DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Need to tighten spindles on stair rails.

4890 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  joecaption
I have a nice home from 1920 that I am leasing to tenants. There is a beautiful wood stair rail going up the stairs and along the side of the stairs. The city inspector said the railing is too loose and I must tighten it. The spindles are fully twisted in place. The railing is probably exactly like it was when put there over 90 years ago. If you were to violently shake the rail it may wobble, but it is not dangerous in my opinion. How do I firm this up without destroying the esthetics?
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Here are pictures of the stair rail and spindles that the inspector says is wobbly.


See less See more
Overall. The inspecter can shake this if he tries hard enough.


See less See more
Need a picture of how the rails were attached.
How can I secure these so the railing does not shake?
Hopefully one of the real stair guys will post at some time to day.
First thing I see is two missing Newel post,

Not sure how just using ballisters can keep the railing from moving.
Agreed should've had a Newell post at top of stairs. To stiffen it
I would ask inspector if he had any suggestions that would keep the integrity of the time period and your house
Only have pictures to go by, but are those ballisters orginal to the house?
Looks to clean to be that old. Older ones buy now would have had many layers of paint.
See any old black marks on the hardwood flooring where there may have been newel posts?
Those look like 5015 balusters and 6010 handrail. Run of the mill stuff still popular today
So Miller would you build it like that one?
I'm just not seeing how ballisters that are just glued in at the top are going to keep that rail from moving.
I think it needs a newel at the top to anchor the rail. I did a job that was similar to that but they used square balusters. I used a solid steel baluster that passed through the tread and anchored to framing and one through subfloor on balcony and attached to joist. Made it easy seeing the floor wasn't down yet. Are those balusters loose at the bottom where they attach to the stair and balcony nosing
Dovetailed balusters of metal dowel inserts will help as will a beefier baluster like an 1-3/4"
I was thinking there and at the right angle turn.
Newel posts similar to this installation should have been put in place to stop the wobbling.

See less See more
My DIL asked me to do something because they have a similar railing with thin spindles. With the grandkids riding trikes at high speed in the upstairs hall, she was afraid they would crash through the railing and fall to the floor below as they had already cracked one of the spindles.
I took a long 3/4" thick red oak board and ripped 3/8" thick strips off it. I placed a strip horizontally on each side of the spindles halfway between the top and bottom, and bolted them together with machine screws and washers every 18". Painted white, they don't look bad and they really stiffened the railing. Sometime in the future they can be removed with no damage to the railing.
I think it needs a newel at the top to anchor the rail. .
Thank you. How do I instal the newell post?
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.