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With the introduction of the so-called Queen-Anne and Eastlike styles of building some thirty years ago, the newel led or platform stairs came more and more in vogue, and at the present time more than half the stairs that are erected are of this kind; and this fact has, in a great measure, done away with the necessity of a study of the science of handrailing by every work≠man who aspires to be a stair builder and handrailer. But while that necessity is removed to a large extent, the ambitious young workman should make a successful attempt to master the art of circular handrailing, as it will open up beauties to his mind he never could have appreciated otherwise, and will broaden his knowledge, and enable him to deal with knotty questions of joinery with skill and speed. Platform stairs are easy to construct when once the plan is determined, as newels are placed at the angles, thus doing away with sweeps and curves in the rail, or bending of the strings. They are cheaper than stairs having circular strings, and may be made to have a handsome and impressive appearance. The newels and balusters can assume almost any size and style. The stairs may have open strings, or closed ones to suit the style of architecture. Newels may be massive or slight, "built-up" or made of one solid piece, as may be desired; but where the newels are large, I would advise they be "built up," as a solid newel is likely to check and split and get out of shape.

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