Monday, March 29, 2010

Additions to the 'recycled' staircase.

While waiting for the treads & risers to return from the kiln, I built a series of curved shelves along the outside edge of the staircase. Since the wall is less than 3 feet tall, I was able to use a variety of short studs salvaged from other buildings, and scrap plywood pieces I saved just for this project. I also scored a pile of tongue & groove wainscotting removed from a friends turn-of-the-century garage (yes, I said garage- from back when construction was considered a 'craft').
I was able to salvage more than enough to complete the wall, so I may use the rest to build cabinet doors in the kitchen....
I hit it with the palm sander to remove the surface residue and gave it a seal coat of shellac, then my mom came over and put on several coats of our Bioshield clay paint and AFM Polyureseal to match the ceiling upstairs- nice! The top shelf will be a built-in storage cabinet. While researching lighting options, I stumbled across a really cool LED step light kit from somebody far more intelligent than me. The little LED bulbs are flush-mounted into holes drilled through the back of each step riser, and the whole system is motion activated by infared beams at the top and bottom steps. It only took me couple hours to install the whole system, and at night it looks something like this:
The lights automatically fade out one-by-one after about 20 seconds, then are reactivated whenever motion is detected. After playing with them every night for a week now, I'd say the lights are about 50% safety feature and 50% pure geek bling :)

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