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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Both of my banisters have been getting progressively loose over the past year and I've been very reluctant to tackle this project. I noticed that the previous owner did a crap job at toenailing them which didn't do much good.

I managed to take one apart today just to see how they were installed. I'm more confused than I was when I didn't know what was going on. More so, I'm at a loss on how I should properly reinforce these.

The bottom of the newel has some sort of threaded bolt however I took a camera tool and looked in the hole and there is no nut anywhere. The wider threads appear to have some sort of painters tape on it; no relation to the painters' tape I used to cut the toenails. The hole under the riser does appear to have some sort of plywood just underneath the riser but under that it's completely hollow.

My thoughts are as follows:

A traditional long lag bolt style won't work since it's hollow down to the sub floor and I have no idea if I'll hit anything beyond that.

Most of any other fixes will be limited to securing to the riser by itself.
1. https://www.stairsupplies.com/product/fas-n-fast-newel-mounting-system-vr409/

2. Some sort of base plate system with trim. https://www.amazon.com/Newel-Post-Fastener-Plate-Screws/dp/B00IAC0ZTQ

3. Perhaps the base plate system above but use a longer screw that acts like a rod through the riser but secured to the subfloor: https://www.lowes.com/pd/FastenMast...or-Structural-Wood-Screws-50-Count/1000463225

4. Maybe another option. Take a 1 or 1.5 inch diameter dowel and insert it up into the newel 6 inches or so. Make it a very tight fit and liquid nails it in. Then drill the same diameter hole through the riser and down into the subfloor, so that to not go through the subfloor. Drop tons of liquid nails down into the hole push the newel and dowl down into the groove in the subfloor.
Any help would be appreciated!
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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I would remove that tread, gently, and use a fender washer, and bolt to attach that tread to the newel, then reinstall the tread solidly to the base structure where it was before.

Or see if I can gain access even deeper and install a long bolt and washer.

That tape around the insert, is there because they made the hole in the tread too big, and it would not bite in and hold, then they tried to nail it.

Someone did not know what they were doing and made it worse.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting lower would be extremely complicated and probably last resort.

I hadn't considered removing the tread. Attached are a couple pics. Do you think it's just glued on? It appears I'd need to remove quite a bit of trim to do it. My concern would be it would somehow detach from the floor before the riser. I suppose an option would be taking my oscillating tool and working my way around. I just wasn't sure if there would be any dowels are anything to line things up etc..?

Heck if I got the riser out, I suspect I could just build sufficient reinforcement within the riser to use the traditional auger type?

I knew this wasn't going to be easy!
 

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retired framer
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Getting lower would be extremely complicated and probably last resort.

I hadn't considered removing the tread. Attached are a couple pics. Do you think it's just glued on? It appears I'd need to remove quite a bit of trim to do it. My concern would be it would somehow detach from the floor before the riser. I suppose an option would be taking my oscillating tool and working my way around. I just wasn't sure if there would be any dowels are anything to line things up etc..?

Heck if I got the riser out, I suspect I could just build sufficient reinforcement within the riser to use the traditional auger type?

I knew this wasn't going to be easy!
Do you have a closet below that stair case, if yes go in thru the drywall in the closet and get to the bottom of that.

You can use the same method if you can get a fair sized piece of 3/4" plywood under that lowest tread.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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It does look like a closet there behind the rounded landing.

There is a perfect access point to build into for newel support.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It does look like a closet there behind the rounded landing.

There is a perfect access point to build into for newel support.


ED
Not really. Underneath is the stairs leading down into my basement and since the bottom tread is a foot or so wider on both sides it's a guessing game where both sides would end up.
 

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retired framer
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Not really. Underneath is the stairs leading down into my basement and since the bottom tread is a foot or so wider on both sides it's a guessing game where both sides would end up.

Well go downstairs and cut a 12 x 12 hole in the ceiling about two feet away from the downstairs ceiling and stay away from the wall for easier patching.
 

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I agree, someone drilled the hole too large and tried to use tape to tighten it up. Bad move, didn't work.

My suggestion would be to buy two of these anchor bolts and install them, one on each side of the bolt already there. You screw this bolt into the solid part of the tread and sub form. Well look at the photo, it pretty well shows how to do it. The reason I say two is just one would still let the post move a little as it would not be centered but two of these bolts will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Well go downstairs and cut a 12 x 12 hole in the ceiling about two feet away from the downstairs ceiling and stay away from the wall for easier patching.
This is what I meant. The tread sticks out to the side on both sides. Going sideways in the drywall isn't an option. I poked a camera inside the dowel hole and there is structural support under the tread that if you could imagine runs down this wall under the tread. Makes coming in from the side not possible. The ceiling is almost impossible since on both sides the ceiling is dropped in the basement and has ductwork and framing around it.

It sounds like I'm back to some sort of plan B if there is such a thing. Either trying to get that tread off and mounting to the tread or fas-n-fast option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree, someone drilled the hole too large and tried to use tape to tighten it up. Bad move, didn't work.

My suggestion would be to buy two of these anchor bolts and install them, one on each side of the bolt already there. You screw this bolt into the solid part of the tread and sub form. Well look at the photo, it pretty well shows how to do it. The reason I say two is just one would still let the post move a little as it would not be centered but two of these bolts will work.
What anchor bolts?
 

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retired framer
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This is what I meant. The tread sticks out to the side on both sides. Going sideways in the drywall isn't an option. I poked a camera inside the dowel hole and there is structural support under the tread that if you could imagine runs down this wall under the tread. Makes coming in from the side not possible. The ceiling is almost impossible since on both sides the ceiling is dropped in the basement and has ductwork and framing around it.

It sounds like I'm back to some sort of plan B if there is such a thing. Either trying to get that tread off and mounting to the tread or fas-n-fast option.
So you would have to reach around the end. :vs_mad:
Then go into the ceiling right below it, get a long bolt and put the nut and huge washer under the subfloor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Took the tape off these, and the other Newel out; same thing. Agreed it was probably some hack job. Structurally what I have is the solid oak tread and what appears like a layer or two of plywood or something before it hollows out and drops the sub floor.

The cams drop easily through the tread and stop omtp whatever wood is below the tread. I suspect this is what they were originally screwed into. So I'm wondering if I could use some super bond to adhere these into the existing holes and essentially tighten the newel's back down?


So my current options.

1. Try and place 2 zip bolts in each newel. I'm slightly worried i don't have enough structure underneath. I'd still try and use some adhesive. Not sure what.
2. Try the fas-n-fast. (Has anyone ever tried this?)
3. A base plate screwed up into the newel then down into the tread.
4. Bond the existing cam back in place with some bad ass adhesive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a quick update.

I went with the Fas n Fast solution.

I searched high and low for wood screws with full thread, figured since I was relying mostly on the tread I wanted some bite into the solid oak. I found 2 inch #10 made by SPAX at home depot and used 3 inch up into the Newel. All predrilled. The trick is making sure the hole you bore into the newel is perfectly even / level / parallel with the floor else when you screw the two fas n fasteners together you'll end up with a leaning post. This took me a few tries to get right. I then used a strap wrench to get it tight. Both are solid as a rock and so far I'm very happy with the result!
 
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