This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Before leaving the subject of straight and dog-legged stairs, the student should be made familiar with at least one example of an open-newel stair. As the same principles of construction govern all styles of open-newel stairs, a single example will be sufficient. The student must, of course, understand that he himself is the greatest factor in planning stairs of this type; that the setting out and designing will generally devolve on him. By exercising a little thought and foresight, he can so arrange his plan that a minimum of both labor and material will be required.
Fig. 54 shows a plan of an open-newel stair having two landings and closed strings, shown in elevation in Fig. 55. The dotted lines show the carriage timbers and trimmers, also the lines of risers; while the treads are shown by full lines.
It will be noticed that the strings and trimmers at the first landing are framed into the shank of the second newel post, which runs down to the floor; while the top newel drops below the fascia, and has a turned and carved drop. This drop hangs below both the fascia and the string. The lines of treads and risers are shown by dotted lines and crosshatched sections. The position of the carriage timbers is shown both in the landings and in the runs of the stairs, the projecting ends of these timbers being supposed to be resting on the wall. A scale of the plan and elevation is attached to the plan. In Fig. 55, a story rod is shown at the right, with the number of risers spaced off thereon.
The design of the newels, spandrel, framing, and paneling is shown.
Fig. 50. Lower End of String to Connect with Bullnose Step.
Fig. 51. Section through String.
Fig. 52. Plan of Bottom Part of Bullnose Stair.
Fig. 53. Vertical Section through Bottom Part of Bullnose Stair.
Only the central carriage timbers are shown in Fig. 54; but in a stair of this width, there ought to be two other timbers, not so heavy, perhaps, as the central one, yet strong enough to be of service in lending additional strength to the stairway, and also to help carry the laths and plaster or the paneling which may be necessary in completing the under side or soffit. The strings being closed, the butts of their balusters must rest on a subrail which caps the upper edge of the outer string.
Fig. 54. Plan of Open-Newel Stair, with Two Landings and Closed Strings.
The first newel should pass through the lower floor, and, to insure solidity, should be secured by bolts to a joist, as shown in the elevation. The rail is attached to the newels in the usual manner, with handrail bolts or other suitable device. The upper newel should be made fast to the joists as shown, either by bolts or in some other efficient manner. The intermediate newels are left square on the shank below the stairs, and may be fastened in the floor below either by mortise and tenon or by making use of joint bolts.
Fig. 55. Elevation of Open-Newel Stair Shown in Plan in Fig. 54.
Everything about a stair should be made solid and sound; and every joint should set firmly and closely; or a shaky, rickety, squeaky stair will be the result, which is an abomination.