Newell install

Old 02-25-16, 09:40 AM
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Newell install

I'm replacing a stair rail and both newels. The bottom newell is cut to fit around the bottom riser and the tread notched to fit the newel.

I'm trying to decide if it would be easier to just cut the riser and skirt board to fit the entire newell base or if I should cut the new post the same as the old.

A couple of questions - is 1/4 notching the post an acceptable way to fit a newell and how would you make the cut? My guess is that it was done on site with a circular saw and finished with a chisel. I would probably use a plunge router but even then I would have to chisel the corners. I've been flopping for the last hour trying to decide if I want to get into the work needed to install the pole whole.

Incidentally, the rail was fastened to the post on each end with two 8d finish nails and the post was nailed to the riser and stringer with 6 opposing 8d finish nails. Surprisingly the whole thing was solid.

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Old 02-25-16, 10:27 AM
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Do it just like they did. Use PL and long finish screws to suck it together. Keep in mind the cut needs to be perfect so you have wood to wood contact. Any slop in the notch and the post will wiggle. Use a skilsaw and clean the corner with a chisel or multi-tool if you have one.

Ideally a newel would extend into the floor, attaching it to floor joist blocking... but that's not always a possibility.
Old 03-02-16, 03:02 PM
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I notched the post as you suggested. I cut it on the table saw and finished on a router table. I thought about extending the post through the floor but I just had the floors refinished and if I messed it up I would hear about it forever.

Unfortunately, nothing is ever as easy as it should be. The end of the stringer/skirt was not cut square and the post would be way out of plumb if I just screwed it on as is. I think the original installer probably used the handrail to pull the post plumb.

Too lazy to remove the riser and a tread to square up the stringer (which would have made another problem), I ended up cutting a rabbet in the end of the riser on a slight angle just to get the post straight.

Thanks for the help.

I used deck screws and the PL adhesive plus two lags up through the floor. It's gotta' be better than the finish nails/no glue that held it for 30 years.

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