Friday, January 23, 2015

Designing the stair landing

The main staircase to the second floor has been in construction mode for a long time. It's safe, it gets us up and down, but it's got temporary stair treads, a plywood landing, and rough railings. Chris decided it was time to start finishing this area and has been planing wood (flame birch for the treads and white oak for the landing) and coming up with ideas for the landing. He wanted something decorative on the landing and we decided to do some inlay. A compass to be specific.

High tech way to draw a circle

Drawing the design

Labeling everything

Cutting out the pattern

Itty bitty pattern pieces
He's going to take those tiny pieces of paper and use them as patterns to cut out the wood (walnut for the dark parts of the compass rose, birch for the light, copper inlay for the circles) and do an inlay. My part was easy - help design the compass rose, draw it, cut it out - I'm done. Now he gets to figure out how to do the artistic stuff. I'll have many more pictures to come.


  1. This. This is going to be an incredible staircase -thank you for highlighting inlay wood into your design - sometimes I think people forget how beautiful wood really is to work with, and how you can create wonderful functional "art" to be used daily in their lives!

    We used Black ash for our railings and spindles - with the emerald ash borer encroaching, we thought it would be a good historical use of this very "figuring" type of wood...

    1. Thanks for the comment! I'm writing the "in-process" post today and it'll have some pictures of the compass. It's coming out so nice. I can hardly wait for the whole thing to be finished.