Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The "Fretwork Experiment'

It is not in my nature to do things the easy way and such is the case with our staircase restoration project. Conventional wisdom is that I should just find a simple newel post and install it and be done. But not me, no, I have to take simple solutions and make them complex, much like the Victorians

I was going though my massive collection of "stuff" and found a I have a perfectly good interior interior fluted column from a previous restoration.

So the new "plan' is to use this column instead of a newel. Not to be outdone by that of course we are going to do two fretwork screens across the top of the stair hall opening. Now it would of course be impossible to find original fretwork in a size that would work and would be cost prohibited.

Which is why I made my trip to the craft and woodworking supply store last night and bought bags and bags of dowels and wooden balls.....Yes I am going to build my own fretwork spandrels for the Knox street project. Basically, this allows me to custom build something along the lines of an original design element and my "hope" is, once its stained to match the column and trim it will be undetectable as not being "original' to the house.
In some upcoming blogposts we will "follow' the process of the building of these fretwork screens. Although it sounds daunting , It really shouldn't be that difficult to execute, just a little time consuming!


Marilyn said...

You mean "a lot time consuming" don't you? Sounds like a fun project. The hardest part is staining something like that, having had experience with staining a new one back in the 1970's for the Hackley House in Muskegon. We had it custom built to match a picture.

Paul Wilham said...

Actually it is going well. The staining phase of the parts is not a problem its the cross drilling of the "balls" that takes the most time. Once I created an alignment jig to get the holes drilled it was OK. I have already begun construction and will soon have an update on this project.