Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Staircase Takes Shape

The past two afternoons we have been up to M.Chaboisson's atelier to keep up to date with how our staircase is progressing.

On Monday afternoon the contremarches were being cut and and the final set of marches being shaped. The precision is amazing...

The underside of our steps look like this. The curved end will
fit into the infamous noyau
Yesterday afternoon when we arrived we were somewhat overcome to see recognisable chunks of staircase being fitted together. Jean-Louis has completed the noyau and was cutting the rebates into it that the steps will fit into. He was then fitting the steps to check the fit. This is precise work, done by hand with very sharp chisels, so although we took photos, we didn't use the flash: this is why the photos may not be the best quality.

Steps being fitted into the noyau
While that was happening, Jean-Michel was assisting one of the younger workers (I assume one of the apprentices) with putting together the handrail that will eventually go on the landing in our attic. Although it will hardly ever been seen, the second flight of stairs is being made with all the same attention to detail as the first flight.

We were also pleased to see that our handrails have been formed. These are looking lovely - all graceful curves and flowing lines.

Once all the pices are cut, sanded, and the fitting checked, they will be dismantled and bought to the house to be contructed. I think that's how it goes, anyway - I can't see how they can put it together in the factory and install it in one lump. Then again, I am no expert!

When we were leaving we asked the receptionist at the atelier if she knew when the staircase was being installed. She said she thought Thursday or Friday - but no!! She rang this morning at just gone 8.00 to say they will be down immediately to demolish the old staircase this morning..

...and start erecting the new one this afternoon. Wooohoooo!



Anonymous said...

The only thing I can say is WOW!!!

chm said...

The only thing I can say is WOW!!!

That's what I said, but Google didn't want to forward my ID. May be it will work this time.

gil said...


This absolutely fascinating. Wonderful pics of beautiful craftsmanship.


Jean said...

Wow from me too. Looks exquisite, superb and soooo exciting.

The Beaver said...

C'est fantastique - ou WOW!!!!! also :-)

Jean said...

Simon and Susan, PLEASE make a video of the staircase being erected. I'm sure there's a movie title in there somewhere. There wouldn't happen to be 39 steps by any chance ? !!

Simon said...

Jean - you have obviously never seen how much room can be taken up by 4 blokes and a dismantled staircase!! lol

My original plan was to make a timelapse movie, but there was nowhere to put a camera or tripod.

Anonymous said...

onward and upward!!!

wcs said...

Looks great. Can't wait to see the finished product!

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