I was tempted to call these Red Oak Spiral Newels the “newels from hell”. It seemed everything that could go wrong went wrong (OK maybe an exaggeration). The newel design was a composite from a few different newels each presenting new challenges and more time to craft them. Because of the deep spiral required, the newels had to be made in three pieces and then doweled and glued together. I really think the original newel shown me was hand carved by a wonderfully skilled artisan. It’s awesome , I think, that there are still designs that absolutely cannot be made by machine but must still be crafted by hand with traditional hand carving tools. But I don’t possess that skill nor do I have the time to complete a project like that. Shown below is the original image with notations, then the 3D model I made. Below that is the final newel with some changes – 5 1/2″ and 4″. Another 4″ newel was split but I did not take any pictures of it.
I recently received a request from a former customer to create 7 white oak reproduction newels based on an image she had found. The image is of a large over-the-post newel made from mahogany, I think. She apparently loved the lines of the newel and so I endeavored to reproduce it first in CAD (computer aided design). The next step was to model it in Sketchup. Lastly the Sketchup model was rendered in the Twilight rendering engine.
We modified the base to be square. The original appears to have a “bowed” fronted base which I’ve never seen before. The challenge to reproduce the image was that is was not a high resolution image and so some of the detail had to be guessed at. So below is t he original image followed by the rendered model in White Oak. The model came out nicely and the real newel should look pretty close to it.
I posted an article and pictures of a previous newel project we did based on an image from Houzz.com. a few different customers of mine were interested in this particular newel. I reproduced a set for a customer in Fairfax,VA and he was gracious enough to provide pictures of the finished product. The name of Domenic’s business is Architectural Woodwork. His work is quite nice. If you’re in the area and need work done on your home you should definitely give him shot at it.
We don’t often get orders for rake newels but I have an image of some really nice ones that a customer ordered some time back. Rake newels are used to strengthen a long section of stairs or balcony to eliminate that wobbly handrail that occurs when too long a span is a attempted. The rake newels in the image are designed to attach in to the bottom of the rail in the same manner as a baluster would. Although the profile of the rake in this example is different than the larger N108 newels (top image) I think they still compliment each other nicely. The top image is white oak. The bottom image is red oak.
This is another image (version) of my last post of the Huge tapered newel. This version has lighter rail and tread stain and a different cap.
The 12 inch diameter base makes it necessary for a large starter step. The newel would also have to notched into the step to line up the rail and balusters at their proper alignment on the end of the treads.
I saw a similar “huge” newel to this one (below) on the internet and thought I would make a computer model of it. I had to guess at the size of the original newel. I modeled this one with a 12″ diameter base tapering to about 8 1/2″ at the top. The original had a cap like this one and also had the handrail attaching below the cap though it could attach to the cap as easily. I like the way the large round stair tread creates a platform for the base of the newel.
This one would have to be built as a hollow octagon or a 12 sided hollow. It simply too huge to glue up as a solid. Being hollow, though, has some advantages. A threaded rod (all-thread) could be inserted through a top plate all the way through the base tread and fastened really securely to the tread. The cap would hide the top of the all-thread and make for a tight and attractive newel. Let me know if you are interested in the HUGE newel.
By the way the balusters are 2 1/4″ at the base and taper to 1″. They compliment the newel very nicely, I think.
The newel posted below was based on an image from the web site Houzz. I’ve actually had a few customers that have referenced this beauty. I made my best guess at copying the profile. It is sometimes a challenge to reproduce a turning without having the original in my possession. The copy came out pretty good, I think, and may make it to my standard line of newels. I really like the painted newels with richly stained handrail and newel cap in the original Houzz image. The contrast is quite nice.
These are the lighthouse balusters we occasionally make to go with the lighthouse newel N110. They mimic the shape of the lighthouse newel pretty well and, I think, complete the maritime theme of the newels.
We have made alternating balusters with these and barley twisted every other balusters to make a unique stairway.
You should be able to see the profile similarity between the lighthouse newel and the balusters.
These rope twisted balusters were turned for a local millworks manufacturer. They are simple but nice, I think, for the exterior balcony they will be installed to. They measure 2 1/4″ in width and are only 28″ long (if memory serves me right). The wood species is Spanish Cedar (which holds up quite well outdoors)
This newel is a variation of our N114 Barley twisted over the post newel. The base has been turned round, I think, to accommodate a volute fitting at the base of the stairway (round works better there). The top, however has been tuned somewhat smaller than we usually make for these. As such, a standard stair-manufacturer cap will work for this one as opposed to making a custom cap- much larger. The newel is made from red oak and measures 5 1/2″ in diameter at the base and is 44″ high. We also added a detail below the twist that is not offered in out standard N114