Thursday, 6 April 2017

Hand made solid oak staircases

These 2 oak staircases are now installed and completed, but the site isn't yet ready to take worthwhile photos, so 3D images from the CAD program will do for now. We're sometimes asked to make a set of stairs to complement heavy oak framing work elsewhere in the building, as was the case here. It's nice to have a break from working with huge oak beams and do a little lighter joinery, and the satisfaction of assembly and installation still gives the same buzz. We still use pegged mortice and tenon joinery in the newel posts, and hand cut all housings and pockets. The finished aesthetic here was modernised by using glass balustrades around the landings; we designed a housed fixing system that meant we could avoid using unsightly glazing clamps to secure the glass.

Looking forward to having photos of these to put up...I've added some other photos of staircases we've made below. Generally I prefer to finish them with a light protective oil, though the external sets are really best left to silver and weather naturally...even the best oils break down under the onslaught of UV and will start to look tired and neglected after a couple of years. Oak's natural durability means it doesn't need any protection outside; I only use oils and finishes internally where the UV isn't an issue, and fingerprints and household wear and tear can mark raw timber surfaces.

(My mentor Jamie Lovekin takes the credit for the above balcony and external was one of the early projects that I helped him with over 14 years ago.)