All, agreed that as is, this would not work for a solid railing. The final rail with start with a 3.5” w x 3” h glued stock – all within our city code. Specifically the aforementioned AC2 treated yellow pine (the previous railing was the same and held up OK. It’s currently sitting out in the yard drying out. This is just a prototype to see what I could do with what I have. Clearly not enough… The final rail with start with a 3.5” w x 3” h glued stock. I’d like the finger grooves to be larger, the round over wider and the groove edges smoother (rounded).
I have both CMT round over (838.254.11) and cove (837.350.11) bits but both have bearing guides. Not an issue for the round over but a problem for the cove. I was hoping to find a ¼” shank handrail bit, but as that is proving to be difficult to locate, my options are to either purchase a new ½” collet router or a ¼” cove bit without a bearing guide. Using a fluting bit is an interesting option though it doesn’t resolve the recess size issue – unless if I can a ¼” version tall (1/2”) and deep (1/2”) enough. Otherwise, using a sans bearing guide cove bit seems like the best option. Again, if I can find one.
Note: I found a new in box old stock Freud FT1700VCE router for $75. That and a 1/2” shank handrail bit, etc. might be the best option. Only bummer, it’s just the fixed base. Are there universal plunge bases available?