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Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

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  • Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

    Dan Bloomer is a handrailer in Maine who made some fitting for me. In the course of discussing custom handrail work and the tangent system for laying them out he told me that the person he learned from many times just attached a piece of material to the handrail and removed wood until it looked right. He called it the "ham & egg" approach.

    After laying out the fitting a couple of times on paper and then attempting to make it I could not get the rise from 34" to 36" plus the change from rake to level and the set-back distance to come out gracefully. So Dan the ham and eggs are on! If anyone knows how to lay this out with the tangent system my copy of DiCristian's book could use a rest.
    If you bat 1000 you're playing in the minor leagues.

    Warren Buffet

  • #2
    Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

    Dan has made parts for me a couple of times. Email off a drawing and some specs.... get some nice rail parts in a UPS box a week or two later... it's like magic.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

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    • #3
      Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

      Those parts look like a fun time. There are two mills in Salt Lake City that advertise fittings like that made on their CNC machines. Most of the time they don't work the way they are supposed to. They are also extremely expensive. If you are not one of the "cool kids" they may not even make them for you.

      I started making some myself, the "ham & eggs way". They are allot of work, and my hands don't like me when I make them.

      I would love to learn how someone else does it, it is a talent.

      Nice work.

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      • #4
        Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

        Keith

        I have never heard of the "Ham and egg" approach before that could get you out of a jam, great tip. As you know I like to dabble ( English for "try") to Develop geomtrical shapes. Here's some pics of the one and only time I have been called on to do Tangent Handrail.

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        • #5
          Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

          And another

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          • #6
            Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

            Last picture

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            • #7
              Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

              Bellchippy,

              Very nicely done, I hope mine turns out as well. I'm someone who does not easily learn a from the printed page, seeing a video for me makes a big difference. Have you seen any of the videos from TIC by Northern Road Stairs?
              If you bat 1000 you're playing in the minor leagues.

              Warren Buffet

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              • #8
                Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                Keith

                Thanks!
                Had to learn on the job,I had never done it before, they could'nt find anyone who would touch it. As i have always been interested in having a try they gave me the go ahead.
                Its surprising how much you learn doing something like this. I read lots of books but found them too deep and confusing apart from one, so just focused on the one author. Do you use the template method Keith or another way. happy to show how i develop the curve if anyone is interested.

                Not heard of the video's you mention is there a link.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                  Bellchippy- I'd love to see how you developed the curve.
                  http://www.lavrans.com

                  "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                    Originally posted by Lavrans View Post

                    Bellchippy- I'd love to see how you developed the curve.
                    Patent it. Call it the 'Bellchippy Curve'.
                    Richie Poor

                    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                      that has a scientific ring to it...2 thumbs up
                      Tom

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                        The "ham and eggs" method can work but usually looks like "deviled eggs"
                        when you're through...

                        The original "ham and eggs" method was called the "cylinder method" or "off-the-cylinder". It involved fitting an over-sized chunk of wood against a cylinder form and then cutting away the inside of the stock until it just "fit" the form. After that, a "falling mold" was applied to the edge of the curved surface and it was squared-up and carved.

                        Today if you don't happen to own a 5 axis cnc, the "tangent method" (in it's various forms) is still the best way to get er done.

                        Like Mr. Bloomer, I have been doing this kind of work for years (it's all I do). I don't build or install stairs, I just make solid wood handrail parts. I don't use a cnc (cause I ain't got one) but I don't whittle wood either. Every part is properly laid-out using tangent geometry and then band-sawn, squared and machine shaped (sometimes I do have to whittle a little).

                        I am getting pretty good at this and most of the time the completed parts fall right into place. The reason the parts can be a bit expensive though is because it take a lot of time (no matter who does it) and custom tooling ain't cheap.

                        Anyway, I really enjoy doing this kind of work and I get to work with a few of the very best stairbuilders and companies.

                        JimBaldwin/18th Century Handrail

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                          Jim
                          Great pictures, your a lucky man getting to do what you enjoy, I am very interested in all forms of geometry deveopment, any chance you could share some of your methods for setting out some of your simpler tangent handrails.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                            bellchippy,

                            The "tangent methods" aren't mine, they are available in old English stair books or Di Christian's book. I have quite a few volumes on the shelf and would be happy to answer a question or maybe offer some clarification or opinion?

                            I could also comment on your very nice handrail pictures if you like? Every time I do a fitting, I have to critique myself (or get it from the installer). This helps me improve.

                            And...I don't know it all even if I claim to

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dan Bloomer- It's ham & eggs time!

                              Jim

                              Feel free to comment about my handrail, I am intersted in what you have to say. I wont learn if I dont know where I am going wrong.

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