Sawn Belly Balustrades

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Old 05-26-16, 04:09 PM
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Sawn Belly Balustrades

My husband and I would like to have these sawn belly balustrades on the portico porch he is making. The Canadian mill that makes them quotes me about $500 for the railings and balustrades we need, but its $300 or more to ship. I would like to find someone in my state (CT) to cut it, as my husband's saber saw is not going to do for this job.

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SO I have two questions. The first is, how to I find someone to at least saw these balustrades for us?

I tried two places - one prices the same job at $2500 (I waited over two weeks for that quote) and another basically said we are too expensive for you and another I am waiting on for a week now for a quote - but I have a feeling since they do very majestic detailed homes their price will reflect that. Those are the people I am coming up with when I look up "custom mill work". That seems to translate to "When money is no object we are here for you."

How do I find a regular person with a workshop of saws willing to do this for a more regular price??

My other question is, for these prices, maybe we could just buy the correct saw and my husband could make it, and he'd be glad to have the saw. However, we cannot afford a $1000 saw! Something much less. But what saw? My husband says it needs to be some sort of saw with support at both ends. He says like a jigsaw where the blade will hold at both ends. How do we find this?

Thanks you so much to anyone who can help.
 

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Old 05-26-16, 04:24 PM
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When a factory cuts them.... they set up a saw or even a router that is controlled by a computer to cut them.

You would have to cut each one by hand. You would trace a template onto the wood and then cut it with a bandsaw. You would need pretty thick wood to make them the same thickness or you may have to cut two or three per section and glue them together.


In the picture is just one of hundreds of bandsaws available.

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Old 05-26-16, 04:34 PM
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I've been doing some searches. That Canadian mill company is one of the few places in North America producing them. From what I'm finding.... the prices they quoted are good.

You can google... custom woodworkers in ct. but to have someone cut them from hand will be substantially more expensive than that Canadian quote.
 
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Old 05-26-16, 04:34 PM
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Okay, about how much is a band saw like this?
 
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Old 05-26-16, 06:14 PM
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Synthetics

Seems to me there should be a synthetic version available.
 
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Old 05-26-16, 06:43 PM
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PJMax, We looked at bandsaws priced $150-$2000 and my husband is thinking the $150 will do, but I worry he is trying to do too much with too little. I also emailed my son earlier who emailed me back. My son is currently living with his Dad in next state while he is in college. His Dad has a large woodshop, lots of saws, including a bandsaw, so I asked my son if he'd be willing to do this on his Dad's saws (if his Dad is willing to let him for this) and we'd pay him for the work... he says he thinks he can. But, how hard do you think this is on a band saw, doing I presume one at a time? I don't want to overwhelm my son who is taking two hard course this summer, plus a lab job... See, I really don't know how much I am asking, and I will feel bad asking either my son or my husband to do this if it turns out to be a big headache for them... its 28 balustrades... I would not rush them but when school starts again in the fall my son will have no time at all. My husband could take his time too but I do not want it to feel like its a big burden that never ends.. but I don't know how hard this is on a bandsaw...

And Wirepuller38, thanks much for the suggestion, but the whole portico is wood, and I plan to paint it all very carefully with Fine Paints of Europe Hollandlac, which has a long life when done right (my first try with this but I am willing to take it on) so I think the paint would stick better to wood.
 
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Old 05-26-16, 07:37 PM
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Cutting them out on a bandsaw would be relatively quick, perhaps 5-10 minutes each.

But (always a but), you won't just walk into home depot or a lumber yard and get good, clear, wood stock in the right size and shape you need, so there will be stock preparation time and expense. Then, after they are cut out on a bandsaw, the surface will be rough with saw marks and will require a lot of sanding and cleanup before they are ready to paint.

$800 seems to me a pretty good price. I couldn't make 28 balusters plus railing for a client for that.

However, I do have one suggestion. The fastest/best way to make these would be on a CNC router machine. It's fast and produces a finish that would require only light sanding.

I'm sure there are many commercial woodworking shops in CT that have CNC routers. They are widely used now. If you include CNC router in your search for custom woodworking or architectural woodworking you may be able to find a shop that can do this for a little less money. But don't expect much less.
 
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Old 05-26-16, 08:17 PM
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Thanks you Carbidetipped, this is a useful answer and we are going to consider all this info. Thanks much.
 
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Old 05-27-16, 05:20 AM
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If you are doing this yourself get your best drawer (artist) to make a template. Make all of then from this template. I would make template out of plexiglass or MDF.
 
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