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Old 01-28-2011, 09:33 AM   #1
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stairway railing help


Hi,
I am building a railing on the top of my stairs. There are two short sections. (3-4' each). At the top of the steps there are going to be two newel posts with a handrails that goes back to rosettes on the wall. I consider myself an experienced DIY'er but have never done this before. I have some questions that may seem like I have no idea but I just want to understand how it goes together before I start. I am going to purchase the material from lowes/depot.

The newels at the top of the stairs, are they attached using lag bolts through framing members? I plan to use oak newels, handrails, and rosette with white spindles.

The height should be about 36" to the top of the handrail?

I am trying to figure out how it al goes together? How do the handrails connect to the newels and rosettes?

What about the spindles? are holes drilled on the underside of the handrail to hold in place and then attached to the floor using finish nails?

Can someone give me a quick overview on how everything connects and then I am sure it will lead to more questions.

Have a baby coming soon and need to get the final inspections completed

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Old 01-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #2
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stairway railing help


Check out a few You Tube videos to get an overview of the process. It's easier to view the procees and then ask the questions.
Also do a web search of stair rail installation. Pictures will help a lot.
Ron

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Old 01-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #3
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stairway railing help


I advise you to go out and have all the crazy fun you can before the baby arrives. You'll have plenty of time at home to work on the stairs afterwards.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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stairway railing help


You can also go to a big box store to look at all the pieces you'll need and how they work. It's an enjoyable but fiddly job and you may need to buy some tools but nothing too major
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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stairway railing help


I would consider using a Kreg Tool to install the newel posts, railings and spindals, attached is my first stairway and it was very strong and actually pretty easy.
Thanks
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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stairway railing help


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Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
I would consider using a Kreg Tool to install the newel posts, railings and spindals, attached is my first stairway and it was very strong and actually pretty easy.
Thanks
How did you "secure" newel posts with a Kreg jig?
I use 1/2" carraige bolts through the framing under the floor.
Ron
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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stairway railing help


My balcony rails are set at 38" from finish floor.
Pocket holes are not a good idea here. The will leave a tough hole to plug in an oak newel.They will not give the post much strength. The newels should extend down the face of the riser and attach with screws. Regular drywall screws are fine. Make sure you drill a clearance hole with a 3/8" countersink so you can plug hole later.With a 3" post I will make the face of my newel even with the leading edge of my nosing. Im not quite sure of you set up here pics will help.

There are other mounting options. You could cut newel to sit on finish floor but you need a mounting kit such as a 3004 by lj smith.These work nice and leave no holes to plug.

Decide where on the wall you want the rail to end. Make sure there is enough room for the rosette. Keep in mind that the center of your rail is the center of post and balusters so put in a place you know there will be nailing for rosette and post. Assuming you are using a ball top post, attach post first and check for plumb. measure the space between post and drywall. Here you can make the rail a bit longer or shorter to fix an out of plumb newel...weak at least in 1 direction. Once rail is snugged in between, take your rosette and hold it on the drywall where the rail hits and use it to scribe that end of your rail.Cut rail again and attach rosette to end with glue and screw. to attach rail use a rail bolt on the newel side. follow directions in the package. On rosette side attach with drywall screws and plug holes.

For balusters measure space from newel to drywall and divide by 4.5. this is how many balusters you will need...round up. start with 3" space on each end and then start with 4.5" on center. adjust accordingly. I like my spacing to be about 4.25-4.625. you can figure spacing on calc. if you want but trial and error also works. once layed out you can plumb up holes with a 4' level. Drill 5/8" holes in bottom of rail with a spade bit. Try to keep holes as straight as possible.Cut balusters about 1/2" long and slide them into your 3/4" hole on you landing. fill lower hole with glue and tack top with a brad.

Balusters go in AFTER rail is in place.Unless balcony is offset by a large amount.hope this all makes sense
.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:28 AM   #8
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stairway railing help


My newel posts were hollow with the block that they slid over. I put 2 holes per side of the block and attached with 2 1/2" screws and then the post just slid over and I attached that with several screws per side. I was lucky in that it was painted white, just putty up the holes and painted. Did the same for the spindles, on the bottom just drilled one hole on the front and one on the back and screwed them into the treads and the floor. The railing was also attached with the kreg tool, one hole on the bottom of each side of the railing and screwed into the newel post. I also used PL400 under each of the blocks for the newel posts. It ended up very strong and was actually pretty quick and easy to intall that way.
Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
My newel posts were hollow with the block that they slid over. I put 2 holes per side of the block and attached with 2 1/2" screws and then the post just slid over and I attached that with several screws per side. I was lucky in that it was painted white, just putty up the holes and painted. Did the same for the spindles, on the bottom just drilled one hole on the front and one on the back and screwed them into the treads and the floor. The railing was also attached with the kreg tool, one hole on the bottom of each side of the railing and screwed into the newel post. I also used PL400 under each of the blocks for the newel posts. It ended up very strong and was actually pretty quick and easy to intall that way.
Thanks
Is this a kit railing? Do you have the name of it?
I'm curious about the block and how it's connenect to the framing.
Ron
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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stairway railing help


