Aluminum Railing, Portfolio #20.

Aluminum Railing, Portfolio #20.

The customer approached us and asked us to design an aluminum railing that doesn’t look like a run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter aluminum railing.
We did exactly that.

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The customer approached us and asked us to design an aluminum railing that doesn’t look like a run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter aluminum railing. So we did exactly that.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the color. This aspect alone takes you right back to the first time you bought a brand new cast iron pan. Despite this, it’s a fairly modern piece.

Now, remember, every inch of this railing is aluminum.

The metal stairs are made from 2×2 round corner aluminum with 1/4 x 1 1/2 solid aluminum flat bars on edge; these are all interconnected with low profile flat bars. We then infill paneled the inside of the stairs to conceal the sides.

The stair railings are attached to the spun posts with a large 1/4 x 4 plate. The railing itself’s made from 2×4 aluminum top caps with a 1×2 underslung, the 2×4, and as the bottom rail.

The pickets are 1″ round corner spaced extra tight at 1 5/8″. The other guard railings are made to look like the wood that was once there.

There’s one thing you should know about this project: it’s extremely heavy.

The top caps are 5″ heavy aluminum channel with a 4×4 inserted deeply into the channel. And the pickets are a massive 2 1/2″ round corner attached to a 2×4 lower rail.

This is about as strong and as heavy as you could possibly go.

These are the kinds of projects we love doing and are known for. In case you’re curious, a project like this is roughly 18k to design, create, produce, and complete.

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Mono Stringer Staircase & Railing, Portfolio #19

Mono Stringer Staircase & Railing,
Portfolio #19.

Here is a highly customized raw-to-finished project we just completed in a high-end home. One key feature’s the 100+-year-old reclaimed wood used for the steps. It’s a railing and mono-stringer staircase with metal brackets. This design also features polished pickets with a side and roof-mounted triangular frame.

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Hunfeld Homes, the Contractor, found some 100+-year-old reclaimed wood, which became the central stringer with metal brackets. Two larger pieces of wood are combined into an even larger mono-stringer measuring roughly 12 x 15 inches. The staircase steps are solid, 12 x 3 3/4 inch. They’re integrated into the stringer in a very compact area.

The pickets are polished to a crip shine. They’re made from 1″ solid bar. We designed and built a triangular frame from the roof downwards with the pickets centered on the stairs. The railing is both side and roof-mounted.

Now, the customer wanted a traditional-looking railing that is functional, and, as you can see in the pictures, there were things we needed to workaround. We utilized the home’s natural features to better the project rather than take away from it. Notice, for example, the 1 5/8 round handrail is cantilevered and comes right to the exact end of the railing.

The upstairs railings are another facet that provides a little different feel for more open space. These are lighter, shorter and use forged pickets that are tapered and textured. Again, we started with existing parts and made them better by polishing all of the pickets and sanding down all of the material to our standards.

Above all, when you hire us to do your project, you can be sure that we will provide the best solution to your project. Not some overly complex or poorly designed plan that’s trying to compensate for things that can be figured out in better, streamlined ways.

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Custom Railing, Portfolio #18

Custom Metal Railing,
Portfolio #18.

The customer performs large civil concrete forming projects in the Yukon and built a massive 18″ solid thick wall. This is absolutely necessary for the cantilever treads, which are installed with massive 3/4 stainless steel anchors. At the end of the day, this railing is about as heavy as you would possibly want to install, given these lengths.


We built around 125 linear ft of railing. There some challenges with this project, including request to avoid drilling through the concrete floor. In order to accommodate this, parts of the railing are side-mounted and cantilevered out. Other parts are just side-mounted or floor mounted.

The railing itself is comprised of 1/2 x 2 flat bar top cap and posts with 1/2 pickets. The bottom railing is 3/8 x 1 1/2. The angled railing on the stairs is 248″ long. This means the 20″ bar 240″ had to be extended right off the bat to make it work. We used countersunk fasteners to attach the railings to each other. The rest of the project is 3/8 lag bolts due to the weight of this railing.

Lastly, the wood is also massive to compliment the design and space. It is an old-growth fir.

Oh, and one of the finishing touches includes a matte black powder coating.

Sawtooth Stairs, Vancouver BC, Portfolio #17.

Sawtooth Stairs, Vancouver, BC, Portfolio #17.

This is a sharp cornered mono stringer staircase. It is made from 2 pieces of custom-designed and cut steel plate to fit our purposes. Now, everything we do is a one-off. This means we had to measure, design and build this staircase to suit the home from the ground up.

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We welded the two metal plates together to make the box look like a giant set of saw teeth. We then welded in a 1/2 plate in the front and a 1/2 plate through the entire length of the stairs. To give you a sense of scale, that is about 12ft.

