Staircase questions


Old 06-29-08, 06:05 PM
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Staircase questions

How are handrails attached to Newell posts and how are ballasters fastened to the handrail and base of stairs. I am going to refurbish a staircase and have little experience in this area of finish carpentry.
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Old 06-30-08, 04:24 AM
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Pick up a book on finish carpentry that has a section on stairs.

Rails can be attached a numbers of ways, but the usual is with a bolt that is a machine thread on one end, and a bolt/nut on the other. The machine thread goes into the baluster, the bolt thru a hole in the rail, with a hole underneath to install the nut. The angle where they meet MUST be PERFECT, measure many times before you cut, rails are expensive. Many years ago I mismeasured the angle for a volute, had to get a new one, $290, yipes.

Balusters can be installed several ways. Square end balusters can fit into a slot in the rail with filler piece between. The doweled bottom end fit into holes in the treads. Round top balusters fit into holes drilled in the rail. All these holes require careful layout.

All of this work can be quite expensive if you screw it up, consider a pro for the job. Good luck.
Old 07-16-08, 01:19 PM
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Depends on how old the house is sometimes. Older houses sometimes had the hand rail recessed into the newell post; sometimes a flush fit. If the handrail was put up properly, and hasn't been abused, it may be difficult to remove and replace and make it rigid. If at all possible, I would refinish it in place, provided that it is not loose. The balusters can be in a pilot hole at the bottom or dovetailed at the bottom and slid in before the handrail goes on. The top us usually glued/nailed with the filler piece which was mentioned. If the bottom is dovetailed, the stair end nose piece will have to be removed. Dismantling a solid staircase can be an experience; for which you NEED experience. Good luck with the project!
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