This is a Philadelphian newel as seen on my sales page. It was made for a customer in Oklahoma for a new home under construction there. We made it in maple and fashioned a newel cap in maple to match a 6400 handrail profile. I’m hoping to get pictures of the finished product from them to post here.
So this is a large newel (7 inch) a customer asked me to make based on an image they found on the Houzz website. We made it in poplar to be painted. The cap, however, is made from red oak and matches a 6210 handrail. The installer will attach the rails and rail fitting into the cap to make a very nice over-the- post rail for their stairway. The smaller 4 inch newel will be used for landings and balconies. I like the pattern and will likely add it into my mix of regular newels. Large newel in poplar.
We were contracted to make these Spanish Cedar newels and balusters for a home in Brooklyn. The early twentieth century home was quite dated in appearance and the home owner wanted the exterior to closely match the original look. Fortunately there were pictures available dating back to probably the twenties. Based on those images we designed the balusters and newels sen below. The contractor was good enough o forward these images. The balusters were four inches wide and the newels were 8″ wide at the base and 54 ” high.
I always found these “upside down” looking victorian newels interesting. I’ve never had anyone ask me to make one so I thought I would model one based on drawings I’ve had. You can find this style on old Victorian house columns as well and balusters. Every time i se a picture of one of these asa house column my initial reaction is, did someone install this upside down? They’re pretty cool regardless. Maybe I should have drawn it with the balusters upside down as well?
I’ve painted this one a dark color as well ads the handrail. The width at the base of this newel is 5 1/2″. Click on the image for a larger view.
I recently produced a Washington Newel for a customer in Oakland. What was a little unusual about this order is that although the newel is an over-the-post newel, the customer wanted to connect the handrail to the shank of the newel as I have modeled below. They still wanted the cap on the newel which I produced to match the LJ Smith 6400 handrail profile. I’m hoping they will send pictures of the finished product. If so, I will post pictures here. Connecting the handrail to the newel like this means the poor installers have to “cope” the end of the handrail to a round and tapered newel shank. I’ve seen it done by an installer with my light house newel to beautiful effect.
The Philadelphian newel is one of our larger offerings. It measures 7″ at the base. However, as with the other larger newels, smaller sizes are desired for landings and balconies. The larger newels are, of course used for the starters. So was the case of making smaller versions of the Philadelphian newel. My customer in VA needed other smaller newels for the landings and balconies and, in fact, wanted to scale down the seven inch starter to a 5 1/2 inch wide newel. The image below is the final product. The larger is 5 1/2″ the smaller newels are 4 1/2″. All are over-the post newels. They are in poplar and will be painted. The larger one required us to make a cap matching the handrail profile. The cap matches the LJ Smith 6400 handrail.
I’ve always liked octagon shape for newels and this one is strictly octagon with no other ornamentation. This version starts at 7 inches wide at the base and tapers up to 4 3/4 inches at the top (below the newel cap). I originally rendered it as a stained newel but actually prefer the painted because the tapered lines of the octagon show up better. The stained handrail and treads make for nice contrast.
Sometimes simpler is better. At least that was the thinking behind the newels pictured here. I occasionally receive requests for simple tapered (or cylindrical) newels from my customers. The two renderings below are my response to those request. They are all over-the-post newels and as such require a newel cap to match the handrail profile. I prefer the painted over the stained because the simple lines are not blurred visually by the wood grain.
I’ve added a 9 -10 inch base with base cap to one of the newels to add the smallest refinement. Let me know what you think.
The renderings are some of the iterations we went through for a particular customer. From color changes to using a combination of landing box newels, the images show some of the changes that were made .
In the first image we were going with black newels and handrail. My customer wanted to alternate different balusters, which we did except for the balcony (drawing error). The particular handrail throughout is a industry standard 6210.
Close up of the balcony with differing balusters
In the image below we changed the color and painted the balusters the same as the newel and handrail. I also changed on of the baluster profiles to a round base. The treads were stained in this version. Also note: We tried box newels for the landing. My customer decided she did not like the box newels.
So in this rendering we went back to the over the post Philadelphian newel. As it turns out we are going to add square bases instead of the octagonal bases to the newels
This is just another iteration of the closed stringer stairway. In this particular model I’ve used large (3 1/2″) barley twisted balusters that have pin top tops as well as bottoms. This eliminates the problem of trying to enlarge the bottom of the handrail to accommodate the larger style balusters. This would make for quite a show I think. But what do you think?