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 quare cypress newels with a ball top aren’t that hot- I know. They were made for a local customer to match the existing newels in his home. It’s hard to reproduce something unless you have the original something in your hand. In this case, I didn’t realize at first that the home was in Baton Rouge. The contractor only sent me a picture and asked me to reproduce the ball top based on the picture. He assured me that the newels were not going to be that close to the originals and so any slight variance wouldn’t be that noticeable. So I proceeded to make them based on the picture alone. Well that did’t work too well. As it turns out the new newels were close to the old and the grainy image I had received left a lot to be desired. The contractor had confidence in my “artistic” interpretation. Bottom line is we had to make them a second time. Fortunately we were able to cut the tops of and reuse the square shaft. They were happy.
The lighthouse newels were crafted for a customer in Mobile, AL. They have been popular in coastal areas with customers that are interested in a maritime theme. One of the first sets we made were for a beautiful home on the Mississippi coast. This particular customer owned four racing sail boats. Their home was filled with many old artifacts from old ships. It was like entering into a Jules Verne novel.
Other lighthouse newels have made their way to the Carolinas, Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Key West, FL. They are typically painted to simulate a painted lighthouse. These measure 7″ wide at the base and ship out at 54″ high. The handrail joins the newel just below the rim under the light quarters.
Another possibility is the lighthouse with a round bottom. The split lighthouse newel below was made for a customer in Massachusetts has the round bottom. The split newel is used to a apply to a wall with the handrail going it. These were made in poplar to be painted.
This newel is actually a modification of a stock newel we make – the N103 (the Texan as per my newel site stair-newels.com). I have a customer that wanted to emulate a newel she found on Houzz. My N103 is very similar to that newel so that is where we started. The first modification we made was to create a round base. Since the newel would be used under a volute, a round base was a good place to begin. The top of the Houzz newel was wider so we widened the top to receive a custom newel cap that would receive the Crown Heritage volute made for their 6310 handrail. The Houzz image, my standard N103 newel and the proposed modification are below:
These are stair newel and baluster renderings I made for a customer in GA. We were trying to find a baluster to match the large Pennsylvanian (N108) newel that we make that my customer would like. She wanted something simple but ultimately did not prefer the simple taper ed baluster. She opted for a 1 3/4″ tapered baluster with a square base and a little detail above the base. She was considering painting the handrails balusters and newels black so I made the rendering to reflect her tastes. The model was made in Sketchup and rendered in Twilight. Bothe image are posted below.
I just posted about some of the largest N115 reproduction antique newels we have made. This is about the smallest N115 reproduction newels we have made. They measure 3 1/2 inches wide only. They are, like their larger counterparts, made from poplar and will be painted. The challenge with making smaller version of a particular design is always one of scale. You say, “What do you mean?” The width of the newel is reduced (in this case from 10 inches to 3 1/2 inches) but the height remains the same (44 inches). And as such, if you try to scale mathematically the width only, you come up with a really unpleasant design. The detail would look quite elongated and would not resemble the large design at all. You really have to try to capture the “feel” of the larger by scaling the width and height. Typically this means the base will be elongated. I try to add some detail without changing the look and feel of the original.
Architectural Turnings was contacted to reproduce newels and balusters based on a photograph of an old stairway. I’m not sure where the magazine images were taken but the design is really nice. The craftsmen 100 – 200 years ago were people to admire not to say anything about this fine design. The local contractor specified the diameter of the newels and balusters he desired and we made the best drawings we could based his input and the photos. Some of the detail was not included in the final profile but I think the results were quite good. Click on the images for a larger view:
The first image is a line drawing of our proposed “interpretation” of the magazine image.
The images below are the result of what we did. The balusters and newels were crafted in maple. The newels are 4″ at the squares – the balusters measure 1 3/4″ at the squares. The stairway will use two balusters per retread unlike the photos above.