It's all in the numbers

"... stylish, elegant, and bespoke metalwork ..."

<< Blog; 14th May 2018 >>

It's often said that you lose money on your first curved stair balustrade, break even on the second and make a small profit on the third. Their geometry can be complicated, very very complicated and calls for constant precision, accuracy and thought. Thankfully I've now made a few of these over the years but they always require careful planning. If you get things wrong they will bite, hard!

Circular stairs are difficult enough but elliptical ones are an order of magnitude more complex, especially ones such as these where they flare out at the bottom and sweep into the gallery at the top. What's more, the lower rail has to be a snug fit into the groove on top of the stringer and this changes curvature and rake ALL the way along the stairs. The top and bottom rails require forming by bending, twisting and curving by hand. This must be done millimetre by millimetre along the stairs as it constantly changes curvature and there is absolutely no room for error.

I always enjoy the challenge of this type of work because the sweep, swoop, curve and flow of the railings look spectacular when finished. These balustrades are still a work in progress, the top rail has been laser scanned (hence the tape with numbers) and the wooden handrail will be cnc machined using this scan ... more photos to follow!

Handrail for elliptical metal balustrade being laser scanned