Stair handrail - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-19-2017, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Stair handrail

I am redoing my stairs and have found an angle that I do not know how to deal with. I plan on re-using the newel post without even uninstalling them. I want to paint them white and add an oak handrail. The problem is that I have no idea how I am going to cut a handrail to attach to one of the new post at a 45 degree angle and sloped about 30 degrees down.

In the attached picture, I am basically trying to but a new handrail to the middle of this newel post, so the center of the new handrail would hit the corner of the newel post. What do I need to do this or is this something a professional finish carpenter could do for me?

Please help, Thanks!
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Last edited by BigJim; 09-20-2017 at 11:55 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-19-2017, 11:27 PM
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It would be easier if you had a tool like this, You could adjust it to the overall angle that was there to find the angle to cut.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-20-2017, 12:13 PM
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Are you trying for the rail to split the corner of the post, in other words the center of the rail to hit the corner of the post? Another thing, how are you going to deal with no skirt board? Adding one now, will only allow you to keep carpet on the stairs, no way to member the risers and wrap treads into the skirt without a tear out and replace.

Also adding a skirt now, you will have to remove all of the rail and start over as it will throw the rail out another 3/4 inch, which will cause you to have to make a different cut for the rail. You might be better off relocating the post.


Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-20-2017, 03:08 PM
where's my table saw?
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make a template to determine the angle(s)

When you can't use a measuring device to determine an angle because of space limitations, make a cardboard template by cutting and fitting repeatedly until it works. Then measure the angle with a protractor to get your angle. As far as where and how on a stairway, I'll leave that up to BigJim who has made hundreds of them.....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-20-2017 at 05:54 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-21-2017, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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BigJim: That is exactly what my struggle is. I have no idea what kind of tool could be used to cut this v notch or if it could even be done by a reasonably skilled finish carpenter if I were to hire it out. I am totally fine with doing that, just want to know if it could be done. I definitely don't want to have to cover the bad cuts with wood fill as I want the rail to be just lacquered oak.

I am planning on doing a curb wall out of 2x4s spanning the newel post, then trimming with a skirt board and then a simple 1x6 cap. I was planning on wrapping the newel post to thicken up the base so the cap width is a little shy of the width of the newel post. This seems really straight forward to me. Do you think I am I over simplifying it?

I expect to have to pull the carpet and have it re-installed.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-21-2017, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! Much appreciated!
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