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CMattox 02-20-2013 08:41 AM

Attaching handrails to newel posts with brackets?
Hi. I'm new here.

I'm replacing the handrails, balusters and newel posts on three flights of tight "U" or return stairs. The way they're configured a couple of the handrails will have to come in along the side of the newel. The old stairs with square handrails (installed in the late 70s) just screwed them in to the side of the plain square newels. I will be using new handrails with some shape to them (standard from HD or Lowes).

Here are my questions:

(1) Could I just attach the handrails to the newel anyway from the side - screwing them in and pegging the hole?
(2) Would it be better/possible to use a metal bracket screwed to the newel and supporting the handrail (like a wall bracket but using it on the newel)?

I've looked and can't find this done anywhere so I'm not sure if it would be secure enough and/or would just look bad so it isn't done.

My alternative is to use quarter turns but I'd have to cut them down so much that there would be virtually no "turn" to them.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

joecaption 02-20-2013 08:47 AM

So much easyer if you could post a picture of what you have to work around so we can see what your seeing.

CMattox 02-20-2013 09:08 AM

Hopefully this pic helps...
1 Attachment(s)
Present newels are very basic 2" square poles (46" tall). I'm replacing them with 3 5/16" pieces that will connect to the side of the stringers. The rail going down the stairs in this pic will now connect right into the newel straight on because the new newel will be wide enough to allow that. But the one coming down in this pic will still run right by the side of the new newel.

Thanks again. Edit: My apologies for the sideways pic.

jagans 02-20-2013 09:22 AM

If this is for a child, I would be very concerned with the babys head getting caught in some of the side openings you are showing in those pictures. The four inch ball rule is in effect for a reason, my friend.

CMattox 02-20-2013 09:31 AM

Yes, those are the balusters I'm replacing - in large part for that very reason. :) Just not sure how to connect the handrails that will have to be on the side of the newels to the newels.

CMattox 02-22-2013 06:27 AM

Here is an example of the kind of metal bracket (something like it) that I'm wondering if I might use to connect the new handrails to the side of the newel where they join it from the side.

And here is an example of a quarter turn that I might also use to connect in to the side of the newels if I cut them down almost all the way to the elbow.

Any opinions appreciated.

Keith Mathewson 02-22-2013 08:21 PM

This is a very common layout. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the box stores and use a stair parts company, either online or local. They can provide the parts, including the fittings that you will want to do this install.

CMattox 02-22-2013 08:25 PM

OK, but my big question is - what fittings? I don't see any way around having the handrails come alongside the newels on a few of these. In those circumstances do I just screw them right in to the side of the newel, use brackets or use a very cut down elbow/quarter turn?

kaschmid3 02-22-2013 10:43 PM

Screw it and plug it

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