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Project by rimfire7891 posted 08-13-2010 04:33 AM 2517 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Final got around to putting a handrail at the top of the stairs. Used Maple for the handrail the goes down the stairs and VG doug fir for the handrail at the top of the stairs.
Made the all profiles to match a profile used many years ago. it was probably a stock item 50 or 60 years ago.
Had to make jigs to bend the maple to form the compound curve at top and bottom of the handrail. Used a kettle to steam the 3/32 strips and did 5 at a time and glued those up then waited a day and glued another 5 on then the next 5. The straight maple handrail is made of 3 strips with butt joints staggered about 4 feet for plenty of overlap. It is 175” long. Before I made the real one made a temporary one out of spruce so I could get reactions from the MIL and others before the real one was attempted. This tends to iron out, “the why didn’t you do this?” questions after you are done.
Made a jig from the handrail to drill the holes for the attachment to the newel post. Used 3/8” and 5/16” hanger bolts and dowels to locate the handrail top and bottom channel. Only glued the dowels in one side so you have a chance to made adjustments if needed.
The rail top is made of three pieces cut to profile before glueing them together, used screws and clamps the hold the pieces together until the glue set-up. Then removed the screws. The screw holes are hidden by the spacers where the spindles fit. One little trick on the newel post if you are going through an existing floor is to cut rebate about 1/8” and as thick as your floor around the bottom of the post then when you cut the square hole in the floor to mount mount the post you cover up the edges of the hole and you don’t have to be perfect with the hole The rebate sits on the floor and cover the hole.
Put a lambs tongue on the newel post corners top and bottom and about a 5/16” chamfer for part of the corner, joining the tongue’s together. Made a jig to mark the lambs tongue profile.
Fussy job to do well, requires patience and many trial fits to sneak up on perfect match.
Also made the steel brackets to mount the handrail to the wall, couldn’t find any I liked that where relatively discreet.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

5 comments so far

View mahadevwood's profile


415 posts in 3533 days

#1 posted 08-13-2010 02:30 PM

Very goos staircase, Handrail design also very very good, You finish nice curve of Band

Bharat Variya

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4760 days

#2 posted 08-13-2010 03:06 PM

Awesome bending job and just a beautiful job, I love maple and to do that with maple is unbelievable. Wow. Great job.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Austin's profile


119 posts in 3581 days

#3 posted 08-13-2010 07:18 PM

Looks great! I love making handrails. Most of mine are out of metal though.

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4236 days

#4 posted 08-24-2010 06:03 PM

Nicely executed. It looks like some thought and craftsmanship were really put into this as opposed to just slapping something together.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3978 days

#5 posted 08-25-2010 10:17 PM

Great work and obvious patience to get it right. Keep up the good work.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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