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post #1 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Stair Rail Challenge

I'm installing an oak stair rail, and want to have a return at top and bottom. Does anyone know how to come up with the correct angles for the compount cuts I need for this? Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 04:20 PM
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Are you talking about returning the railing into the wall.

Like this picture.


Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly. Can't see in the pic what the profile of your rail is, but mine is shaped like the greek omega, so a simple miter won't work.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 06:52 PM
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Here is the profile and that is a simple mitre to return to the wall. You may want it to flatten off before returning to the wall.

http://www.ljsmith.net/lj-6010p.html

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, Dave. I see now what you did. I was complicating it by expecting the bottom of the return to be parallel to the floor. I guess there is no reason that it needs to be. I had thought about flattening off before returning, but that doesn't work well in my application.

I think you've pulled me through again, pal . Thanks a lot.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-24-2007, 09:27 PM
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Yea, you can flatten it first then mitre to the wall. You will have to know what the angle of the incline on the stairs is and your mitre angle will be half of that.

Sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be.

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-03-2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkydave View Post
I'm installing an oak stair rail, and want to have a return at top and bottom. Does anyone know how to come up with the correct angles for the compount cuts I need for this? Thanks.
The smoothest feeling way to level the top and bottom of the rail off is with starting/landing easement fittings, They are much nicer feeling to the hand than miter cuts. You could use goosenecks to both level off and return to the walls, or just 90 degree turns to return to the wall in line with the handrail. Look through the "Fitts" or other stair parts manufacturer catalogue for a selection of fittings. It is of course more costly than a simple miter, but looks much more professional IMO.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-15-2007, 02:45 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly. Get the proper fitting from the manufacturer for your application. It will make for a much better looking job.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-21-2008, 02:07 PM
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What would you do if the angles going down the steps are 135 degrees instead of 90 degrees? Is this just a 22.5 degree miter cut?
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-21-2008, 05:13 PM
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I was a stair railing installer for 8 years. Thats all I did. I agree that fittings are the way to go for a nice job. Aside from that drawing it out is always a fool proof way to find the angles and fast. Generally there are two angles to stairs that I have worked with. the 11 inch tread and the 10 inch tread. The 11 inch usually gives a stair angle of 36 degrees and the 10 inch gives a 41 degree angle.

for the 11 inch tread the top of the stair case angle is about 18 and the bottom is 26
for the 10 inch tread the top of the stair case angle is about 21 and the bottom is 24

I used to have to do these everyday http://www.flickr.com/photos/bri_bri...7605959904410/ and I think I am a little insane as a result now.

EDIT----And I just realized how old this thread is, lol.

"Nathan needs some Huggies.......I'll be out directly"

Last edited by btyirin; 11-21-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-24-2008, 12:31 PM
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btyirin Your advice is still handy thanks. I always had to use a level and a speed square to find angle and divide in half to get proper angle.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-27-2008, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by btyirin View Post
I was a stair railing installer for 8 years. Thats all I did. I agree that fittings are the way to go for a nice job. Aside from that drawing it out is always a fool proof way to find the angles and fast. Generally there are two angles to stairs that I have worked with. the 11 inch tread and the 10 inch tread. The 11 inch usually gives a stair angle of 36 degrees and the 10 inch gives a 41 degree angle.

for the 11 inch tread the top of the stair case angle is about 18 and the bottom is 26
for the 10 inch tread the top of the stair case angle is about 21 and the bottom is 24

I used to have to do these everyday house one - a set on Flickr and I think I am a little insane as a result now.

EDIT----And I just realized how old this thread is, lol.
Nice job Btyirin, although I gotta say, those balusters don't do much for the overall look of that staircase. I am guessing either the homeowner requested it or maybe the architect. If it was your decision then I guess I just stuck my foot in it! Sorry, its just my two cents worth
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-27-2008, 03:52 PM
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I picked them out myself! No, just kidding. It was the builders choice. I never got to design one myself. And I agree with you. The they are gross looking. Matter of fact, the balusters on the back stairs don't even match. The builder was trying to save money and had them stored in the basement of a previous house he buily. You can't tell from the pics but they are covered in old drywall dust and concrete powder. Nice stuff.

Over the years my tastes of changed and I'm starting to like the iron baluster now.

"Nathan needs some Huggies.......I'll be out directly"

Last edited by btyirin; 11-27-2008 at 08:23 PM.
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