DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Carpentry (
-   -   Newel post repair for dummies (

Zarack 06-26-2008 09:37 PM

Newel post repair for dummies
I'll try this again. I'm new and lost my 1st and 2nd attempts to ask a question.
Here goes: The main newel post (if I have that right) on the front staircase in my house was jarred when the front door bumped it during my DIY work on door (Yea, I know. Look at title of this posting!!!).

It was not a hard jar, but enough to apparently knock the glue (or whatever) loose between the main post (one of those turned balustered affairs that kind of dress up the staircase) and the two small blocks of cut rail that form the curve leading to the "up" rail of the stairs.

Please pardon my not having the right terminology for the parts involved. The damage is not apparent, but if you rock the post a little, the two small curved blocks attaching the post to the railing show little gaps right at the seams. Sort of like the glue was knocked loose (?).

The job is too small to call a carpenter in to fix it, but I cant seem to figure out how to do it. The base of the post and the balusters disappear into the rounded tread of the first step up. There's no way to get to the bottom of the post, that I can see. I'm not sure if some kind of super glue or whatever will hold those curved pieces together again. Not even sure how I would apply anything. The gaps that open are only millimeters wide. Maybe there is some sort of syringe device to apply glue?

Any ideas or thoughts would really be appreciated. Should sign this "dumb"; but, on second thought, nah. Thanks.

Termite 06-26-2008 11:14 PM

Superglue won't work. It'll probably damage the finish too.

Any way you can take a picture of exactly what is loose? If the newel itself is loose, being an amateur, there isn't probably a lot you can do if the base of the newel is concealed in the bottom tread.

If you see an opportunity to inject glue into a gap, that might be a possibility. Most wood glues will not bridge a large gap, but if you can get the two surfaces to contact right after gluing you stand a chance. You'll need to devise a way of clamping everything very tightly to get a good joint.

You can buy glue injection syringes from woodcraft, or other woodworking specialty outfits.

I would suggest using Titebond II wood glue. Let it set for at least a day before removing the clamps or braces, and instruct everyone to avoid stressing the newel for a couple days until you get full cure. I would advise against polyurethane glues such as gorilla glue because they tend to expand as they cure, which will often result in very visible glue joints. They have their place, but not in close proximity to finished work.

Maintenance 6 06-27-2008 06:40 AM

The big box stores sell epoxy in syringes for repairing loose chair rungs and joints. Sounds like that might work for your purpose.

RTRCon 06-27-2008 08:59 AM

A picture would help.. Sounds like its an over the top rail system and the goose neck section loosened up. If you look on the underside of the rail where the cracks are, there should be a 1" plug. If you can take a chisel and break that out there is a nut or some kind of fastener holding the pieces together. Loosen the nut enough to get some glue in there and tighten it back up. If the post is loose also, and it runs thru the center of the bottom tread, thats going to be a tougher fix. The tread was most likely dropped over the top of the bottom post.

buletbob 06-27-2008 08:36 PM

If the cracks are in the mitered glue joints then the best fix would be as RTRcon states, AND BY THE WAY IT MUST OF BEEN MORE THEN A LITTLE JAR! HA!HA!HA! Your dealing with Professionals here. That miter is supported by 5/16" threaded lag/bolt plus glue. see what I'm getting at. Its OK to fuss up Any way accidents do happen.
And If the cracks are in a place other then the miters you will have to take Mat6,s approach. some of these epoxies used for joinery are stronger then the wood its self. Good luck Bob

Zarack 06-28-2008 10:08 PM

Bonding a newel, or glue for a gooseneck!
Many thanks for the kind responses. I'm going to take 1-2 pics in the a.m. and post them here. Should have done that with first post. Didn't know the site allowed pictures. Maybe I should have read the intros a bit closer when I registered.

The gaps I mentioned are in the two connecting rail sections leading from the gooseneck (kinda like that word), and connecting to the uprail itself.

They are not cracks, they are joints that appear to have come unglued.

Oh, and BTW, the gooseneck did take a lil bit harder hit than a "jar". I was replacing the sweeper under the very heavy metal front door and I guess I did not have it propped up as well as I thought. The door pushed the props over and before I could really catch it, it banged the gooseneck and my head. The gooseneck connectors broke their glue bond but my head stayed intact. Guess that's the good side of the story.

Pictures tomorrow to see what you may say about the "rest of the story".

Again, thanks a lot for the help.

Zarack 06-29-2008 09:46 AM

Newel post repair for dummies
6 Attachment(s)
buletbob;RTCon;Maintenance 6;thekctermite:

Really appreciate your help. I'm attaching some pix. Hope there are not too many. Also hope I don't break any "house" rules.

