Why did they break?

Could someone take a look at this site: http://www.geocities.com/littleboyblu87/broke.html and tell me what would cause the railing to break and what would cause the chair to break?
I've been accused of breaking these (I didn't) and I'd like to know what happened to them. The railing is broke at the top of the stairs. When people go down the stairs they tend to lean or put their wait on the top part of the railing.
The chair is rarely used anymore. It's picked up at the top every week on cleaning day and moved to another room. The cats also like to climb and stand on the very top part of the chair. They've also knocked it over once or twice.
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wrote:

The railing mount broke because it's made out of pot metal and someone needs to lose some weight.
The chair broke because many of the glue joints are loose and someone needs to lose some weight.
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Weight. Lots of it. Those brackets will last forever under normal use. Someone put a lot of weight on the railing, rather than holding themselves with their legs. Railing generally just steady a person. Looks like somebody was hanging on it. or really leaning hard. I'd put it in the abuse category, or someone tripped and grabbed to keep from falling.
Same with the chair. Cheap or old chairs will do that, especially if someone leans back on two feet and stresses the joints more. The bigger the person, the more likely it to occur. If you have a constant leaner in the house, I'd say it was 99% their fault.
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Why isn't there a bracket at the top of the stairs? It looks like 2 to 3 feet before the broken bracket thats allot to torque on that bracket. There should be another bracket.

Its from leaning back on the chair. Dropping it on it's back probably helped.
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Bingo on the braket- as soon as I saw the picture, I thought the rail needed a top and bottom bracket. Close to 1/3 the length looks to be cantilevered, with 'lever' being the key part of the word. Somebody grabs the end of that long lever, it puts a hell of a lot of stress on those puny brackets. The different color in the breaks screams 'pot metal' Replace ALL the brackets with steel or brass, and probably go up a size- that is a pretty hefty handrail.
As to the chair- cheap chair, looks like it broke at the kerf for the dowel end part. Leaning back probably did it.
Who is having the hissy fit? The busted rail is trivial- 10 bucks for new brackets (at least 3, preferably 4) and half an hour, will fix that. The chair may or may not be fixable, depending on available tools and skill. If it is an heirloom, any furniture refinisher can probably either replace the spindle, or put a pin in there and fix it. I'd glue it, and run a long skinny stainless screw up from the bottom of the seat, through the center of the dowel. It would take some serious freehand aiming to pull off.
All in all, not a big deal, and tell whoever is upset about it to chill already.
aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

My father is the one having the hissy fit (or temper tantrum as I prefer to call it). It is his house and he does have a right to be upset when things break. However, there's no reason to have a cow when something breaks by accident. He thinks I grabbed the handrail and pulled on it with force until it broke. He wouldn't listen when I said that it most likely broke from some of us putting our weight on it when we go downstairs. The funny thing is that no one knew the handrail and chair were broke until he mentioned it. Hmm... Maybe he was the one to break them and is blaming me to cover his own behind.
I'll see about getting those brackets replaced and adding another at the top. Thanks to everyone who offered opinions and advice.
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Don't "see about it". Just do it. If you don't know how to PROPERLY installed them, pay someone to do it.
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You're a buffoon.
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No, putz. When I sense that someone doesn't take a safety problem seriously, I ratchet up the wording.
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Mike S. wrote:

Bracket - as others said - because it is pot metal (often zinc). Pot metal is weak and brittle...next time use steel or even brass.
For the chair, I vote for the cats as culprits...looks like it got a good hard whack when knocked over. Either that or someone leaning on it hard.
--

dadiOH
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Mike S. wrote:

All glue will fail eventually and all chairs will eventually need repair. It doesn't help if you abuse the chair. I've repaired a few chairs and glue joints can fail in as little as a few years or as long as 50 years. It partly depends on the design of the chair and partly on how it is (ab)used.
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