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Larry Schweitzer 07-18-2019 07:46 PM

Porch railing
1 Attachment(s)
Finally finished my porch railing. 54 spindles, 4 way dovetail at tops, wedged 35mm tenon at bottom. Cypress.
I had trouble getting a photo to here, might not work.

ScubaDoog 07-18-2019 08:23 PM

Wow, that is beautiful! Nice work.👍

Thomas W 07-30-2019 05:12 PM

this is beautiful! I plan on redoing my porch, but want to do it before it starts to get chilly out. How long did this take you to complete and did you have help?

Larry Schweitzer 07-31-2019 01:14 PM

Thomas, I had some advantages in that I've been a woodworker most of my life, owned my own shop that has more equipment than most. In spite of being well equipped, it took me a lot longer than I expected. I set out to minimizer fasteners. The railing assemblies have none. But the attachment to the posts have some. I fully painted & assembled the 4 units in the shop. Equipment I used: Taylor clamp rack, Whirlwind up cut saw, Calpe hydraulic copy lathe, Weinig molder, Extrema straight line rip saw, Gomad tilt shaper, Omga miter saw, SCM SL16 sliding table saw, SawStop table saw, drill press, professional level paint booth. What I learned: cypress is much softer than I had thought (my first time use,) it doesn't turn as nice as most hardwoods, absorbs paint like crazy, don't use 8/4 - too many checks, glue 4 or 6/4 for thickness, molds and shapes nicely. Resorcinol glue: takes longer to use - apply to both faces, working time is less than what the instructions say, requires care in mixing - I used a digital scale, cures rather slowly, but is totally water proof. I had help for glue up. I made jigs for cutting the dovetails on the end of the spindles. There were a huge # of pieces to be cut, glued, cut at angles, sanded, sanded, sanded...

Larry Schweitzer 09-17-2019 04:20 PM

Some details of why it took me so long to get it finished: Top & bottom rails were laminated, 3 or 4 pieces each. Profile of top rail has a sloping top, peaked in the center, a dovetail slot runs along the bottom, bottom edges have beads to form drips to prevent water from entering the dovetail. The spindles have matching dovetails done on the 4 top sides & 4 bandsawn slots in the bottom tenon for the wedges to be driven & glued. Spacing was done by using dovetailed blocks that had miters on ends to match the top of the spindles. Not other means of attachment was needed.
Bottom rail has the same slopes & beaded bottom edges, 35mm holes for tenons. The rails were joined to the porch posts by sliding a dovetail block out into a dovetail notch I hand cut into the posts. The block was retained by a SS screw from behind. I got worrying about the dovetail block being strong enough to support a man's weight sitting on it & added a block under the bottom rail, screwed to the post. I primed and sanded several coats of primer to fill the open grain before assembly. Finished by putting three top coats on after assembly. Way more time in this project than I had originally thought.

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