How to Build a Log Stair Railing Part 1

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Paper and pencil
Draw knife or sander
Chucking machine
Radial drill press
Working Gloves

Building a log stair railing yourself requires some hard work, but the result is gratifying much less expensive than hiring a professional. Anything built with logs creates a pleasant natural atmosphere that complements any cottage, country or rustic style. Follow the steps below to get started building your log stair railing.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Start off by taking all the necessary measurements you will use to cut the logs and ultimately fixing them into a stair railing. It is best to draw a diagram of your project and mark all the measurements you take on each part as this will greatly help you while you are actually working on cutting and assembling. Make sure you properly space between one log baluster and another at the length required. These will depend on the distance you need to cover from the top part of the stair railing to the bottom.

Step 2 - Gather or Buy the Logs

According to the measurements you took you can now calculate how many logs you require to build your log stair railing. Depending on where you live you may either gather the logs yourself, or else buy them. Always gather or buy some extra logs in order to provide room for any errors while cutting them.

Step 3 - Cut the Logs

The next step is to cut the logs with a heavy duty saw. Follow the dimensions with regards to length since this is a crucial factor when it comes to building a stair railing as

Step 4 - Smooth the Logs

Use a draw knife to smooth the outer layer of your logs from any protruding parts, especially if you gathered them yourself. You may need to remove any small branches, leaves and bark. Use long strokes to remove them. At this point it is very advisable to wear heavy duty working gloves and be sure to take all the necessary precautions when using the your draw knife.

Step 5 - Make the Tenons

After having peeled and smoothed the logs to make them more uniform, you can use the draw knife to make the tenons. If you have several logs and you find the process a bit repetitive you may use a chucking machine to do this job.

Step 6 - Make the Railings

Besides the log balusters you also need to have the railings to which the logs will be fixed to form the stair railing. The layer of the top and bottom railings needs to be wide enough for the logs’ circumference to fit well. It is also crucial to have the railings of the correct length to cover the distance from the top to the bottom of the stairs.

Step 7 - Drill the Mortises

At this point it is best to use a radial drill press to drill the mortises in the railings. The tenon and mortise joint is the most recommended method to build practically any type of wood furniture.