Staircase Spindle

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Mr Christopher

Established Member
26 Oct 2021
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North Suffolk
One of my landing spindles has been cracked halfway down its length and I need to get it out in order to make a repair. Can anyone advise as to how the top and bottom are fixed. Would they be simply nailed or might they be on pegs/dowels? The house is 1905 Edwardian.


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as its broken take it out theres no way of knowing how its fixed until you do that less chance of damaging other parts figure out after how to put it back
Yours looks from the photo looks "old", which is probably morticed at the top and most likely at the bottom too. Cut through with a fine saw under the handrail. To refix after repair use a loose tenon into the rail and then a slot in the spindle. Modern staircase spindles are not morticed. At the top and bottom they sit in a slot with spacer pieces between each spindle. these spacers can be glued or probably pinned.
To refix after repair use a loose tenon into the rail and then a slot in the spindle.

The slot-the-spindle and bridge the break with a tenon is a good idea.

Is there any reason this same construction could not be done to span the break meaning the spindle does not need to be removed at all (i.e. make the repair in situ)?

You could clamp some plywood across adjacent spindles to make a base to run a router on, form a slot across the break, glue in the splint and shape once the glue sets.
As above. Fix the broken spindle nice and straight on to the plywood, use a circular saw to make the slot, glue and slide a thin piece of timber in the slot, sand off nice and smooth.
...glue and slide a thin piece of timber in the slot...

The sawcut is a good idea. Biscuit jointer as another option.

I have a vague memory of something that looked a bit like a domino, but was more a series of round dowels siamesed together. Could someone please remind me what it was called?

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