I got to go to the workshop at William Woodsend's (our builder) to see our staircase in progress. Clare was at work (she got to the site meeting the next day when I was at work! We're both doing lots of extra shifts at the moment...). The workshop is LOVELY - the building was built (for and presumably by WW) in the late 19th century, backing onto the canal. There's the smallish office area at the roadside, then a vast workshop, with glass pitched roof high above. I only had my phone with me this time, but when we go back I'll get C to take some proper pics.
Arthur, the stair-builder extraordinaire, told me they used to have 25 people working there - now it's only 3. There are massive old benches, full of drilled holes and dents. The floor is dented and has drops of many different paints. It smells great - very woody!
Anyway, the stair is well on the way. The main flight is largely built, with some treads and risers still to be added. Arthur explained that the string (stringer?) - that is, the bit up the side of the stair tying the different steps together - is made of one straight part and the triangles to go out to each tread are cut separately and allowed to sit for a few days, so once in they won't dry and distort. Then they are jointed into the main straight.
You can see the newel post (which will be cut shorter) slotted onto the stair here, and the next tread/riser combo in front of the stair.
And here it's like looking down our new stairs....
Arthur feels we should paint the stringer and risers in the workshop before the stair goes to site (so we don't make a mess, and so we can reach! Also, we can do it before the oak spindles are attached to the stringer). So that's our week off booked up, should be fun.
On the way out I saw all the cutting shapes for different mouldings - going back years, scattered over a bench. They sharp and shaped, and apparently it would be illegal to make ones like this now (they don't have a safety thingy) but theya re things of beauty and work well!
2 years ago