I have been showing you the progression on the newel posts and here are the last steps for me. The ‘stair guys’ will take it from here, thank heavens, I can’t bear lifting these things anymore, they just get heavier it seems. All five were turned roughly, taken off the lathe before sanding..good job I left some extra on because there were some design problems…I drew out the hex to scale for the bottom and at the top where the rail ties in but the original specs sent to me did not allow enough room for the rail size and footing box to tie in and sit with a true hex on this size post. I would have caught that at the drafting table had I taken the time to draw out the hex profile myself at that point, before even getting started.[Lesson learned there]……So after some debate it was decided to just take some off each the corners. I rarely do work that involves others, there is a ‘team’ that gets a house built..Everyone has their specialty..very cool. The owner [and me too] really wanted the true hex, I hope she isn’t disappointed.
I made up a jig that would sit on the bed of my lathe to take off the corners on the bottom and to flatten a smaller octagon type profile where the rail will tie in. because the posts are so wide I had to have a larger bottom plate on my router to ride on the top of the jig.[this 3 hp Makita is the best router out there by the way, just a workhorse for me, I have tried others and have a big 3hp Ryobi in my router table but nothing is nicer to use than the Makita] . Had to stay awake to be sure that the plate stayed flat on the jig and did not dip off…couldn’t afford at this stage to make a mistake….oh that would spell disaster, I was nervous. Should have made up a bigger plate but sometimes you just are too lazy..bad on me.
You can see at the headstock of the lathe how you can index and lock the piece for the number of degrees you need to make an octagon. You just have to be sure your piece is sitting square when you start to calculate where to lock it…..
I made notes of what numbers were corners and which were flats, each post was different so it kept things from being confusing. Worked well though, set the bit at different levels for each of the three profiles[ X4] because the top octagon is smaller than the bottom.
After that was finished, I measured up the turnings, sharpened them up, turned the post top and sanded before taking them off. Sanding is so necessary but so time-consuming, that is the thing about woodwork, sanding takes TIME.
And they are finished, three left before I took pictures so these are the last two..ready to go. YAY!!. This has tied up my workshop and I will be glad to get at my spring things. I have new things in the works that I keep putting aside, cannot wait to get at them.
They are not sitting square on the floor so they may look a little dissimilar, it is a big challenge to get them exact, especially when they are so big..Hopefully I can get the homeowner to take a picture when they are installed and finished ….I am anxious to see them installed.
And that is the end of the newel post saga……I hope !!
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