Friday, April 23, 2010

New Finish

The stairs at the John Marshall House are getting a new finish. The old finish was worn away, and foot traffic was starting to damage the treads and risers. After three days of sanding, the stairs were clean enough to stain and varnish. The stain used was Minwax "Provincial" that was brushed on and immediately ragged off. The pictures show one coat of oil-based varnish. They will get at least two more coats.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Watch That First Step

The Restoration Department is doing conservation work on the period stairs at the John Marshall House. Here, at the second floor landing, the ballistrade had to be removed so the the landing nosing could be conserved. The crew had to glue and screw a split where the tread crossed over the riser. They also reinforced the groove section in the back of the floor board. The upper shoulder of the groove had worn thin from foot traffic, and a section of it was broken out, probably from a high-heeled shoe. The lower shoulder was sawn away, and a full size strip was glued under the upper shoulder, to make it as thick as the rest of the floor board. The corresponding tongue on the adjacent board will be cut away, and the boards will be simply butted together. A dutchman was used to replace section broken out by the shoe.