Stairs are a tricky place to negotiate without a wood banister to keep people from falling off. This is especially true if there are kids around the house. Wood banisters are also known as stair banisters or hand rails. They are installed either on one side or both sides of the stairs in order to provide support while climbing up or down. They also provide an aesthetic value to the interior of the house since they can be made with attractive designs. Although a banister can also be made from metal, wooden ones always stay in fashion no matter what the current trend is, because of the timeless beauty of wood.
In order to make a wood banister, you need to have the following tools and materials.
Step 1 - Taking Measurements
In taking measurements, you need to consider the length of the banisters and the height that you want on your banisters. If it is your first time to do it, you may not be familiar with the names of the different parts that you need. To help you understand things, here are the various banister parts and their meanings:
- Newel Post - this is the term used for the end post of your banister which also acts as its main support
- Hand Rail -t he upper linear part of the banister which rests on top of the spindles
- Spindle - these are the wooden rod liners which support the banister on its entire length
- Dowel - this is a kind of pin which joins two woods together
- Stair Stringer - the horizontal piece of wood that provides the framework that supports the stairway
Step 2 - Removing the Old Banister
If you are building a wood banister to replace an old one, you need to remove it with a chisel. The parts of the banister that you need to remove include the newel posts and spindle. The old banister needs to be removed from the end of the stair railing. Remove the old newel post by taking out the screws and dowels that keep it in place.
Step 3 - Installing the New Newel Post
Fix the newel post by means of screws, rail bolts and glue. The post will be the main support that will carry the weight of the entire wood banister so it needs to be anchored firmly. You may have to fix the newel post deep into the floor to make it firm and strong. You can then drill it so that the handrail for your wood banister can be connected.
Step 4 - Fixing the Spindles
The spindles need to be installed one by one by means of screws, dowels and glue. Once you have done it, make a mark on the handrail where each of the spindles will connect when it is laid on top of them.
Step 5 - Installing the Handrail
Drill a hole on each of the markings that you made. Lay it on top of the spindles and make sure that each go into the holes you made for them. Secure the hand rail with dowels, screws and glue.
Step 6 - Finishing Touches
Once you have installed the hand rail, test the entire wood banister for stability and fix any part that shows a problem. Once these are all secure, your project is done.