Bannister Update

March 24, 2016

We continue to plug away at the bannister. We have about 70 feet of bannister to put up, plus the railing along the staircase. Each post, rail and spindle needs to be harvested, peeled, sanded and the tenons cut. Since the gap between each spindle is no more than 4 inches, there is a lot of  spindles to make. Its slow going but we are making progress.

We are harvesting all the material for the bannister from the property. Some of the posts are from beaver cuts, but the rails and spindles are all fresh cut trees from our spindle forests (areas of young trees which we can thin out).

skinning with drawknifeThe bark is peeled off each tree using an Austrian draw knife. It actually goes quite quickly but makes quite a mess in the living room. Once the bark is peeled off, it gets a rough sanding before it goes up. Since the wood is still green, it will be drying in place. Later, we will have the tedious task of giving each piece a final sanding then a few coats of varithane.

 

 

 

The rails fit into the posts, and the spindles into the rails, with tenons. We are using an one inch Veritas Power Tenon Cutter with sloped shoulders to cut the tenons.

finished tenand

Ken does all the tenon cutting and tries to contain most of the shavings to a box.

Ken doing tenan

The tenons fit snuggly into one inch holes drilled in the rail or post.

post and rail

The two sections of railing over sunroom are up. All the corner posts are full length floor to ceiling. The posts in the centers of the runs will be only rail height. A bit different look.

Nov 19 2015_Railing

The posts for three sides of the open area overlooking the living room have been installed.

We haven’t started the fourth side which borders the walkway by the windows so the walkway is being used to store the remaining ceiling boards.

Xmas 2015_Putting stair rail upWe have also started work on the stairs. So far we have the top and bottom rail in. The bottom post, like all the other posts, is dropped into the joists below and bolted into a joist bay ( a tight fitting box built around the post). These 9 inch deep joist bays hold the posts secure.

Before the sap starts running this spring, we will harvest the rest of the wood for the remaining spindles, rails and posts. Don’t want to be working in the bush once mosquito season arrives.

 

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About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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