Honeoye Falls, NY: A customer called us this spring with the need for a railing to help her and her guests walk down the steps of her rock garden. This wonderful garden has rock steps that lead from the home’s main door to the driveway area. There were several materials discussed; stainless, wrought iron or wood. A natural wood railing system made of cedar was decided on.
The first challenge we faced was the curve of the steps. The shaping of the 13-foot 2x6 clear cedar board would help us achieve that. First a shaped cut on top edge of board was made, which achieved two goals. One is a comfortable, easy to grasp railing, the second is a relief in the grain of the wood to allow a gentle bend to be put in the board. After measuring the arc of the steps, we made a fixture in the shop to the dimensions required to match the curved staircase. With weights, our railing, after over a week of this forced bend, it was removed, allowed to acclimate and was ready to be mounted.
The next challenge we faced were the posts required to hold the railing. Being a rock garden, we ran into a lot of rocks! Making this especially difficult was the requirement of the precise location of the posts to mount the shaped railing. Ultimately, we were able to dig down far enough to cement a pressure treated 4x4 post in place, making it plumb and solid. We then covered the pressure treated 4x4 posts with cedar and formed sheet copper to cap the railing.
Do you have a challenging project you’d like some ideas on? Give us a call today!