I often get asked to make replacement newel caps. Over time they can be damaged or completely removed for one reason or another. Customers often want to reinstate the original style of features to their staircase but can’t buy off the shelf items. I custom make replacements for them.
Sometimes it isn’t straightforward, as in the case of my customer Charles. A previous owner had removed the original newel cap and rounded off the newel post quite badly. I had to make a cap which would fit securely and disguise the heavy chamfering, while having an appropriate style for the house.
Luckily a neighbour had original newel caps and Charles sent me photos showing the correct style. I was able to adapt the cap so it would work. Made from sustainably sourced oak, it looks like it was always there.
He then told me it would appear on television, on ‘George Clarke’s Old House, New Home’ show, details of which you can see here.
Charles’s joiners made a great job of fitting the finished newel cap with mouldings to the post, as seen on here on ‘ George Clarke’s Old House, New Home ‘.
Thanks to ‘George Clarke’s Old House, New Home’, Amazing Productions, Channel 4, @amazingtelly and @beetspulseandthyme for use of the photos. You can watch the episode on Channel 4 On Demand.
If you need replacement newel caps or other staircase parts for your old house, please contact me to discuss your requirements.
These two bespoke gate post caps were designed to fit on the driveway gateposts of a customer last year. He is an author and a bee keeper, hence the carved motifs. They are hand carved from locally sourced wood and each made from a single piece of oak.
You can see more newel caps here and I can make them to your design and dimensions.
The client was very specific about the species of bee that he wanted me to carve on the book. It had to be apis mellifera. I had to do some research before carving, so I could get the shape of the body correct. Oddly enough, at the time of carving we discovered a small colony of miner bees in the garden, which led us to try and see how many different types of bee we could spot.
Luckily for my gate post caps project the design for the green man carving was easier. I did look at a few different styles though, and gave the client a sketch of each. The scale of the book limited the detail I could carve, so the green man had to be relatively simple. Sometime I would like to carve a much bigger and more detailed green man, with more leaves.
The Barnton Hotel Restoration Project in Edinburgh brought an empty and abandoned hotel back to life. The building had been empty for years. Luckily, it was bought to be redeveloped into residential flats and a care home before it fell into total decay.
Without a doubt, 2014 was going to be a very busy year for me. Page/Park Architects in Glasgow along with CCG Scotland Ltd, the contactors, commissioned me to replace much of the exterior specialist joinery on the hotel building. Most of the detailed woodwork was beyond restoration or saving which meant I had a lot of work to do.
1. View of gable and tower
2. Decorative gable truss
3. Gables and balusters
Replica joinery, finials, trusses and soffit posts, made from reclaimed timber
Finial, with nice new leadwork
Turned hardwood balusters
7. Pendant finials in workshop
8. Pendant finial, painted and fitted.
9. Pendant finial
The Restoration Work
I made replacement finials and pendant finials in reclaimed Scots pine using original surviving joinery as templates. All were turned by hand in the workshop. I used new red wood to make the decorative gable trusses and soffit posts, again copied from surviving originals. The exterior balustrading and handrails, however, I made from hardwood. A few of the original balusters survived and only needed simple restoration work.
The work for the Barnton Hotel restoration project I carried out in my workshop. I delivered it in stages and the contactors fitted all the joinery themselves on site.
We did some research too. The original colour for the paintwork came from a hand tinted postcard from 1905 which we found online. We used this colour for the final finish!
All exterior images above courtesy of Sylvia D’Arcy.
I hand turned these replacement spindles in reclaimed pitch pine to match an original Victorian pattern for a clients house extension. The spindles are a good example of the type of architectural woodturning I often get asked to do. Once I have finished turning them I parcel them up and send them out. The client can then complete another stage in their building project.
I used very well seasoned pitch pine which was a perfect match for the original wood. The pine was reclaimed from 200 year old beams salvaged from a demolished mill in the Scottish Border town of Hawick. The client gave me an original spindle to use as the template. Once I turned the spindles I gave them a thin coat of lacquer to seal them. It won’t take long before the colour blends nicely with the original staircase in the clients house.
I can also make replacement spindles like this in Scots pine, oak, Douglas fir, mahogany or another timber to suit the client.