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mitres on mopstick handrail?

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johnbb99

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If you have the patience to follow me, I'd be very grateful!

I am replacing rotten softwood mopstick outside done with poor joins (with 45mm diam oak with a 'flat' on the bottom for fixing the brackets) .

The problem is that the rail is intended to change from sloping up to horizontal at the same join that it turns through 90 degrees (horizontal angle). And then it does another 90 degree turn at the same time going from horizontal to sloping up. i.e. the steps come up a flight, you turn right and there is a short horizontal run then you turn right again as you start up more steps.

I know I could avoid the issue by not connecting the handrail runs, but I'm not keen on that.

I can (I suppose) arrange to do the 90 turn before the slope down, i.e. do two separate mitres.
Or I could make a simple 90 mitre and rotate the horizontal length to allow the sloping length to slope down, which means the flat is no longer on the bottom of the horizontal bit, then make a simple cut - twist the rail the other way - and remake the join on the horizontal run; and then plane away at the bottom until the 60 degree change in the flat is removed.

If I want a continuous run, and want to maintain teh flat at the bottom of the rail can I do it with a compound mitre?

I've gathered from other [US] forums that with standard shaped (not mopstick) handrail, it is impossible to make mitres that work properly where it changes direction and slope at the same time. ( http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/foru ... C2%B0-turn & http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/file ... ?id=988332 )

The slope is 30 degrees, and I have tried doing a compound mitre cut, adding a 15 degree 'undercut' to the 45 mitre on each face, but that results in the mitre no longer being 90 degrees. At which point I decided I am lacking the required geometry skills!

Is it possible, or do I need to do one of the workarounds detailed above?

(Phew!)

Thanks,

John
 

Just4Fun

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johnbb99":206if3po said:
I know I could avoid the issue by not connecting the handrail runs, but I'm not keen on that.
I think UK regulations insist on continuous rails on stairs, but I'm not sure if that apples to the transition between sloping and level runs. Even if disjointed rails were allowed though I would agree with you that this is not a good solution.

Handrails I have seen that achieve turns such as you describe have had short corner pieces that the runs join to, somewhat analogous to elbow connections in pipes. These corner pieces seem to be carved out of a solid block. I did see a detailed online "how to" guide for producing these a couple of years ago. It was very complex and quite obviously beyond my skill level so I never saved a reference.
 

johnbb99

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[/quote]
It was very complex and quite obviously beyond my skill level [/quote]
You and me both!
 

MikeG.

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Just4Fun":34w6345l said:
........I think UK regulations insist on continuous rails on stairs........
Well, not quite. They can stop and start again at newel posts...........and therein lies one possible way out of the conundrum the OP finds himself facing.
 

Jacob

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Either stop and start at newel posts (or some other tangible interruption)* or construct a handrail 'wreath'

*PS interesting design possibilities here? A sphere? A 'prismatic solid'?
 

johnbb99

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I have two viable options listed in my OP that avoid gaps, and don't need newel posts.
The question I posed is this:- can I join /neatly/ if I'm doing the horizontal 90 bend at the same point as the change in slope? (Given that the rail is basically of circular section, using a compound mitre joint.)
Remember this is outside, and the rail is fixed to a masonry wall.
Thanks for your thoughts and contributions.
 

johnnyb

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I think i follow you. If you could do this in 2 cuts it would need 2×45 then say a small straight then cuts to make the stair angle(42?)
Your saying can this be done in one cut. In my mind no not without a mismatch. But give it a try. You'd also have a really sharp corner!
 

Jacob

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johnbb99":2ltpkrt9 said:
...
The question I posed is this:- can I join /neatly/ if I'm doing the horizontal 90 bend at the same point as the change in slope? (Given that the rail is basically of circular section, using a compound mitre joint.)....
No.
Have a go at a wreath. Basically a lump of wood at the join which is then 'faired' in by hand (gouges, spokeshaves etc) to make a continuous rail.
 

Rob Platt

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you do the horizontal 2x45 then depending whether it goes up or down you do the stair to landing cut either at the throat or the neck of the bend but exactly in line with the horizontal piece.
Makes sense to me but it might not be totally clear tell me if it isn't HTH all the best
rob
 

Jacob

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Just4Fun":39l531ue said:
Brilliant!
You get the same sort of detailed instructions in a lot of the old books - in fact whole books on wreathing alone. But there are less perfect ways of doing it, won't look so good but better than the crude modern angular component way.
I've never done it myself - it's on my list of things to do!
 

johnnyb

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Can i just say I've seen those drawings in Ellis etc and not had the foggiest what they meant but now I'm informed. I'll go over( and how) this a few times maybe even make one!
 

Jacob

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johnnyb":2eano9vk said:
Can i just say I've seen those drawings in Ellis etc and not had the foggiest what they meant but now I'm informed. I'll go over( and how) this a few times maybe even make one!
If you could get your head around it it could be money-making specialist skill perhaps?
 

Doug71

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I remember making a piece of wreathed handrail at college years ago, it was only plain like mopstick. We cut the basic shape out of a solid lump on the bandsaw, once you had the basic shape it was much easier to get your head round, it wasn't all geometric calculations, more what looked right as you shaped it.

Go on, have a go, will be fun.
 

johnbb99

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Thanks for the ideas, the link (fascinating - if only I had the time!) and the encouragement.
Real world, I may do the 90 in two 45s - to sort-of smooth it - before making a separate downturn.
 

johnnyb

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I'd love it to be a moneymaking specialist skill but am guessing it will be just out of curiosity. I fear even your skillset( sash windows) might be a struggle around my way!
 

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