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I’ve always enjoyed building box newel posts. They give a stairway a custom look and give me a chance to showcase my woodworking skills. So I was intrigued when a client showed me a photo of the style featured here, which has a contemporary Craftsman flavor. To simplify construction, I built the newel in three sections, with moldings hiding the transitions. An interior post reinforces the assembly and provides secure attachment points.

I started by determining the height of the handrail and the exact location where it meets the post, then transferred the dimensions to a story pole. I also made a full-scale drawing on a piece of 1/4-inch plywood to work out the details and make sure I was satisfied with the newel’s size and proportions.

Only after careful planning and creating the 2-d full-size mockup did I start fabrication using the finish materials, which I completed in four phases, each detail in slideshows on pages 2 through 5 of this article.