up next week. Speak soon, Stefan

November 9, 2017
10:52 am
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for buying the support.

As we are an UK company, if you are in the UK you have to pay VAT. but you can of course claim this back when Stefan send you the invoice.

To start, I’d love to see some drawings and eventually some photos of the existing stair well, what would also be helpful are some sketches of how your stair will fit the well with details of the stair to 1st floor assembly and structural fittings.

We’ll also need as much details as possible of the handrail and railings and how they will be fitted to the stairs as well as the transitions to landings volutes etc.

With this we can look into how best to fit the details of your design to your needs.

In general this type of stair requires quite a bit of CAD editing to get the detailed plans so if you don’t want to do this we might be able to do the drafting for you. 

All the best,

Ness

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Bob Harrison
November 9, 2017
10:09 am
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness

So all signed up now, paid plus VAT for some reason …. What happens next?

Regards

bob

November 9, 2017
9:06 am
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

The support packs are £450 per 4 hours.

You can buy using the Buy Now buttons here:

https://wooddesigner.org/training-service/

All the best,

Ness

November 9, 2017
9:01 am
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Bob Harrison

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Morning Ness

Thanks for the work that you have put in to this for me, could you let me know the cost of 4 hours support please – it seems eminently sensible to me! There are a number of questions that I need to ask about your observations together with thoughts about the construction!

Regards

Bob 

November 9, 2017
8:29 am
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Ness

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Hi Bob,

Using a horizontal laminated central cut string as the main support you’ll need to dimension correctly the structural section under the step notches. In general I allow at least 140mm width for a thickness that is 1/5 the total width of the stair.

For you stair this would require a string with 140mm under steps and 200mm thick.

In your case this can be reduced since you also have lateral support provided with the left cut string and  the wall string.

However, in the model you posted the central cut string has only 75mm width and a thickness of 144mm this is not enough to be the main support and is a section that is more considered a stiffener that a support beam. If you want to maintain these sections to have narrow stringers I’d suggest that you increase the thickness of the left cut string to at least 70mm and make the wall stringer at least 30mm thick with the steps and risers fully housed into it.

In your design there is no point in making the wall string in 2 layers as the steps and risers are resting on the cut string and can be easily assembled. The 2 thickness stringers are for cases when the stair is made of boxed strings on both sides.

In all cases I’d strongly advise you make the curved section of the left cut string from horizontal laminates. I’d personally make the whole string as one part in horizontal laminates. This technique takes away the need to cut the notches and make all the assembly details much easier to manage. Making the string in one piece does away with the assembly of the separate parts and makes for much stronger string.

Here’s a sketch of how I would assemble the steps and risers to the horizontal laminated cut string:

riser-assembly-details.pngImage Enlarger

As you can see the outer laminate is extended to cover the end grain of the risers.

As your stair is painted this is not absolutely necessary but would still be better so as not to have to paint end grain.

Note also that the steps over lap the string and are recessed at the back into the string outer face. Again these are details that could be simplified by making the step back edge just flush to the back face of the risers.

But in all cases you should make the steps overlap the cut string and set risers to assemble onto the steps and not behind them.

Handrails also must be set back from the step ends or at least make them flush. This will make the spindles mortised into the steps at around 40mm from the step ends.

I attach your stair modified to show you how it could be set up, but please note that StairDesigner will not draw the riser to cut string assembly details so you have to do this by editing the StairDesigner drawings.

Please note also that the stair file service will provide you with the DXF files of the parts so you’ll have to load them into CAD to edit and print.

We can provide full size PDF plans of parts but this is at extra charge. Also this is a free service to Premium members but doesn’t include revision so you’ll have to make sure that you stair is set up as you need it before you request the plans.

As you project is a complex job even for an experienced professional stair builded, you might consider buying some one to one training sessions so that we can take the time to check over the details before. This type of stair has a lot of details to organise before you start building. So if you want a professional job all the plans must be well set up.

Please see this page for paid training and support :

https://wooddesigner.org/training-service/

The complete drawing of a stair like this would probably take me a couple of days work, so in my option, 4 hours extra support would certainly not be too much to get the details of project sorted.

All the best,

Ness

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November 8, 2017
8:30 pm
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Bob Harrison

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Hi Ness

We have finally had delivery of the balance steel landing balustrade and I think that we may be able to widen the landing at the point that it connects with flight 2, so could you hold off on producing the plans for the moment please? Would still be grateful for your feedback though as we are only talking a matter of a few centimetres …

Regards

Bob 

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