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  • Big wheels keep on turning

    I'm making balusters for my son's old house restoration project. On the second floor landing, a remodel had replaced about 38 balusters with a wall. I made 40 replacements out of alder. I hadn't done any turning in quite a few years, so it took a while to get back into the groove. Starting with 10-12' long 8/4 boards, I cut them to length, ripped them, then planed them down to 1 9/16" squares. Since the ends are square, I had to turn from square to round.

    The spiral pattern on the lower end had me baffled for quite a while. I carved the 8 spiral grooves into 2 balusters and know that I'd never get done at that pace. I ended up making a router jig. In the length of the "pineapple", each groove goes half way around the piece. With my jig, it takes about 20 min to cut in the grooves on each one. I should get all of these completed this week -- then find time to get to Cinci and install them (while spending time with the grandkids).

    Here are some pics. The dark stained ones are original and I used them as a pattern.
    Attached Files
    Mtnman Jim

    taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

  • #2
    WOW!!! You are some kinda talented guy! I have a lathe but I am yet to make anything worthwhile with it. You are an inspiration!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Jim - Always good to see an expert on the job. You make turning those spindles out look easy although I'm sure it's much harder than you make it sound. Producing one piece would satisfy me but 40, no way! That was also very smart thinking to use the router jig.

      Well done pal and thanks for some insight on the work
      Jim in Mexico

      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
      - Albert Einstein

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      • #4
        Jim,
        You are a wizard, for sure. They look great! Now hustle to Cinci and have some chili.

        Nancy
        A clean house is a sign of a broken scroll saw!

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        • #5
          Looking good Jim !
          I'm sure your son will like the personal touch you're supplying.
          Eric

          Liberty Twp (Cincinnati), OH

          If today were perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow!

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow Jim! Amazing work!!! 40 ??? OMG....
            Frieke
            www.friewoodart.webs.com

            Visit Frieke's gallery

            Don't let the pain of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

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            • #7
              Great undertaking, Jim. Great job all around, thanks for sharing and your son will be so thankful for your contribution in having your creation in his home for as long as He owns it. He will think of you every time He looks at the balusters.

              Mike

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              • #8
                Been following your project from the start Jim, and must say you are an inspiration.
                They look so sweeeeet, your son will certainly appreciate all your efforts. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.......love project photos.
                Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the comments. They are an encouragement and keep me going. I'm usually a 1-off person -- so getting into "production" mode has been quite difficult. It took me a long time to get into this -- and now I can't wait to get them all installed. -- I'll be sure to post some pics of the finished project.

                  Here are a couple of pics of the stairway as it exists and a pic of the house taken from the Cincinnati Historical Society web site. The house was designed by Samuel Hannaford, the architect who designed many Cinci landmarks including city hall, music hall, and the observatory.
                  Attached Files
                  Mtnman Jim

                  taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Old house

                    Jim, the ones you made are just like the ones in the house and that is some mighty fine wood working.
                    jellis

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, Jellis.
                      Mtnman Jim

                      taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jim, Great work. Were the two additional balusters for 'just in case' events or to replace what appears to be non-matching balusters on the stairwell (e.g. second on right past pillar). Great work and great matching the originals. Would be great to see the 'wall' both before and after the new balusters.
                        Sawdust King

                        If there is one thing I can make perfect every time it is sawdust.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I made a couple of 'just in case' ones in addition to the ones needed for the landing and the ones to replace the non-matching ones. I will get a pic of the restored staircase once I get back there and help install all the ones I've made.
                          Mtnman Jim

                          taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's some great work and what a fine addition to have your handiwork become part of what is and surely will be a continuing piece of 'Americana' history. You should print out these comments and place them with the historical society. There should be a record of your 'addition' to the overall historical home.

                            I'm not telling you . . . . I'm just saying . . . .

                            John
                            I've Got A Lot More To Learn
                            About Leaving Battlegrounds Alone
                            "~~ Molly Venter

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