New stair rails part one


Newel Post Install

We started a new railing today. It is a L shaped guard rail with two full posts and a half wall post. It will have twist and basket series iron balusters. Clear coated by client. We gave a quick lesson on how to coat the wood with lacquer. He did a great job. This will save them about three hundred dollars. It all adds up.

First step is to layout the posts and get them drilled for the post anchors. I prefer to use the Sure-Tite brand utilizing a 5/8s threaded rod into the floor. It is a much stronger connection provided there is structure under the floor to grab it. (floor joist)

newel bolt

Sure-Tite newel bolt

Notice the first part of the hole is drilled wider. On floors with multiple layers, if you don’t. the screws in the Sure-Tite will wedge the oak floor up off the sub floor. Even lifting just a little WILL effect the connection of the newel post. The post will wobble if everything is not tight. ( sounds like experience ). The instructions have you drill a 5/8 s hole through the first 3/4 floor then a 3/8s bit down 6 inches. You can angle the hole to hit floor joists. Then use a hammer to straiten it. I use a paddle bit with an extension. I also keep a 3/8s high speed bit handy in case I hit a nail or Simpson tie.

 Now we calculate our height, IRC (International Residential Code) guidelines are 36 to the top of the handrail in residential construction. You are allowed to go higher. I set this one at 36 1/4 off the finished floor.

I layout and drill a hole in the center of the newel. Another one cross drilled to catch the nut and washer. Pics below.


One thought on “New stair rails part one

  1. Antonio

    The part about the larger hole in the floor was very helpful. We also have oak floors and are going to use the sure-tite bolt. My first inclination was not to drill a hole larger than the bolt. I think another thing we did wrong was staining our wood before drilling the holes :\

    Is the sure-tite bolt enough to hold the entire newel in place?


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