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A Simplified Guide to Custom Stairbuilding and Tangent Handrailing Paperback – 1 Sep 2000

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Linden Publishing Co Inc; Rev. Paperback Ed edition (1 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941936635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941936637
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.2 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

George di Cristina began apprenticing in his father's stairbuilding shop in 1931 and has been a principal of J. di Cristina and Son ever since. He lives in Burlingame, California.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book attempts to simplify the advanced methods of geometrical and curved stair building, but is not a book on basic stair building. I had this book for about six weeks from the library and then I purchased it so I could take as long as I needed to understand the way the author has gone about explaining the diagrams in this book. I am a professional carpenter and joiner and have made many curved items of joinery but this book goes beyond simple curved work it moves into the advanced methods of geometrical stair building and tries to give the reader a host of methods for working out the shapes required to build the stairs and the best methods of setting out the components. It does not cover every aspect of geometrical stair building and seems to be aimed at producing the shaped components and how best to lay them out. I would say you will need other books the cover all the aspect of geometrical stair construction, but could get along with this as a lone source of guidance if you had to.This book has no simplified stairs such as straight stairs nor does it show simple, basic stair building methods, the text and diagrams are far more aimed at explaining for example, the advanced methods used in curved and geometrical stair layouts. I would say the author of this book has a good understanding of geometrical stair building and attempts to explain how to obtain the shapes and angles of geometrical stairs and handrails are obtained using known methods and diagrams and puts his own ideas and methods in for good measure. It is an ideal book to have along with other books on the subject but will take some time to digest. I think the book is worth having if you want to build your own geometrical stairs and have the time to spend reading the book.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because my girlfriend wanted to construct a staircase in the old house she was converting from a barn and I needed to renovate a staircase in my old house.

This calls itself "a simplified guide" to custom stairbuilding and tangent handrailing. Be warned that it is packed with pages and pages of abstruse geometric diagrams and theory. It is intended for a professional who needs to be able to build curved staircases. However, I rather suspect that, today, even a professional stairbuilder would use a computer program for designing staircases, rather than work out all the dimensions, curves and angles from geometric principles.

This is most certainly not a book for the amateur carpenter who wants to build one or two staircases. Nor, I believe, is it a book for an ordinary professional carpenter who needs to build custom staircases.

And my girlfriend's staircase? In the end, she commissisoned a local woodworker to build her staircase. He measured up, took notes of what was wanted and went away to use his PC to make the design. A week later, he came back and assembled the staircase whose parts he had cut according to the computer's output. It is a beautifully staircase turning through 270 degrees and it fits exactly. I wish I had not bought this book - its contents were not even useful to us as background reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a57d57c) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a781e64) out of 5 stars The really useful book out there 12 Sept. 2003
By Dan Bloomer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the only book available that one can actually use to learn tangent handrailing, and classical stair design. This is an advanced text for the architectural woodworker with some grounding in stairbuilding. If this describes your situation, buy the book, glue up some practice blanks out of construction lumber, and begin your exploration of a fascinating craft. Mowatt is a great conversation piece on the bookshelf, but the only reason I know what he's talking about is owed to the time I spent with DiChristina's book. My copy is somewhat beaten-up due to the time it has spent on the workbench. I am grateful to the author for the clearest and best organized book on this subject.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a937fc0) out of 5 stars Essential for advanced stairbuilding 14 May 2002
By Todd Barrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
More easily understood than "Treatise on Stairbuilding". I have consulted this book on many occasions, and it has never let me down. Well written, but will take some study to master the vast amount of information contained in the book. This book is not for the geometrically challenged.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a174f24) out of 5 stars Not an "eleventh hour" how-to 26 Jun. 2006
By kh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
honestly, if you are halfway through a curved handrail at sort of a sticky point and think "I'll order this book, it looks like it might help", well, you are probably wrong.

Lots of info, like a lot of the other stair books, but not put together in a way that will be useful in the short term. I'd say it's more like a text book. Also the term "Simplified" in the title...I guess if you are Stephen Hawking, then perhaps. But why would Stephen Hawkings want a book about building stairs?

A lot to get your head around, not going to help you out of a bind, unless your bind is something like "how do I find the vertex locations of a rake-to-level section"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4bc168) out of 5 stars Studying Tangent Handrailing 21 Mar. 2011
By Tangent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your studying the tangent handrail system, this book will help you clarify what has been written in other books on the tangent handrail system like A Treatise on Stairbuilding and Handrailing by W & A Mowat. The only real mistake in this book is the study of prismatic solids. The study of prismatic solids in relationship to the tangent handrailing system is wrong. The oblique plane that the tangents to the ellipse are on, is a section plane and W & A Mowat do a better job of explaining the oblique section plane where the face mould of the wreath is geometrically developed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6d0180) out of 5 stars Custom Stairbuilding and Tangent Handrailing 28 Aug. 2007
By Vera A. Northrup - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband has been in the carpentry trade for over forty-five years and spiral stairs has been one of his specialities. He reviewed the book and has found several items of real interest after all these years to assist him in the building of stairs.
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