Tackling wooden handrails and other parts of a staircase can be one of the more complicated projects for finish carpentry. It involves exact measurements and some knowledge of staircase parts.
Replacing or adding wood handrails can add a touch of class to any home. If the original staircase has no handrail, then this improves the safety by a 100 percent. Safety concerns aside, handrails are also a great way to showcase skill and add another dimension to any house. There are required heights that you can find in ebooks and websites that address hand railings to meet safety standards.
It is up to the finish carpenter to decide how elaborate the staircase would have to be. Now, in order to really get to the quick, you have to know the different parts of the wooden handrail. Most handrails are composed of balusters (fillers), banisters and newel posts.
Balusters are the vertical posts that usually meet the tread and provide support for the banister-which is the part that most people hold on to when going down the stairs. Newels mark the area where the handrails meet the stair landing. Now you have to decide what size you want for the balusters. Most balusters come in 1 to 1 inch sizes, turned or square. Pick any design you want, it all depends on the budget at hand and the look you want.
Balusters are designed to fit into the wooden banister for the handrail part of the stairs. This will then connect to the newel posts to complete your wooden handrails.
Banisters for wooden handrails come in different designs and widths that are easy to customize for any existing staircase. They are usually 1 to 2 5/8 inches wide to maximize comfort and about 36-38 inches from the top of the rail to the stair nosing (or the edge of the staircase).
Finally, we have the newel post. This part supports the handrail but can also be decorative. Finish carpenters often carve and decorate this part of the handrail for maximum effect. The important thing to remember is that it connects the landings of the staircase.
If the basic parts are all in, you can then consider the decorative parts of the staircase. Are you thinking about running your rail straight into a wall or should it finish at newel posts per landing? You can also choose to add rosettes or trim along the rail and molding. Bull nose trim is particularly eye catching because of its rounded edge. No matter what you choose, the wooden handrail is definitely something you should not do without.
One option is to order these parts at your local lumberyard or hardware store. Another option to choose from is to build it yourself by following the steps in the downloadable eBooks online. If you are looking to cut costs then these ebooks are great step by step guides to building your own handrail from scratch without hiring an expensive contractor who could charge you hundreds of dollars for a simple wooden handrail.
If you have never built anything before, then an eBook is a great guide that can show you how to build a wooden handrail in no time. Get easy to follow steps straight from a veteran carpenter and get that wooden handrail started now!