We are working in a new home that has a round stairway with a couple
of bent rails. The handrail is an over the post type with a volute at
the bottom and an up easing at the top connecting to another bent rail
which makes up the balcony area. Basically, looking at the print, the
stair opening looks like a big oval with the stairs going down curving
in one direction and an open balcony over looking the stairs turning
in the opposite direction.
The rail going down is about 17' long bent at a 13' radius and
connects to the volute at the bottom and the up easing at the top. We
are using some decorative iron balusters (round at the top and bottom)
that will drill up into the rail and down into the oak treads. The
balusters are powder coated and 1/2" diameter at the top and bottom
and we get a little 1"x1" decorative foot at the bottom. The foot has
a set screw to tighten against the baluster but does not screw to the
Here is the dilemma...
since the balusters add no strength to the rail, how do we connect the
metal to the wood so the rail doesn't get up and down movement out in
the middle of a 17' run?
We can get the balusters to fit tight (lengthwise) with the set screw
in the foot. This would prevent the rail from having any movement
downward (which might be enough) but we still think you could grab the
middle of the rail and pull upward very easily.
BTW, both the architect and the builder agree that this may be a
One suggestion is to use epoxy in the holes or maybe even silicone
sealant. Since the rail has to be assembled all at once, gravity is
working against us (on the rail) and trying to keep either substance
off of the raw oak might present a problem.
This may be the ultimate solution but since we're running out of ideas
and time, I thought I'd ask the wreck for suggestions.
Any ideas would be welcome and are bound to be of more use than any
offered by the architect.....had he offered any.;-)