Emerald Hill is now turned over to Luis, stairbuilder.
He is turning hickory planks, carefully, deliberately, into risers, treads and nosings, cutting wood with what has to be the smallest, most-underpowered, beaten-up, portable Black & Decker table saw, set up outside on the front walk, on a dreary, overcast and sometimes wet day, matching his skills and tape measure against a 7-inch thin-kerf blade. He bought the machine used, he tells Steven, at a flea market 10 years ago, he thinks. He’s burned through many larger, heavier, more powerful table saws, but this is the machine he comes back to with trust. It’s the story he will scribe as he builds the stairs over the next four days.