How to replicate our Victorian railing?

sarahandbrayAugust 22, 2012

I took pictures today of our railing to send around to some local lumberyards to look for help in restoring our front porch to it's 19th c. look.

I attached a few pics here--this one little section of the railing remains in place and I just love it--short, squat, and solid!

I think this is going to cost a BUNDLE. Any good websites that offer this or ideas of where I can get this done?

Thanks!

Sarah

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millworkman

Your correct it will not be inexpensive. Look at Fypon, and Stylemark for these types of products as well.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:09AM
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VictoriaElizabeth

We replaced about 6' of interior handrail/spindles in our 1890 Victorian. It would have been prohibitively expensive if we had needed a large amount.

We used a guy who specializes in replicating antique moldings and wood work. It was pricey, but the end result is really indistinguishable from the original...

We are in the middle of our front porch project too... Originally our house didn't have any rail, but I wish we had one as pretty as yours!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Victorian Front Porch

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:22AM
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alfalfa58

I bought a used Jet lathe with tools for $350 and it included a duplicator. I made 100 balusters for those that needed replacing and for any I may need in the future. I got pretty good and could make one every 7 minutes. I also made the round handrail. Sold the equipment last month on craigslist for $550 when I was done with it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:40PM
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alfalfa58

This pic of work in progress is not as blurry!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:51PM
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sarahandbray

WOW!!! That is IMPRESSIVE! Holy smokes! I am very jealous at this very moment...

Did you turn the columns as well? And the handrails?

That looks absolutely amazing...
Sarah

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:45AM
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alfalfa58

We didn't turn any of the columns, they were ok. We did turn one of the 48" newel posts. I also remade some of the spandrel around the top. All of the rounded portion of the porch railing had to be remade as it had rotted away. The house is civil war era here in georgia, and had been neglected for many years. I think it is a job anyone with basic woodworking skills could do. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:14AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

If you bought a lathe with a >48" bed for $350, you should have kept it, or sold it for a heck of a lot more than $550!!!
Casey

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:04AM
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alfalfa58

I would agree. However, I made it in two pcs. and fastened it together!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:25AM
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sarahandbray

Thanks again for all the help!
Got the cost down to $2110 for 3 columns, 4 newels, 28lft of top and bottom rail, 54 spindles, tax and shipping from www.mrspindle.com. Clear western red cedar.
Seems like they supply Vintage Woodworks with some products.

Freight shipping for all of that was only $125, which I thought was pretty good. Haven't ordered yet, as it's not identical, but it's darn close to our original. Having the spindles copied exactly put the cost per spindle from $10 to $25, which is quite a bit of a difference across 54 spindles. Short, fat, chunky, and Victorian-looking was what I was going for.
Unless someone locally is willing to replicate the whole railing identically for $2500 or under, I'll probably go with this company.

Thanks again for your help--I've been trolling craigslist hoping for a great deal like you got, but to no avail. Plus, since I have ZERO wood-working experience and my husband's experience is limited, I don't think that's an option for us.
-Sarah

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:19PM
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sarahandbray

Ugh. Local people who would replicate the railing are asking anywhere from 8K-12K. That is just nowhere near feasible for us on a house with multiple projects that we are trying to tackle and regular-people incomes!!
The "very close" quote from Mr. Spindle for a little over 2K is looking better and better...
Sarah

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:47PM
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