Lath, Now Lathe

I awoke this morning in a destructive mood, so I grabbed my dropcloth, pry bar and a lot of garbage bags, and finally got around to finishing the tear-out on the front of my staircase (it’s been in the same state of not done since I took down the dividing wall in September/October of 2015, and rebuilt the bottom landing in July 2016).

I really only wanted to remove the weird 1950s plaster board over the original plaster…but the plaster was in terrible shape, so I stripped everything back to the bearers (as I think the stud-like supports are called in this stair construction). And gosh did I make a mess (twice).

I had to get it done in one day with no breaks, because my elderly male cat, JJ, enjoys relieving himself on dropcloths – so I can’t leave one down and unattended.

No one needs or wants a step by step on using a crowbar, so below is my day in pictures.

With the tear-out done, I’m almost out of excuses to put off rebuilding – or will be, as soon as I finish the sink base and get it up the stairs. I’ve designed that and purchased the lumber, so it won’t be long now. Then, it will be to the lathe to turn the balusters…or turn to someone who has a lathe to do them for me.

How it’s looked for 18 months
Plaster almost gone
Plaster dust cleanup.
Considered stopping here…but sucked it up and kept going.

Yay. Another mess.
Done for now. (The cats love the new hiding place.)


About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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14 Responses to Lath, Now Lathe

  1. dtugboat says:

    I like the stain glass window. A lot of work done… neatly

  2. Chester Arnold says:

    I’d be happy to turn the spindles for you.
    What material and design do you have planned?

  3. BLZeebub says:

    That crawl space for the kitties is not a bad idea. I visited a show home recently and that is exactly what they did with the space under the stairs. Except it was for a canine.

  4. toolnut says:

    Ooooo…more storage. I don’t want to make more work for you but if you want to have some fun search “cupboard under stairs” and look at the images. Some cool ideas that would fit your home.

    • fitz says:

      I’m thinking about some pull-out shelves for boots/shoes (the bearer has to stay of course, so it would have to be a fairly narrow thing to fit/get into…otherwise, I’d do a cabinet that takes up the entire space, but no. Unless I build it inside…which would be awfully difficult!)

  5. johncashman73 says:

    Nice dust bin. Too nice for old plaster.

  6. Eric Stirrup says:

    Any chance of posting the rough dimensions of your innovative dust/dirt scrap pan with the long handle? Box dimensions would be awesome, handle and pivot easily adapted

  7. Stephen Fridrick says:

    Nothing like good, hard physical labor to stimulate the body and mind. I bet you are feeling the effects of this effort today! Similar construction work is why I enjoy working with Habitat for Humanity.

  8. I say go all out and make a hidie-hole. Someplace where you can squeeze into and curl up in a ball whilst thinking about all the restoration that still needs to be done…

    • johncashman73 says:

      If she’s going to do that, she could make the space accessible by hinging the stairs upward, like in The Munsters.

      • fitz says:

        I’m debating between hinged panel and doing nothing behind (i.e. a secret room) or pull-out shelves behind paneling…which is a lot more trouble but a lot more useful.

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