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Stair railing for spiral staircase?

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  • #16
    I built a spiral staircase ounce before and here is what I did after my column and steps were installed I then installed all the pickets that weld to the nose of the one tread and continue down to the next tread.

    The next step was I welded a rod to the column and horizontally over to the picket keeping it about 2" below the top of the picket.

    Then using 1" schedule 40 pipe I left a long tail at the bottom I then welded the pipe to each picket using a comalong to bend the pipe working it around going up to the top.

    The hand rail did have a uniform kink at every picket but because it was uniform it diddnt look to bad.

    After that was done I went back and cut out the horizontal rods and added the remaing pickets needed to meet the 4' picket spacing.

    This spiral staircase went from a upper and lower deck over the water.

    Any way if you roll the rail close to the right diameter using my method will help you get it into place.


    • #17
      Originally posted by 11b View Post
      I was kind of thinking round, I also was thinking what if I bend in shorter sections and weld the sections together and grind the weld out to make a seemless joint?
      But that might not work because that might make it look "chopped up"
      I still would like to know (and I hope I am not the only one missing this) the way he does it in the video. I cant believe he just sets that railing on the pickets with a regular but large radius bend.
      Ok so with a wood railing you bend it in an arc then you bend it down or (pull up) like a slinky right?
      if you can bend short lengths correctly, then why not just bend the long one the same an save having to weld it back together again?

      you have to bend the rail to the correct shape before you attach the pickets.

      The video does not show all the steps required. he only show a flat bend.
      He has put the twist in off camera and dialed it in so it fits the pickets perfectly. He does a good job dont get me wrong. He just doesnt show all off it.

      Wooden rails like this are done 2 ways that i know of.
      1st glue up laminations and bend them round a form (a temporary curved framework) that reflects the raise and curve.
      then put the required profile on.

      2. make it up from wide lengths of lumber (several short lengths), form the square section of the rail, join them all together and then put the profile on.
      the mathematical method of laying them out is complex and called "tangent handrailing" invented in the 1700's

      neither method works for metal as far as i can see.

      something to think about is the form, or the temporary curved stud wall with the outside radius to suit the radius of the inside of the required handrail.
      you can then mark off the raise and the treads.

      this wont help you make the rail, but it will guide you to the final shape that your rail should be.

      and again, good luck.

      and pictures please



      • #18
        When I get this built you can bet I will post pics!
        What about this idea......Stand on tall ladder, fill tube with sand as with manual bending and cap. Then bend the radius, then re roll to put the twist in, but not over do the twist so you dont go to far and have to come back possibly kinking the railing. Use portable welders idea about welding a pickett at each nose and a bar to the center pole. If it doesnt want line up, heat railing with rosebud and persuade to picket and weld,,,move to next picket. Leave sand in or take out by removing bottom cap.
        Hopefully all this will be unneccesary as I will research this further and talk to the guy who will actually bend the railing and see what he says. Hes pretty sharp on this kind of stuff too. There is not a lot of info about this around, but I think we are figuring this out. I think There is a strong market for this if I can do it for a reasonable amount of money. Living in Alaska you have to build it here because the kits are so exspensive to ship. If I really get it down I will post a tutorial on here. I plan on adding some unique ideas to the design.


        • #19
          Dont use a rosebud because it will kink and bend at the hot spot only.

          If you roll it close to where you need it, You can force it a little without it kinking.


          • #20
            I was kind of hoping the sand would prevent that? I think if I get the Radius bent correctly and made an educated guess as to the spiral I probabaly can coax it on the pickets. If I have to heat it, I would heat a good section, would this not work?
            Now I do have to notch the top of the pickets (PITA) and probably tig them on the railing. It should look good however. I also have to install a screw jack on the bottom of the pole to account for settling of the house, and some type of slide system at the top of the landing for the same. A log house if built green will settle about 6 percent. ( 6 inches for every 100) If I dont account for that, you may have to go up a step, to go down the steps
            Last edited by 11b; 09-09-2009, 07:32 AM.


            • #21
              Here is a video i found. It shows what i was trying to say about off setting the dies. It just raises one up, where we shimmed them out on our machine...Bob
              Bob Wright

              Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.


              • #22
                Ahh yes. I love those spirals. Putting the right helix in top caps is somewhat of an art. It's easier if you can bend it onsite, and lay it right on the stairs or risers for a template. You could also prefab all of your posts and install them, then use the post tops as your template. We use solid flatbar for a top cap and an Eagle bender and forks to get all of the precise bends in the radius. We also use a Hossfeld and any homemade jigs we may need. Each one has it's own issues and when it's done, pat yourself on the back and enjoy.


                • #23
                  Our spiral staircase handrail bender

                  This is a short video of us starting to bend a spiral handrail. Stair diameter and rise is set up first. Once the tubing is completly through, the railing will fit perfectly



                  • #24
                    Originally posted by bayerblacksmith View Post
                    This is a short video of us starting to bend a spiral handrail. Stair diameter and rise is set up first. Once the tubing is completly through, the railing will fit perfectly

                    Welcome to the forum first off. Looks like your idea works pretty good. I like the 2nd vid also..Bob
                    Bob Wright

                    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.