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George Ellis was one of the premier English writers on carpentry and joinery. This, the author's last book, was originally issued in two volumes; the present edition is a reprint of the 1932 one-volume edition.
The trade of wooden stairbuilding has enjoyed a rebirth during the last ten years. Unfortunately, most trade schools do not teach this complex craft, and there has been little published in the field for many years. This leaves the craftsman at a loss, both for available information and training.
George Ellis has written a very lucid book on the subject. He covers much the same ground as Alexander Mowat in A Treatise on Stairbuilding and Handrailing (page 92), but Ellis is much less technical and more shop oriented. He includes detailed information on taking dimensions and setting out stairs (geometric, spiral, and elliptical), newels, balusters, brackets; constructing soffit linings, single and geometric handrailings, and wreathed handrail to spiral stairs; and he explains the cylinder method of making wreaths.