This weekend, after dithering a bit about how to go about it, I decided to cobble together the staircase landing from the original 2x8s (really that size) and some new materials…because much of the old was missing, thanks to the remuddling of the stairs more than a half-century ago.
Why not start with all new and rebuild it properly? Because I’m cheap, I guess. One of the three remaining original pieces is tenoned on the end to perfectly fit a mortise in the brick for solid support. To replicate that, I’d have to use 8/4 for construction…and the only 8/4 I have is mahogany. No way.
But it did cause some trouble; one of those piece was a little twisted, so I had to get creative underneath to support the landing. My apologies to any stairbuilders reading this; I know it’s not “right” – but it’s certainly solid. (I put a piece of 3/4″ ply over the joists –if that’s what they’re called – and had some neighbors over; we all jumped on it simultaneously and it didn’t move.)
But now I’m at a standstill. The flooring for the landing is going to be scavenged from my upcoming bathroom remodel (I’ll be putting in tile there), assuming what’s under the linoleum is in OK shape. If not, I’ll raid the third floor. And I have to find two pieces of 7/8″-thick 100-year-old pine pine for the two bottom treads that’s long enough and wide enough for two bowed entry steps that curve on both ends.
For now, I think I’ll put 3/4 ply over the joists, and cut some to what I think are the right tread shapes, to see how it looks. And use those temporary bits until I get the bathroom done. Could be awhile.
Not to mention the harbinger of imminent invasion
Unrelated but I thought I’d mention it. We were in Waynesville, Oh. last week. A new shop has opened featuring salvage from old houses. They have hundreds, no probably thousands of door knobs, locks, hinges and so forth. You need casters, they have bins full. Some spindles. Old cabinets that look like they’re from the early 1900’s.
Ooooo! Thanks! I’ll make a pilgrimage to check it out.
“Closer to fine” As a retired health inspector I noticed a potential cross contamination issue. With the water hoses hanging in the sink used water can be sucked backward into the (clean) water in the pipes. This happens when there is loss of pressure upsteam; (water main break etc). Suggest antibackflow valves that screw onto those hose bibs. These provide an air gap that keeps used water/sewage out of your drinking water. Hardware/ big box store. Note even if sink drains to air the hose can suck what in sink; example stone bath; cleaners in a bucket.
Huh – I did not know that. Maybe I’ll just remove those hoses, and put the cold one back on when sharpening. They were on there when I moved in, and I’ve simply not removed them.
I had to smile when I read this part
” Also need a half-newel at the back corner (maybe)”
How convenient, seeing as how you have not one but two half newels, grin. Have you liberated them yet? And as someone else commented earlier, what would have possessed someone to cut one in half.
Maybe that IS the clue. What if instead of cutting the newel to install it in the basement, they simply carried already existing half newels downstairs? Could the original have had 2 half ones?
I don’t think so? The evidence on the treads (cutouts where they would have dropped down) is that there were two full ones at the original landing corners, one large one (possibly the one in the basement – it’s remarkably tall) at the front left corner and another of the same size at the right front. But who knows? I’ve searched high and low for pictures (still searching), but so far, no joy.
And no, I’ve not yet liberated them – gave it a try yesterday, but they are too well secured for easy removal. I need to get a few worklights down there and take a closer look.
Regarding the spindles, I found a cache of ‘leftovers’ at my local supplier. I don’t know how many you need but if you found enough of the right style you might only have to make up the difference. I paid a buck a piece for well turned red oak. They now grace my front porch railings. Didn’t have enough to complete the rise to the porch so I substituted some pierced panels that mimic the shape of the spindles. Actually worked out quite well.
I have some of the original ones, and want to match them (installed on the second-floor railing). I’ve been to every place w/in 100 miles that might have them (except for the new one mentioned above). No dice. Besides…I need an excuse to buy a lathe 🙂
Don’t you mean “product review” of new lathes with regard to their ability to model historical architecture accurately and quickly. That way you can get paid and get your house updated 🙂
That would be graft and corruption. I had any such impulse beat out of me in 1987 in my journalism law and ethics classes.
Every tool you see me use, I’ve either paid for or borrowed, then returned to its owner…like the Domino in the next issue (thank you, Chris).
Come to the Dark Side Megan…. 🙂
How about getting Osborne Wood Products to duplicate them?
I’m cheap. And I want to get better at turning!