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Old 02-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #16
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stairway railing help


yes, the railbolts usually come with the 1" oak plugs. I always use regular drywall screws for installing my posts with a 3/8" countersink. This allows for a minimal size plug to fill.I make my own with a 3/8" plug cutter. I make them from a piece of the same material you are using.When you notch the post take it from the cut out. Lags are overkill. You dont really need them. 2-3 drywall screws combined with some adhesive is fine.

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:25 PM   #17
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stairway railing help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
yes, the railbolts usually come with the 1" oak plugs. I always use regular drywall screws for installing my posts with a 3/8" countersink. This allows for a minimal size plug to fill.I make my own with a 3/8" plug cutter. I make them from a piece of the same material you are using.When you notch the post take it from the cut out. Lags are overkill. You dont really need them. 2-3 drywall screws combined with some adhesive is fine.
I agree with this, it's what I do, although I'd rather use a ceramic coated screw because they don't snap off the way a drywall screw does.
Pre-drill, glue, clamp, screw
and if you buy plugs, make sure they've been cut across the grain and are not just dowels
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:42 PM   #18
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stairway railing help


ok, few more questions for you, Can you get a plug cutter at HD or box store?
So those rail bolts are the way to go it looks like.

How do I know if a rail bolt will work on the other end? how much should bite into the trim/framing.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:18 PM   #19
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stairway railing help


A few other considerations and a different viewpoint.

It sounds like you are going to use pin top balusters but no mention is made of type of handrail, post-to-post or over-the-post. If over-the-post you will need to know about upeasings, level quarter turns, etc.

Rail height- first decide which balusters you will use, I.E. how tall are they and how long is the straight section of the pin top. What is the diameter of the pin top? Typically I will grind down a spade bit to fit the diameter of the baluster. You don't want to drill all your holes only to find out they are too large.

Baluster spacing- baluster spacing is measured at the most narrow part of the baluster, I.E. at the pin top. You do not want to lay out your balusters only to find out you are out of code at the top. Here is a link to a Utube I did on baluster spacing Pin tops are only slightly more involved, place two balusters side by side and arrange such that the most narrow part does not exceed 4", now measure the bottoms- that is your max spacing.

Newel attachment- I personally would never use drywall screws, they are not rated for that application. I use GRK's, they hold very well and have a good shear strength.

Newel placement- Handrail needs to have a constant height through the run of the stair. It cannot either rise or fall from top to bottom. Newels need to be placed before handrail. If you were to lay the handrail on the stair you can see that the farther it is from the nosing, the greater the distance from the tread to the bottom of the rail. The newel post needs to be taller the farther you go back from the nosing- by the distance from the bottom of the rail to the tread. The easiest way to find that amount is to take a framing square and draw the rise of the stair and the run of the stair ( measured from riser to riser- not from riser to nosing of tread) and then draw a line connecting the two. This is called a pitch block. Decide where you want your newel to be. For post-to-post it is the face and for over-the-post it is the center line. Measure that distance and add to desired rail height.

Stay away from box stores, find a good LOCAL lumber and order from them. You will get a better selection and better parts. This is a very brief overview but should get you started.

Last edited by Keith Mathewson; 02-11-2011 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:43 PM   #20
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stairway railing help


keith,
thanks for the info. Whats the difference between post to post and over the post handrails? I do believe that I am using pin top and thanks for the heads up on the spacing.

I am only doing the railing at the top of the steps. two short runs. straight.

Do you also glue everything with liquid nails? Do you have good results with rail bolts?
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #21
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stairway railing help


Chances are that if you are only doing short runs it is a post-to-post. Over the post is a continuous handrail system. I don't use liquid nails, I prefer PL premium. Do not use the dowels which come with the balusters, particularly if they are the removable kind. Use double end small lags. Rail bolts work very well but only one side can be used on a captured rail.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:30 PM   #22
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stairway railing help


A kreg jint is not good enough for railings. Don't railings need ot suport like 200+ pounds falling on it.

Read the LJ Smith manuals. They are free and a great start on understanding ballustrade basics.

http://www.ljsmith.com/default.aspx?category=13&page=19
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:01 AM   #23
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stairway railing help


I agree with Keith on the threaded baluster inserts. They work great and really hold the balusters down tight with no visible fasteners. These are from lj smith but you may be able to find something similar at your local hardware store. they are 2-1/2"long and 1/4" diameter. I put them in all my stairs.Although they are not required, they are a much better alternative to the wood dowels attached to the balusters.[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Ashley/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-4.png[/IMG]
As far as the rail bolt into the wall end...the railbolt usually comes with about 2" of wood threads on one end and 2" of machine threads on the other end. The problem you might have is on the end going into the wall because you will need to go through 3/4" casing then 1/2" drywall which only leave 3/4" into the frame. you want to go into about 1-3/4" into the frame. so see if you can find one that is longer than the standard ones. These rail bolts can be a little tricky to install. they have special wrenches made for applying these. A regular 1/2" box wrench might work. if not you might need to buy a cheap one and grind it down on the sides to give it more swing.
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Last edited by Millertyme; 02-12-2011 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
Stay away from box stores, find a good LOCAL lumber and order from them. You will get a better selection and better parts. .
I agree with that, I mentioned going to a big box store because you can see all the parts and get an understanding of how they go together in addition to looking at schematics online. Bottom line at ANY store is to find someone who knows the product and the application

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