Cherry Stair Rails

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Project by zombeerose posted 03-07-2007 05:59 AM 3299 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today, with the vast majority of homes being mass produced, there are few items that are actually custom. Since my wife enjoys painting/decorating, she added the project of custom stair rails to my honey-do list.

Since we desired a warm wood with red undertones, cherry seemed to be the ideal choice. I ended up finding an 8/4 piece about 9’ long at the local WW store and went to work. It proved to be a huge challenge working with such large stock. Apparently, the piece I selected also contained some reaction wood because once I ripped it, I had some severe bows to deal with. Ultimately, I learned a lot about handplanes for truing a surface.

As far as the ying-yan inlay, I created those by creating a sandwich of purple heart and maple then cutting it all out on the scroll saw. I glued up the opposing colors and sanded them flat plus a slight bevel along the edges. I traced the outlines onto the ends of the rails. Primarily removing the waste with my router, the final cuts were pared out by hand.

The rails were finished with a 1lb coat of shellac to seal them. I will look back at my notes for what else I applied after the shellac because it’s apparently too early this morning and the mind won’t click.

Completed 1-2007

-- Maximize - Your Time, Your Experiencies, Your Life, Yourself!

8 comments so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5410 days

#1 posted 03-07-2007 06:06 AM

Cool. How great to incorporate details like this throughout the home!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5394 days

#2 posted 03-07-2007 09:01 AM

Nice inlay.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5243 days

#3 posted 03-07-2007 01:51 PM

this is beautiful and so cleanly done..

Now, wouldn’t THAT look nice in a purse handle!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5382 days

#4 posted 03-07-2007 01:58 PM

Very nice, that’s what I call, “something different alright”.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1527 posts in 5208 days

#5 posted 03-07-2007 07:09 PM

Shhh… Don’t let my sweety see. Next up are some detachable handrails for some narrow stairs we’ve got, and I’ve convinced her that 1 5/8” fir dowels are the way to go. If she sees what you’ve done…

And gorgeous work on the inlay.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4850 days

#6 posted 05-28-2008 04:15 AM

That is a very cool detail on the handrail.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View pipes's profile


57 posts in 4799 days

#7 posted 05-28-2008 04:19 AM

a beautiful job on the hand rail and a gorgeous inlay

-- Larry

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 4888 days

#8 posted 06-17-2008 10:49 AM

That inlay is just fantastic. – must get my scroll saw out and see if I can do that.

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