connecting hand rail to posts

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Old 07-15-07, 06:07 PM
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connecting hand rail to posts

I posted this question in hardware and fasteners, too, because I wasn't sure of the best place. I took out a wall next to my stairs and I'm installing an oak hand rail with balusters. I got my post in at the base and I have one of those half-posts for the top. The hand rail and balusters only go about half way up the stairs where they meet the half post where the wall begins again. Any tricks on anchoring the hand rail to the posts? I was thinking about running a lag through the back of the half post (where the head won't be seen) and into the rail before I put up the half post. Then I'd install the half post and rail together. still not sure about anchoring the rail to the bottom post. maybe drive a couple of screws through the bottom of the rail and into the post. or would just popping a few brads be enough? thanks for any tips. as usual, this is turning into quite a project.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 07:38 AM
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I'm not a railing expert, but have installed a few of them before. I've always used rail bolts, like these http://www.stairsupplies.com/eng/products/stair_hardware_brackets/s9600_rail_bolt

Make sure you get the rail bolt wrench also (regular wrench wont work). You should be able to find them at your local big box.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 06:53 PM
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thanks Chris8796

i'll look for those fasteners.
i found a great website that shows how to build the rails with balusters, both flat and slanted, but it didn't show how to connect the rail once it was assembled. in case anyone else wants to check out that site: http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/decks/handrail/traditional/assembly.htm
thanks again Chris. This is a big investment of time and energy, and so far it's looking good. But I was afraid I'd have a nice looking, wobbly railing. Hopefully, you just saved me from ruining the project at the end.
 
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Old 07-24-07, 05:52 AM
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used a lag and some deck screws instead

Chris,
I found that rail fastening kit you suggested, but I had no idea how to put it in. I sunk a 6" lag through the bottom post and into the hand rail. I countersunk the head of the lag and covered it with one of those oak plugs. centered, it actually looks quite nice. at the top, i attached the handrail to the half post where the rail meets the wall, and also covered those with smaller plugs. rail looks pretty nice. a tricky project that took a few years off my life and a few hundred out of my bank account, but well worth it.
 
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Old 07-24-07, 11:00 AM
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Luckily there are several ways to skin this cat. I''ve seen it done they way you mentioned and that should hold up just fine. Congrats

for future reference:

http://www.coffmanstairs.com/pdf/faq7.pdf
 
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Old 07-25-07, 07:40 PM
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thanks Chris8796

i'll bookmark that website for when I do handrail for the deck, since I now have two rail bolts in my hardware coffee can. i didn't realize you had to drill a hole in the bottom of the rail to access the rail bolt. that's what stumped me. i couldn't figure out how to tighten the thing.
 
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