How do I make this handrail?

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Doug71

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I have been asked if I can make two handrail sweeps like these and about 600mm of straight handrail to go between them.

handrail 2.jpg


handrail 3.jpg


handrail 1.jpg


It doesn't need to match exactly, just something like and the builder says he can fit it himself.....

The straight middle bit is no trouble it's just the curvy bits 😂😂😂

I was thinking I could maybe do each sweep in two parts, make the bottom flat part and kind of make a double edged bullnose piece as a capping to sit on top? The small bullnose piece that runs along the bottom could be put underneath after in one full length?

The other way I thought is to stick 2 D shaped pieces on the sides after cutting everything to shape which would probably make it easier to machine?

The top of the new rail is okay with just two bevels on or a single large gentle round rather than the mould on the top of the pattern which will make it easier.

It's a long way away so I won't be seeing the original in the flesh, I just have an offcut of the original handrail and a couple of cardboard templates for the sweeps to work with.

I have a spindle moulder, router and plenty of cutters for both.

I think the builder doesn't realise how awkward it is (he thinks I can make anything).

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Doug
 

Droogs

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Speak to RogerS over on the other side (WH2), he is making something similar just now
 

Doug71

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That's a job for a carver and someone with a deft hand with hollow and round moulding planes.

It looks fairly straightforward to me.

That's more or less what I told the builder, I said if he was stuck I could probably knock up something similar but I'm not really the man for the job!
 

Cabinetman

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Yes I agree make a curved one on your spindle that is the same section all along it’s length and then remove the underslung bit and add a triangular piece. And good luck, glad it’s not me lol, you do seem to get the jobs nobody else will tackle Doug.
 

Adam W.

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Are you allowed to post a link ?

I would imagine that the top section is built up of three or four pieces all glued together and the bottom section is the same style of construction.
 

Doug71

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Scrap that, it's all one piece with the torus bead stuck on.

That's kind of what I meant with "stick the two D shaped pieces on the sides after". If I do that I think it's within my capabilities, I would probably cheat and make the straight bit the same way so it all matched up.
 

Inspector

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There is another way to make the curved sweeps but it isn't often done. Rip a straight length of the rail, stepping over the thickness of the saw blade each time. Do the same with a second piece starting one blade width over. When you stack the pieces from the two rails you have a complete profile once more. Those you take and laminate them over a curved form. Then a triangular piece appropriately curved where needed is attached to the laminated part and a lower beaded piece made for the bottom. Same method can be used to make curved casings for circular and arched top doors and windows. The amount the laminations will show depends on the wood being used and if painted, doesn't matter a bit. If too distracting then you are down to carving it, possibly doing part it on a shaper sled/jig.


Pete
 

Adam W.

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That's kind of what I meant with "stick the two D shaped pieces on the sides after". If I do that I think it's within my capabilities, I would probably cheat and make the straight bit the same way so it all matched up.
Well, no.

I meant that the tiny quirk torus fillet just under the handrail was just stuck on and the rest was one lump of mahogany. How you would make it on a spindle moulder is nothing I could comment on, and I doubt that I would be willing to try if I had to match it to an original piece.

I'd just do it by hand, it'll be easier and more precise. In your second photo, there's no quirk and the torus bead is incomplete.
 

Yojevol

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There is another way to make the curved sweeps but it isn't often done. Rip a straight length of the rail, stepping over the thickness of the saw blade each time. Do the same with a second piece starting one blade width over. When you stack the pieces from the two rails you have a complete profile once more. Those you take and laminate them over a curved form. Then a triangular piece appropriately curved where needed is attached to the laminated part and a lower beaded piece made for the bottom. Same method can be used to make curved casings for circular and arched top doors and windows. The amount the laminations will show depends on the wood being used and if painted, doesn't matter a bit. If too distracting then you are down to carving it, possibly doing part it on a shaper sled/jig.


Pete
This essentially the method I used to produce the curved moulding on this board for my local church. It records all the incumbent priests going back into Saxon times:-
IMG_0332.JPG

















I purchased a moulder cutter to get the essential shape so that was relatively easy to do in one hit. I prepared stock consisting 4 lengths of solid oak and 1 length made up of 6mm laminations for the curved section.
The trick was to keep all the laminations in their correct relative positions during the spindle moulding followed by bending/gluing in a male/female former. This was achieved by having a lengthwise key between each of the laminations and internal screws to keep them tightly packed. I removed the screws apart from those in the central position prior to the trial glue-up.
Brian
 

Jacob

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Not how they've done it but if you treat the top of the rail with the torus moulding on each side, as one piece to be planted onto to the rest of the shape, then the curved part can be cut with same spindle cutter as the straight, but supporting the curved piece in a curved cradle. Like ring fence work but in a vertical plane instead of horizontal
 

Oakay

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It is possible to do some of the donkey-work ie the torus moulding on a spindle moulder but it is not for the faint-hearted, especially as the grain is starting to cross on the curve. Need lots of length to hold onto without being anywhere near the spindle, (which you have at the long straight which you will have jointed already to the curved piece securely with a strong tenon) very sharp cutters and good table ground continuously under the cutters for the convex curve to run along. Lots of extra length beyond the short grain short end. The straight triangular part would be added afterwards. Some short end may fly off so wear full protection, especially when you do the side at the time you are standing behind the spindle moulder, and best finish before the end of the cut as you reach the extra off-cut part. Only attempt if completely confident about what you are doing and safety. I am saying it is possible but only 'safe' if done carefully and confidently and will probably also need a fence on your side of the table so it can't chatter against the cutter, which I repeat must be very sharp due to the short-grain. The top of the handrail will need to be done with band-saw and finished by hand-I would use a series of shaped sanding blocks and coarse sand paper, maybe a spoke-shave for some of it to begin with. The key to spindle moulding being possible is that you have lots of length to hold onto without getting your hands anywhere near the cutters, but you will need to make a snug channel for the wood to pass through.
 
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Yorkieguy

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