The building of stairs and properly making and placing over them a graceful handrail and suitable balusters and newel posts is one of the greatest achievements of the joiner's art and skill, yet it is an art that is the least understood of any of the constructive processes, that the carpenter or joiner is called upon to accomplish. In but very few of the plans made by an architect are the stairs properly laid down or divided off; indeed, most of the stairs as laid out and planned by the architect, are impossible ones owing to the fact that the circumstances that govern the formation of the rail are either not understood, or not noticed by the designer; and the expert handrailer often finds it difficult to conform the stairs and rail to the plan. Generally, however, he gets so close to it that the character of the design is seldom changed.
The stairs are the great feature of a building, as they are the first object that meets the visitor and claims his attention, and it is essential, therefore, that the stair and its adjuncts should have a neat and graceful appearance, and this can only be accomplished by having the rail properly made and set up.
It is proposed in this little book to give such instructions in the art of handrailing as will enable