Stair railings on iron work can look very elegant if it's done right, but, as in everything, the foundation is the key to a good structure. The contractor chose to have his own people do the iron work on this project. The choice was a good one. The curves and transitions were perfect, ninety degree easements were truly ninety and the curves were clean and flowing. This foundation made our job much easier and the finished product very pleasing to us.
The front staircase was quite a challenge, having the steepest volute we've ever done. It started as a six inch thick block of walnut. Because the stair flared and the steps were different widths, the railing to the volute arched downward, which made it a compound curve. The railing on the opposite side had an up-sweep for the same reason. At the top of the stairs, the horizontal rail was a pretty sweeping piano-shaped curve terminating at the wall.
The back stair was part wall-hung and partly on iron. The sections were joined with an “S” shaped
fitting not attached to the wall at all, creating a floating look. The fittings attaching the rail ends to the walls are attached with blind hanger bolts and plugged with walnut and the rail supports were mortised in.
Below the back stair is the stairway to the basement. This was a combination of wall hung and iron supported as well. All free railing ends were done in a ball shape picked out by the customer.
This kind of work requires both shop work and extensive field work as most of the curves and the
volute had to be shaped to the installed iron.
We are quite happy with the finished project.