Mounting a new railing to stone steps

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Old 06-14-14, 10:32 AM
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Mounting a new railing to stone steps

The front porch is basically brick risers topped with bluestone treads, and bluestone as the deck on the remainder of the porch. The bluestone parts are about 1.5 inches thick.

The original iron railing was mounted by inserting the iron posts through nicely cut holes (abt 2 inch diameter) in the treads and then securing with cement. Over the past 40-odd years, the bottoms of the posts rusted through and it's now time to replace the railings.

I'm looking at some of the aluminum railings being offered today and find many of them use a base piece that screws or bolts into decking and treads. I don't know if that type of attachment is appropriate for the bluestone. That puts drilled screw / bolt holes to within and inch (or less?) of the edge of the stones. I can imagine unwanted fractures.

What's the best method for attachment? Drill? If so, how is it done safely? Something else?

THANKS!
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Bob Easton
 
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Old 06-14-14, 02:45 PM
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I'd use a core drill and 2 part epoxy.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 03:59 PM
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Add. Leave the epoxy about 1/2 low in the core. Once it has cured, you can fill the hole with concrete patch material and dome it up onto the post to allow water to run off rather than gather and become a problem like it did with your iron posts.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 05:45 PM
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Thanks joecaption1 and chandler, but I guess I wasn't clear enough.

The replacement railings I'm looking at do not have posts that extend into the existing holes, but have base plates for each post. Those base plates are usually held by two or more screws or bolts. They'll need yet more holes...
 
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Old 06-14-14, 05:48 PM
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Fastening the handrails to stone via a flange and screws may be asking for trouble. Drilling the three holes will give the stone weakness and can shatter with the slightest movement. Stability of the handrails may be questionable, too. Not trying to dissuade you, just talking from experience.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 07:57 PM
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That's exactly why I asked; knowing someone had more experience than I have. I'll look for rails that don't use the base plates.

Thanks!
 
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