Oct 10, 2014

Building in the round: recreating a missing round porch on Monument Avenue

After rebuilding the reclaimed columns in the shop, we realize on site that one full and one half column were too short. We spent a day on site adding onto these columns and shaping them. No one will be the wiser.

The capitals did not quite fit inside the tops of the columns. We routed 3/16" of material off. The capitals (shown here upside down) mid-modification. The one on the left is partially complete.

The elaborate scaffolding access gives us a safe platform to work on the columns. The round columns slip around a 6x6 post, which has to be set first. The columns were lifted 12 feet in the air and slipped down onto these 6x6 posts. Very carefully.

The next step is the handrails. In order to hide all fasteners, the entire handrail will be let into the column for support on all sides. 

The entire handrail was mortised into the column; we wanted to avoid using the manufacturers' mounting brackets, which would betray the modern material. We used Kreg jig pocket screws instead.
After the screw holes are filled with epoxy, sanded and painted, no one will be the wiser.
 A few views of the handrail from the scaffold really show off the curve.

 While one carpenter works on the finishing details of the round bases, we will move on to setting capitals around the 6x6 inner core of the columns.
Finishing the handrails:
The balusters were so close to the round column and newel, we had to do some extensive modification to make the system work.

One of the bottom rails has to be carefully coped to fit around existing trim details. This piece will be spliced onto the handrail section to extend its length and eliminate a half-newel at the house, which would obscure existing stone trim details on the house.

The first piece spliced on.

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