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 Post subject: Newel posts
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Suddenly I'm beginning to feel pretty incompetent. Well maybe not so suddenly after all.

I built this stair some time ago and I'm just now getting around to designing and building an inside guard/handrail. I have a pretty good mental picture of what I'd like it to be however it involves mounting newel posts at the bottom tread, each landing and the top tread. I'm not really sure how to go about securing them to the treads and landings. I suspect the easiest way would be to drill and use rather large dowels. I spent hours gluing up the treads and landing from selected portions of European beech so I'm terrified at the thought of screwing them up. So ... any suggestions on how to mount the newel posts? Thanks for any ideas ...

Bottom tread and first landing

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stair landing 02.jpg


Second landing ..

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stair landing.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:32 pm 
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OK, I think I have a solution.

What tools and techniques do I have at hand? Well, I have a 3hp lathe that will turn 42" between centers. If I turn a 1-1/2"l. x whatever diameter, say 2", tenon on one end and bore a corresponding hole in the treads and landings that should provide a pretty good joint. But that leaves the newels 1-1/2" short of the code 42" guardrail ht.

Shouldn't be all that hard to come up with a railing to meet the required ht.

One more design issue to address.

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:33 am 
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Dennis, are you talking about turning the bottom of the newel post to a tenon and drilling a hole into treads and landings to match?

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:16 am 
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Have you considered drilling a hole in the tread and a matching one in the center of the bottom of the post. Then turning dowels on the lathe to use as the tenon ?
You could drill a screw hole with countersink and a plug in the side of the post to secure it but, still allow for future removal if necessary.
(probably overkill but, that is just me :) )

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:06 am 
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John Boy wrote:
Dennis, are you talking about turning the bottom of the newel post to a tenon and drilling a hole into treads and landings to match?


That's sorta the game plan, John.

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:09 am 
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Rapid Roger wrote:
Have you considered drilling a hole in the tread and a matching one in the center of the bottom of the post. Then turning dowels on the lathe to use as the tenon ?
You could drill a screw hole with countersink and a plug in the side of the post to secure it but, still allow for future removal if necessary.
(probably overkill but, that is just me :) )


Drilling a true perpendicular hole in the end of a 42" long post would, in my case, be a challenge. Turning it from the end of the post as I described is more within my skill set. I'm pretty much in your camp with respect to disassembly however in this case I'm content to make it permanent. Thanks for the thoughts, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:06 pm 
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DennisS wrote:
Rapid Roger wrote:
Have you considered drilling a hole in the tread and a matching one in the center of the bottom of the post. Then turning dowels on the lathe to use as the tenon ?
You could drill a screw hole with countersink and a plug in the side of the post to secure it but, still allow for future removal if necessary.
(probably overkill but, that is just me :) )


Drilling a true perpendicular hole in the end of a 42" long post would, in my case, be a challenge. Turning it from the end of the post as I described is more within my skill set. I'm pretty much in your camp with respect to disassembly however in this case I'm content to make it permanent. Thanks for the thoughts, though.


That's exactly what we did in the house we just rehabbed. It was indeed a bit of a challenge due to trying to do it on-site instead of in the shop. Since you have a lathe that can turn 42" between centers, you should be able to use the lathe to drill a hole in the bottom of the newel post. If so, you wouldn't have to worry about the height issue you mentioned. As an alternative, maybe a drill press with the table shifted to the side and some sort of shopmade clamp to hold it plumb.

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:34 pm 
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John Boy wrote:
That's exactly what we did in the house we just rehabbed. It was indeed a bit of a challenge due to trying to do it on-site instead of in the shop. Since you have a lathe that can turn 42" between centers, you should be able to use the lathe to drill a hole in the bottom of the newel post. If so, you wouldn't have to worry about the height issue you mentioned. As an alternative, maybe a drill press with the table shifted to the side and some sort of shopmade clamp to hold it plumb.


I gave that some thought, John, but 42" is the limit for the lathe with no room to mount a jacobs chuck to hold a drill bit, let alone space for the bit and shaft itself. I'm busy looking for a fixture of some kind to hold my 1/2" drill motor for drilling the holes in the treads. But I appreciate your reply.

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Researching drill guides I see they range from the just sub $40 range to over $50 (Grizzly Tools the latter). None of them look very substantial. Does anyone have one and if so how sturdy is it?

TIA ...

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 Post subject: Re: Newel posts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:20 pm 
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DENNIS S : Just a WAG but for a one time or so use, could you find a drill guide at a rental center or big box. Also, could you build a jig like a mortice jig to hold the newell and then drill a hole for the dowell? :idea:

PS: check your mail :wink:

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