Stanley Drills



Masters' Library


Common-sense Stair Building and Handrailing by Frederick T. Hodgson, 1916



The following pages in stair-building and handrailing are taken from the actual working drawings of practical handrailers and stair-builders. The first division is, in a great measure, the work of George Langstaff, New England, and is considered by expert workmen to be one of the best treatises of the kind, with regard to the stairs dealt with.

Of course there are only eleven kinds of stairs, but they are so arranged that any person mastering to the full extent these eleven would find no insurmountable difficulty in dealing with stairs of other kinds.

It must be remembered that the reader of this book is supposed to have a considerable knowledge regarding the various methods of building the stair proper in all its different forms, for without this knowledge it will be impossible to understand the method of laying out and constructing a rail, even for a straight stair having a ramp at the newel post.

That is the publishers' reason for including a valuable treatise on that subject, which teaches, in a very simple manner, the proper way to lay out the carcass of a stair, and all new beginners who have not obtained a fair knowledge on the subject will appreciate this addition, which, in conjunction with this work, will fully equip any young man with all the information he will ever likely require regarding the art of stair-building and handrailing.


The greater portion of the first division was published in "The Builder and Woodworker" many years ago, and afterwards, in a very much amended form, in "The National Builder," and is now in book form for the first time.

The second division which contains some excellent examples is the work of several contributors, who worked under a like system. The methods of obtaining the wreaths and twists are worth studying, as they show how these can be lined out with the greatest of ease when the subject is understood. This method is nearly complete in itself.

The third division is perhaps the most complete of the three, as about any kind of a rail can be obtained by the use of this system. While not exactly like the system of the late Robert Riddell, it approaches it so nearly that ordinary workmen would scarcely know the difference, but there is a difference, and Mr. Wilson, who has helped to work this system out, deserves much credit for simplifying the whole scheme.

January, 1903.

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