My house has a loft staircase in the living room. The previous owner,
who installed the stairs, only put a railing on one side, leaving the
other side open for anyone who wants to jump off and land on the wood
stove. For some reason, my wife thinks this is a safety hazard.
So, my next project is to put a railing on the other side. I would
like to match the existing wood, if possible. It seems to be finished
with a Minwax polyshades product (it has the same inconsistent colour
that I got when I used polyshades without stirring first) so it is not
easy to identify, but it is knotty, and splotchy and has no visible
pores. So, I think it is pine.
My question is whether pine (or any softwood) makes sense for a stair
rail, from a structural point of view. I think that if I build the
new side out of maple, it should be possible to get the two sides to
match in colour and general appearance. Am I overthinking this? If I
do it out of pine, will the railing still be safe to use?
Nope, Sugar Pine and Southern Yellow Pine are two different animals.
Sugar Pine is a relatively even-grained wood often used for
woodcarving, while Southern Yellow Pine has a much more diverse grain
and is used for construction, such as stair treads and flooring.
Southern Yellow Pine:
You are quite welcome, sir <g>, and you are also correct about the
yellow pine. I think you can get railing, newel posts, etc at about
any lumber yard or Borg.
It's not often that I'm the first to post correct information on this
group - there are many more knowledgeable folks than I. In this case,
I have carved both species, and anyone who has attempted that can
certainly attest to the difference.
SYP will certainly be available as construction lumber, but far less
commonly used as finish lumber other than closet shelving, etc.
I would suggest looking at the selection of banister rail, posts, etc.,
available in the species your local distributor has available and pick
that which seems the closest match to what you have. It isn't highly
likely any will be SYP except those for outside decks, porches, etc.,
which will be treated and not what you want for an interior railing.
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ...
Well, you know what Mark Twain said:
A person who jumps off the stairs on to a hot wood stove will never jump
off the stairs to a hot wood stove again. He well also not jump off the
stairs to a COLD wood stove, either.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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