Saturday, February 11, 2006

Don’t Fence Me In!

We put the railing in on the sitting room side of the stairway today. Last weekend Pete and I had ripped the shoe to fit in the floor and ripped square spindles from 5/4 oak stock. I spent my evenings last week staining and varnishing them along with another full piece of shoe stock that we would use at the top, and a piece of 1x4 trim that would go over the upper shoe. We started today by laying the bottom shoe into the channel between the bookcases and marking where the first spindle would be. We then measured and cut stops from the shoe stock to fill the spaces between the spindles. To meet code and use our space evenly we decided to make the space between the spindles 3 ¾ inches. When these were cut we inverted the shoe and used clamps to hold the spacers on while we then screwed through the bottom of the shoe into the spindles.

Pretty soon we had all 14 spindles attached.

We then carried the piece out and set it into place.

Once it was set where we wanted it we shot nails through the shoe into the floor between the spindles. We then nailed the spacers into place.

We then double checked the top shoe length (different than the bottom shoe due to the trim at the bottom of the bookcases) and cut the shoe to fit tightly and set it into place

We then set the first spindle to plumb with a level and put a screw in from the top. After that we used spacers again to get correct distance and alignment. Every third spindle or so, we’d double check with the level. It went pretty quckly. We then put the trim over the top and nailed it into place. Or most important step was to plumb the entire railing and set screws through the ends into the bookcases.

Once that was accomplished I shot nails to secure the spacers in the upper shoe. The whole thing looks great and now I don’t have the worry about the kids falling down the stairs when they watch TV. It even looks good from the bottom of the stairway.

For the other side of the stairs we will have to build posts that match those at the end of the bookcases and then do the same thing with shoes and spindles.

1 comment:

Josh said...

The railing really looks good. Nice work! Thanks for the detailed description of the construction process, too, Mike.