Any additional comments/help would be appreciated.


buletbob 06-29-2008 01:01 PM

I'm Assuming pictures 1-3-6 are of the same break. My question is this. this break appears to be from the manufacturer's joint. I have never seen a miter at is termination point done in the feild on a volute. all the volutes I have seen and installed come with an up easing built into them from the manufacture, and at the top of the easing is where you make your miter cut. The reason I'm thinking this is because the volutes that I have installed that come with the up easing are fastened together with two corrugated fasteners on the bottom. from the picture it appears that I can see the two on the up easing. or it could just be the grain of the oak, and when they drilled the baluster under the volute they drilled into the fasteners and weakening the joint. I also see some wood putty around the side. Done right you dont need any putty just sanding. Like I said It doesn't make sense on the install to have to make the miter that far back into the volute unless there was a mistake on the first miter and they tried to correct it.
As for the other break where the main rail comes into the up easing on the volute this is where the 1" round plug should be on the bottom, drill the center out and chip it away. unscrew the nut (use a wrench if its a hex nut or a nail set if its a star nut ) separate the two. get a hammer and a block of wood and tap the volute up away from the balusters and newel post. clean up the glue joints with some sand paper get some epoxy glue and fasten the easing to the volute. (I personally would use the fitting bolt for this but its not a dyI task)
As for the Newel post I have seen two types of installs one that I prefer is the 1-1/2 dowel on the bottom and the other is a 3/8" bolt screwed into a double threaded nut installed in the landing tread. once you have the fittings off try turning the newel post to see if it starts to come up as you turn. if so proceed until the newel is removed. inspect the landing tread for any cracks. if the nut was pulled out reset it with some epoxy be careful not to get any in the inner threads. and reinstall the newel post with some epoxy making sure you are lined up with your original position. Hint put down some painters tape where the newel post was set originally
once everything is dry reinstall the volute to the main rail with glue or epoxy and tighten the nut up. Make sure everything is in line.
I hope this helps, This is more then a dyI project but can be done with some skills. Let me know if something comes up different of what I saw. I personaly think this is the way to go. OH BY THE WAY HOWS YOUR HEAD. DID THE DOOR HIT THE NEWEL OR WAS IT YOU? THAT WAS SOME HIT. GLADE YOUR STILL AROUND TO TALK ABOUT IT. BOB.

Zarack 06-29-2008 07:48 PM

Same as before...
Bob -
Now that's what I call an excellent observation and outstanding help. Thank you. I'm sort of floored with how much I don't know about such as this - awesome when you think about you just thumping that stuff out.

You're right about pics 1,3,6. They are the same gap in the first "volute" (another new word...) The stuff you see under the rail (wood putty) is something I probably did when I tried to "glue" it a few months back. Don't remember using any wood putty, but ya never know, ya know?

Now that you have laid it all out so clearly, I think I'll just go back to fishing around for someone talented enough to do the fix. Not sure what something like that goes for, but if I get a good person I imagine it will be a fair price for a good job.

This is a great forum and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain the "business" on how to fix a gap in a staircase railing.

Oh, the door hit me first and bounced off my head and shoulder and sort of landed on the gooseneck (..hope that's a correct term). It only fell about 3' before knocking me on the head and shoulder, another 2-3 feet to the gooseneck. Never pours but it rains, eh?

Again, thanks Bob. I'm going to hang out at this site for all my DIY jobs in the future. Now a retired 'gentleman of ease' and getting into all sorts of "stuff" finding new things to do. Wife of 50+ years is getting ready to leave me I think. :laughing:

Take care. I'm going to go back and reread your response. Lots of luck,

buletbob 06-30-2008 06:01 AM

GEE! 50+ Years You are doing something right. Glad to help. Now that I know the ages, your going to want that to be strong and secure. The way I described I think is the best way for the fix. But there are intelligent people on this site that could way in with there ideas also.

Good lock and God bless. BOB

RTRCon 06-30-2008 08:16 AM

Nice job explaining it Bob:thumbsup:
Zarack- Good luck with the fix.

buletbob 06-30-2008 04:49 PM


Zarack 07-03-2008 09:22 PM

RTRcon & buletbob
Again, thanks to you two experts.

If this thread is still up when I finally find someone and get the job done, I'll drop a line and let you know what it cost to have it done. My gratitude for your help.

buletbob 07-04-2008 06:29 AM


Originally Posted by Zarack (Post 135861)
Again, thanks to you two experts.

If this thread is still up when I finally find someone and get the job done, I'll drop a line and let you know what it cost to have it done. My gratitude for your help.

Thanks and Good Luck! BOB

Zarack 07-04-2008 09:47 PM


Not trying to stretch this chat out, but just now noticed you are located on Long Island. Small world, I was born and raised on Long Island (Brooklyn & Astoria, Queens, respectively). Good on ya!

Zarack :thumbup:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:40 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1