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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
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    73

    Default Railing - need a little help

    I finally finished my railings this morning. The problem is that one side is a little too wobbly for my liking. It's safe, just a little too much play in it. I'm looking for some suggestions to make it a little more rigid. It's firmly bolted to the wall and the newel is welded to a base-plate that is bolted down. I also have two 4" weld tabs bolted into the side wall with a couple of out-riggers. I thought they would be enough.

    I was thinking of adding some gussets to the weld tabs to stiffen them a little or maybe adding a piece of 1/2" bar between the weld tab and the ground.

    Any suggestions?
    Matt.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
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    1,920

    Default

    I would have put a post at the break at the top of the stairs. That rail will flex all over with any side force but it looks good.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    TAXACHUSSETTS
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    1,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by monte55 View Post
    I would have put a post at the break at the top of the stairs. That rail will flex all over with any side force but it looks good.
    Exactly, I would have core drilled down 5",4"min. and anchor cemented also,but thats just me.I think i recomended this,when you asked awhile back.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    234

    Default

    How is the lowest post fastened to the ground?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Williams Lake, British Columbia
    Posts
    722

    Default

    These brackets are too small. I think you need to weld tabs from the underneath of the bottom flatbar of the railing and anchor on the top of your stair thread.
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Yeah, the post at the edge of the landing would have been good. The reason I didn't put it in is because the stairs are very narrow and I was looking to hug the edge as close as possible. I didn't want to risk splitting the stone. Jack, the bottom newel is welded to a bolted down base-plate. I set the bolts with epoxy, they're solid.

    Do you think it would help if I put another angled support on the inside, just past the door swing? (The door from the house swings out) I was thinking of drilling a 1/2" bar down with epoxy and welding another angled support from it to the rail. I was also wondering if breaking the welds to the out-riggers then pre-loading the railing in either direction before welding them back would help.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    22

    Default flex railing problem

    Had same problem on a staircase last year. A part of my railing is almost a carbon copy of your design. My balusters were/are 1" square solid bar and the only hollow element was an extruded caprail and 1-1/2" channel underneath it. We did what some of the replies suggested, drilled down into the sub structure (this was indoor) and welded a 12" section of 1-1/2" round to the bottom, then epoxied the hole and dropped the bar in.

    It still FLEXED. We added outer scrolls attached like the ones you used, except we used more of them, they were 1/2 x 3/4 solid. Took some of the flex out.

    I found out what I was fighting (and you are too) is harmonic resonance (I think that is the term). You can find out more than you want to know by searching for that on the web.

    It can be solved (in my opinion) by inserting large newels about every 4 - 6 feet and anchoring them to the structure. They should have as large a base as possible yet still look appropriate. Cast iron is great as it does not flex much.

    Another solution is (if you can per the design) introduce a curve in the railing. Sometimes that does not work and likely would not in your design.

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  8. #8

    Default flexy railing

    Look at those outrigger supports, it's pretty easy to see why they don't give you much rigidity- any time you have flat bar in an assembly it's going to flex unless you have something to stop it- using angle iron or (as someone said above) a larger solid bar would be rigid- it can't really do the job it's asked to do as assembled.
    Also, when you're doing braces like that, think in terms of triangles- it's the simplest geometric form that's rigid, most framework is designed with that in mind.
    Looks fantastic, though, my wife would be beside herself if I built her something like that!
    Andy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    781

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ElementFe View Post
    Look at those outrigger supports, it's pretty easy to see why they don't give you much rigidity- any time you have flat bar in an assembly it's going to flex unless you have something to stop it- using angle iron or (as someone said above) a larger solid bar would be rigid- it can't really do the job it's asked to do as assembled.
    Also, when you're doing braces like that, think in terms of triangles- it's the simplest geometric form that's rigid, most framework is designed with that in mind.
    Looks fantastic, though, my wife would be beside herself if I built her something like that!
    Andy
    i couldnt agree anymore than that... the more dimensions a piece of metal has, the more rigid it is. flat bar is only width and thickness, angle is leg X leg and thickness, channel, well, you get the point hopefully. another leg at the break of your stairs would firm that up alot as well
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    Instead of using angled outriggers go with an upright mounted with two seperate stand-offs on your step base just clearing the side of your steps. Use similar square tube as your newels and buy a decorative cap for the top to match. Attach the uprights to a through section of your side and with the added attachment point at the base you shouldn't have any noticeable flex. As you now have your outriggers they are designed to pivot. With the second atachment point at the base you will take away that pivot action.
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