The newel posts came with the blocks in them, they were about 12" long. All the other pcs were just linieal and I cut them down to fit and I drilled all the holes for the install. The 2 blocks for the newel posts on the tread and landing were attached with PL400 and then I drilled 8 pockets for the kreg screws and screwed it to the 1" thick oak tread and oak landing. The newel post slid over that and just screwed it to the block. As for the 2 on the landing, I placed extra framing on the under side of the flooring under the subfloor that was fastened between the floor joists, it is a doubled up 2x10 glued and screwed in. Then I attached the 2 newel posts on the landing the same way.
Hope this answers what you are asking?
Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:41 AM   #11
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stairway railing help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
The newel posts came with the blocks in them, they were about 12" long. All the other pcs were just linieal and I cut them down to fit and I drilled all the holes for the install. The 2 blocks for the newel posts on the tread and landing were attached with PL400 and then I drilled 8 pockets for the kreg screws and screwed it to the 1" thick oak tread and oak landing. The newel post slid over that and just screwed it to the block. As for the 2 on the landing, I placed extra framing on the under side of the flooring under the subfloor that was fastened between the floor joists, it is a doubled up 2x10 glued and screwed in. Then I attached the 2 newel posts on the landing the same way.
Hope this answers what you are asking?
Thanks
Just curious as to how strong the connection is. Standing next to the post and trying to wiggle it, isn't the same as a lateral force hitting it from the side. Like 2 kids rough housing coming down the stairs.
Ron
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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stairway railing help


Thanks for the help guys.

I took the advice and watched some videos and then went down and looked at all the pieces. Definitely have a better understanding now, but lead to a few more questions.
Sorry if I repeat myself just trying to work it out mentally before I get going this weekend. I lik eto have a good idea at how I am going to move forward.

If you can answer some, any or all these questions it would be great!

So first I am going to install the newels. I am going to notch them and they will hangover the balcony and I am going to secure using 1/2" lags into framing members.

second part.
Now the handrails? On the side that attachs to the newel, do you screw/lag through the other side of the newel through the newel and then into the handrail? Is this the best way or is there another way to secure them. Can you get oak plugs 1/2" at the box stores?

On the opposite side of the handrail, I no longer am going to use a rosette. I looked to see where it is going to line up and it is on the face of a door frame casing. (I used 1X4 for the trim casing) so it is flat. I would like to just have the handrail go into the trim casing if possible and would look ok.

Is this possible? What is the best way to do this portion? Could I put a lag through the trim into the framing and them put the handrail into that lag? almost like a double sided screw.

Lastly, the spindles. I noticed in the store they have a dowel piece that is used on the bottom of the spindle. Maybe a 1/2" round hole. So do I drill that hole in the floor and then drill the underneath of the handrail to allow the spindle to be secured at the top too. Do you do this after the handrail is in place? I gues that if the spindle is doweled at the bottom and inserted into a hole up top, the hole up top needs to be deep to allow the spindle with dowel to slip into place.

Is 36" from floor to top of handrail a good height
Am I right on all this?
Sorry for long post trying to be thorough.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #13
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stairway railing help


the connections made from rail to newel are done with railbolts. They should have them at HD. I use a 38" balcony height.You might be able to use a railbolt at the end where you wanted a rossete. The bolt may be to short though. You do need to drill the baluster holes a deep into the rail to get them in. If you read my 1st post i think I explained it a bit
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #14
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stairway railing help


great, i read your 1st post a few times. lots of good info. i just wanted some clarification cause i don't do it everyday. So you drill it deep and then slide it in and tack it with a brad. I will use the railbolts and maybe they will work on other end too.

Where do you get your plugs for the lags?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bfan781 View Post
great, i read your 1st post a few times. lots of good info. i just wanted some clarification cause i don't do it everyday. So you drill it deep and then slide it in and tack it with a brad. I will use the railbolts and maybe they will work on other end too.

Where do you get your plugs for the lags?
Plugs(about1") will come with the rail bolt, it's sort of a kit. Extra large plugs can be had at a local lumberyard or the internet(Rockler, Woodcraft, etc)
Ron

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