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Forgotten but not gone
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Hieny's post got me to thinking about stairbuilding when I saw his pictures, because I always jump at the opportunity to bid a stair job that calls for tangent handrailing.
It reminded me of a documentary I bought about an historic house, owned at the time of its destruction by **** Cavett and his actress wife, Carrie Nye.
The house burned to ground in 1997. It had been built in 1883 by the renowned architectual firm of McKim, Mead, & White. The immaculate restoration of this house, down to practically the last nail, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. You can't watch the video, especially as a woodworker, without being floored by the spirit of determination of this woman, Carrie Nye, to believe that it could be rebuilt exactly as before, (including the sagging main beam in the living room "I don't want the beam straight I want it to have the exact same curve it had. I want it sagging just as before!"; not an exact quote working on memory here) even in the face of all the "experts" telling her "It can't be done".

I was able to talk for over an hour to the Master Stairbuilder James Dean (no relation and not the actor re-incarnated), who rebuilt the staircases, about tangent handrailing. At some point in the conversation I got so excited I actually asked if I could come and do a 2 year apprenticeship with him and he agreed to discuss it further with me at a later date, if after I thought about it some moreand still wanted to do it, but life has gotten in the way and my wife doesn't want to move to New York (and niether does her husband really!). I guess he could tell I was just enthused to be discussing this topic with a true master. He is a great person who is so busy you can't imagine and he took all that time to talk to little ol me! But he did say I could call him anytime with any problems I might run into in the future.
But enough bragging about the fact that I got to talk to James Dean:laughing:
The whole point of my post is that, you woodworkers really need to see this video. It is well worth the time invested to watch. It's more of a story, it is not a technical how-to, but I doubt anyone would be sorry they watched it.
So click the link and order it, or if funds are a little tight (who's ain't this time of year0 and you really want to watch I'll mail the blamed thing to you! :yes: And you can "pass it forward" to someone else on the forum after you've watched it.:icon_wink:

P.S. that title up top is the link to the site for those who might want to order it.
Edit: The software edited out D ick Cavett's first name!
 
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