Twining Spindle Staircase

In the modern development on Berrien St., we were asked to make and install an antique heart pine staircase. Our client wanted it to be something special and original, with the appearance of being organic, and finally decided she wanted the spindles to twist. The issue was that she had no visual representation of it for us to work from. So Ramsey went to the web, googled "stair spindle," saved 500 different staircase images of all shapes, sizes and degree of twist, printed them 12 to a page. Our client sat down, flipped to page 2 and found her idea visual. Here was what we turned out:

The design was quite complicated, so much so that the members of the International Turners Association, who happened (?!) to be in town that week had trouble deciding a method. Our friend Steve Cook (masterful wood turner / woodworker) was visiting our shop and so we pointed out the spindle design. Even Steve couldn't, and so we were perplexed. And the banister went unsustained. 

Two weeks later, on a Monday, our equally skilled turner, Dennis, walked in and declared that he had figured out how to do it the night before. He turned it very slow, a minute and a half per turn, fashioned a jig along which he could run a router along, and turned it once per side in 90 second rotations. It come out wonderfully.