Both sides of the staircase are also welded together. Again, for scale, to create the sweet, sharp corners you see on the back, the project needed nearly 24ft of welding and 24ft of grinding.

The success of this design hinges on the precision of the cut pieces. In our experience, we believe this is one of the best ways to build a mono stinger staircase because it simply looks fantastic and provides a very accurate base to work from.

Do you have a metal staircase you need designed and installed? Call us today 778-898-0532!

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What is Wrought Iron?

What is wrought iron?

Wrought iron is an extremely durable and malleable type of metal. Combine that with its natural resistance to corrosion and how easy it is to weld, and you have a popular material with a wide range of uses.

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The name wrought iron is historical. Traditionally, this metal is beaten into shape by a blacksmith with a hammer.

Today, wrought iron isn’t standard. Instead, mild steel (also called low-carbon steel) is used in its place. Despite this, most people still advertise wrought iron gates and wrought iron railings when they’re selling their products.

The primary reason mild steel or other low carbon variants have replaced traditional wrought iron is the advancements with steel fabrication and metallurgy. You see, before 1950 (give or take), mild steel was brittle in comparison to wrought iron. Technological improvements such as that combined with lower production costs surrounding steel resulted in traditional wrought iron’s decline in use. For more information about this in the context of guard railings, look at my blog post titled: what are the advantages of wrought iron railings?

Everyday items that were traditionally wrought iron were nails, rails, wire, chains, rivets, railway couplings, nuts, bolts, handrails, ornamental ironwork, and water and steam pipes just to name a few.

We no longer produce wrought iron on a commercial scale. Instead, popularly labeled wrought iron products, such as guard rails and gates, are made of mild steel. The main reason they retain the name wrought iron is because they are made to resemble projects which were traditionally wrought (worked) by hand by a blacksmith.

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Curved Metal railing. Delta, Surrey, Portfolio #16

Curved Metal Railing, Surrey / Delta, Portfolio #16.

We’re really proud of this project because of the significant fitting and handwork required to design and install it. But, in all honesty, the challenges these projects offer also make the final stand out. These are always worth the effort.

justin wilkie gallery
justin wilkie gallery
justin wilkie gallery


Additional Information

Some aspects that stand out:

• First, the posts are doubled up with 2 inch caps between them, which takes effort to pull off on helical curved stair railings.
• Second, the customer wanted this railing side-mounted.
• Third, we curved and twisted the helix in the top cap of the railing and, after some intense handwork, fit it together.
• Fourth, because we wanted highlight the details, the end termination was also forged to be 90 degrees to give it a fulfilling presence.
• Last, we powdercoated the project in a matt black finish.

Some materials:

• the railing is created from 1×2 hss cap
• 1×2 hss posts
• 3/4 x 1 1/2 horizontal rails

justin wilkie gallery
justin wilkie gallery
justin wilkie gallery
justin wilkie gallery

Pure Copper Curved Railing, West Vancouver, Portfolio #15

Pure Copper Curved Railing, West Vancouver, Portfolio #15.

This project is extremely interesting. It’s created for a customer that had an existing railing of this design already in place. Seeing how much they loved it, they asked us to best emulate the existing railing.


Now, copper is rather difficult to weld with a tig machine because a) it requires massive amounts of amperage to weld, and b) copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. So, to get the job done we used a Miller Syncrowave @ 300 amps with helium because it was really the only way to get the job done.

For the legs, we used 3/4×2 solid copper bars. We used this because it provides a heavy weight feel and clean, crisp corners. The material is ETP Copper C11000 H02.

To allow our helix to form fluidly, we carved 3d saddles into the solid copper with saw / grinder.

The top tube, since it was being welded to such a thick piece of copper, needed a thicker material so that it wouldn’t just get blown through by the 300 amps of electrical force. We used Copper C10100 H80 (hard-drawn) / Made in Japan Oxygen free copper. Typically, this kind of copper would be used as an antenna or similar propose because the surface area inside of the tube would enhance the ability to send and receive signals.

The copper tube itself is a round 2×0.125 wall.

To form the railing we inserted the 3/8 round copper ETP Copper C11000 H02 rods though the posts. These required angles to be drilled on 2 angles at once for our helix to work.

We had custom copper caps spun from .100 copper to cover the ends of the railings with a smooth and rounded piece.

We then created a template on-site made from existing steel design and removed / copied that template railing in our shop, polishing it to perfection.

And, in case you missed it, the railing naturally patina’s. This is a feature that the customer wanted because it’s located near the ocean.

To ensure this railing stays where it should, we drilled though the blue stone stairs with a core drill and cast it in the legs with expanding anchoring grout.

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