Deck railing advice needed

Long time reader, first time poster, so forgive me if it's the wrong newsgroup to post in, but
I'm looking for some advice to install a continuous top rail on my deck without screwing it from the top, which would show screw holes throughout. I'll try my best to illustrate my scenario
I'm using 1x6 PT for my top rail (mitred at the corners) I'm using pre-drilled 2x4 PT, mounted vertically as my balluster rails I'm using 4x4 PT for my posts (lag-bolted to the deck)
If it's still not good enough to picture, here's the closest picture I could find. : http://www.deckorators.com/Classic-Baluster.htm
I've though of, but rejected: - Using 'gorilla glue' or a strong outdoor glue (could never get them off without butchering them with recip. saw) - Dowels / biscuits ( worried about accuracy)
The best idea I can think of is pre-drilling and screwing at an angle, mostly on the 4x4 posts (on the outside) and perhaps the odd screw in the rails for stability (again, from the outside). I'm worried that it still wouldn't be strong enough...
Does anyone have any better suggestions?
Thanks in advance, Mojo
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Why would you have to take off the top rail? Why would dowels and biscuits be okay, but not just glue? Were you thinking of dowels and biscuits just for alignment purposes? If so, the top rail will twist. You need either mechanical fasteners or glue. I'd just glue it and clamp it.

If you're set on not using glue, use longer screws, counterbore, and screw up through the support rail into the top rail.
R
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RicodJour wrote: ...

What he says... :)
I'd add that PT 1x6 is going to curl/warp if only supported on an tubafor edge.
I'd suggest adding a 2x2 at the top edge of the upper rail as additional bearing surface if I'm envisioning what you're describing correctly...
Non-proportional font needed... _______________ | | 1x --------------- | | | | | | ----| | | | | | -----
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Good point. Lousy drawing, but good point. ;) Seriously, though, a PT top rail isn't the best choice. There's not that much top rail on your average deck and for a relatively small bump up in price, a redwood, cedar or IPE top rail gives you a big band for your buck and is much more stable and much less prone to check, twist and warp. Whatever you choose, install the top rail with the center of the curve of the growth rings towards the bottom.
R
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To elaborate a little, these are mainly the reasons for me to want to be able to remove the rail (checking, twisting, rotting, etc.). Believe me, I don't want to remove the rail anytime soon, but I've found PT to be prone to twisting and checking already.
However, the suggestion to use another wood is intriguing to me.
Also, the support block idea is a good one.
Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming...
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Cogeco wrote:

Truthfully, I think the 1x is too light for a top rail anyway. I like 2x w/ a slight taper to the top (easily enough made w/ a sled through a planer) to shed water better...
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I used a 2x4 for the top and bottom rails (would use cedar or some such if I did it again) with a 2x2 under/over them, dadoed out to accept the baulasters. Then I screwed the rail on from the bottom. The dados kept the 2x2 baulasters from twisting and made the assembly quite strong.
If I did it again I'd slot the top rail (not bottom) to take the 2x2. This would help keep water from getting between and cover the warp.
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You could counter bore up through the top balluster rail, say 2 1/2" deep to leave an inch of meat. Then put 1 1/2" lags up into the top rail. Put one near each end and a few along the span.

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"Cogeco" wrote:

liability would be a serious if somebody took a header.
They used an inverted "L" shape consisting of a 2x6 with a 2x4 top.
Bottom rail is a 2x10 with 2x2 balusters fastened to the sides of the 2x6 at top and 2x10 at bottom.
Whole affair then bolted to 8x8 vertical posts.
PTL, Painted white.
Rather than purchase 2x2's, think I would start with 2x12's and rip to size.
Have fewer defects that way to work around.
YMMV
Lew
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On our 25' in the air, 2800 sq. deck. we had while in the Redwoods - the top rail was a 2x4 and above it was a 2x6 cap. Balusters ran from below the deck - main outside board to top out into the underside of the 2x6 and was drilled and screwed into the 2x4. Drilling prevents splits.
The 2x6 was mounted by screws from the 2x4. Quality lumber must be done, and remember the rail protects one from falling over. If not firm and strong, the rail might be a problem.
Consider building cement - Liquid Nails. Mount 2x4, glue top and add the 2x6.
Martin
Cogeco wrote:

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