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Thread: Rustic Loft and Stair Railing.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Default Rustic Loft and Stair Railing.

    Hi Folks,
    Looking to build a rustic set of railings for my cabin. I am looking for ideas and lessons learned. I plan to peel the black spruce, tenon it and glue it. It appears that 36" for balcony/loft and 34" for stairs is the minimum height. What else do I need to know?
    Thanks!
    Mike

  2. #2

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    I would recommend not using freshly cut and peeled poles for this project. I have done several and always go to a burn area and get poles that have been fire hardened and left above ground. Select the ones that are leaning over and not the ones with the root still in the ground, as they tend to be punky. You don't want something that will be springy and subject to SHRINKAGE. The new poles will pull themselves apart. The sap in the new poles will plaque you FOREVER if you try them. Same goes for those that want to build a TeePee or fence. Even if you dry them for a couple of years, they cannot come close to comparing with the fire hardened/killed poles. And....use Gorrilla Glue. It is the best I have found for filling voids in the poles, as it expands. The other glue's I have tried, simply adhere to contact points. You want something that goes INTO the grain.
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    You also want to make sure that a 4" round sphere cannot pass thru ANYWHERE on the railing. This is suppose to be the size of a babys head, may not pertain to you but ya never know... and it is a cabin just an idea

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    Member Lvnthdrm's Avatar
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    how do you plan on cutting the tenons? I would be happy to explain how I used to do it with chop saw, hole saw and properly sized wood bit if you want to pm me
    Dwight

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    I got one of these: http://www.logmen.net/logman_tenon_maker_1.html

    I have been playing with it and after getting it tuned in, it works pretty great!

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    I got one of these: http://www.logmen.net/logman_tenon_maker_1.html

    I have been playing with it and after getting it tuned in, it works pretty great!

    Thanks,
    Mike

    Or you can use one of these Tennon Cutters.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Or you can use one of these Tennon Cutters.
    But for $212 I can do 5 sizes. I squeek when I walk.

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    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    Default railings

    Hey if you get stuck or need some advice pm me I build log furniture and railings. I can give you a few tips on the stair railings too they are a pain in the butt sometimes. best piece of advice enjoy building it! It always feels great when you get done and you can admire your handy work. Good luck, Steve

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    But for $212 I can do 5 sizes. I squeek when I walk.
    I never said they were cheap.
    They're just giant pencil sharpeners for logs.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishingis4play View Post
    Hey if you get stuck or need some advice pm me I build log furniture and railings. I can give you a few tips on the stair railings too they are a pain in the butt sometimes. best piece of advice enjoy building it! It always feels great when you get done and you can admire your handy work. Good luck, Steve

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    Steve,
    That is some really nice looking work! I enjoy working with wood and am always looking for advise when trying new projects. Working with round tapered material seems to be challenging. If it doesn't turn out, I can start over and use the learning experience for firewood.

    How are you sanding your logs? I have been rough sanding the knots with a 4-1/2 grinder with a sandpaper disk. It really buzzes them off quick.

    I also want to carve a couple bear cubs that hang on the porch like they are climbing.

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    Steve,
    That is some really nice looking work! I enjoy working with wood and am always looking for advise when trying new projects. Working with round tapered material seems to be challenging. If it doesn't turn out, I can start over and use the learning experience for firewood.

    How are you sanding your logs? I have been rough sanding the knots with a 4-1/2 grinder with a sandpaper disk. It really buzzes them off quick.

    I also want to carve a couple bear cubs that hang on the porch like they are climbing.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Mike,
    Thanks, it takes hours and hours of sanding then several more hours of hand sanding to get the finished product. The grinder for the knots is the way I like to clean the stubs up then orbital them smooth. One tip I can give is for stair railing I use a hole saw the same size as the tenon I'm going to use. I start by mounting the posts with the upper and lower rails installed then measure where the pickets are going to be, measure every picket individually, then I start pre-drilling all the holes with the hole saw this will help keep the wood from ripping big chunks out when you start drilling with the drill bits (Self Feed) into the angled rails on stairs. I also make my tenons 2 1/2" to 3" depending on the size of the rails this makes for a stronger joint and glue top and bottom when installing. It's challenging building with the carrot shaped logs we have here on the Peninsula they make it interesting for sure, I like to add some curvy logs for pickets to make it more challenging. I always dry fit each section so I know if I need to change anything before I glue, I've stayed warm many nights while I was trying figure out how to build different things or trying new tools. I'm not talented when it comes to carving so I have a friend do all my chainsaw carving so post pics of yours when they are done. Pick your logs carefully and remember all the hard work will be worth it because you made it yourself. I'm here if you get stuck or have a question about something feel free to ask and please post pictures. Picture is dry fitting and drilling, note rail in back I forgot to drill for last picket and had to take it back apart and add it. Good luck and Happy building, Steve
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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Steve,
    Many thanks for the long explanation!
    My notes.
    When you drill the stair mortises, you say you use a hole saw. Won't Forstner bits cut a clean hole? I will play later and see.

    I don't have to sand to quite the finish that you do. I have a bit of fishing to do! 2 kids also! I was hoping to find a satin poly to put on it. I used the Timberflex on the front of my house and it looks great. Something that goes on like honey. I used Minwax Clear Satin on my log bed and had to put many coats to get the look that I wanted.

    After you glue are you locking them together with a screw or nail? Driven through the tenon in at an angle?

    Carrot shaped logs... I am using Black Spruce from my lot. Nothing is straight. I still need 2 posts and didn't find anything this weekend that I could make work without downing a pretty nice tree.

    Here is one of my posts mounted:



    Thanks again for the replies!
    Mike

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    I got one of these: http://www.logmen.net/logman_tenon_maker_1.html

    I have been playing with it and after getting it tuned in, it works pretty great!

    Thanks,
    Mike
    i use the same thing Mike, it does do okay. keep in mind though you will go through several cheap routers if you go that route... i spent 150.00 on a good bosch 3/4 hp and have not had any more issues
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    i use the same thing Mike, it does do okay. keep in mind though you will go through several cheap routers if you go that route... i spent 150.00 on a good bosch 3/4 hp and have not had any more issues
    I just bought a new Crapsman 9.5 Amp, single speed, 1-3/4 HP. It doesn't even work up a sweat and if it fails..... got a 2 year warranty. It will get a huge workout in the next few months on my router table. I am doing 780 Sq Ft of T&G for my ceiling..... don't laugh.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  15. #15
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    Mike,
    I use the hole saw to start the holes on the stair railings before I use the forstner or self feed that way the bits won't rip chunks out, I use self feed bits everywhere else . I only go in about an inch then switch over to the self feed or forstners.

    I'm trying to rap up my current jobs so I can get fishing also.

    I sanding seal, sand, then apply the finish, lightly sand and apply another coat, done.

    You can use a finish nail if you want I usually don't.

    Your posts look nice, keep searching you'll find the last two your want.
    Steve

    Steve,
    Many thanks for the long explanation!
    My notes.
    When you drill the stair mortises, you say you use a hole saw. Won't Forstner bits cut a clean hole? I will play later and see.

    I don't have to sand to quite the finish that you do. I have a bit of fishing to do! 2 kids also! I was hoping to find a satin poly to put on it. I used the Timberflex on the front of my house and it looks great. Something that goes on like honey. I used Minwax Clear Satin on my log bed and had to put many coats to get the look that I wanted.

    After you glue are you locking them together with a screw or nail? Driven through the tenon in at an angle?

    Carrot shaped logs... I am using Black Spruce from my lot. Nothing is straight. I still need 2 posts and didn't find anything this weekend that I could make work without downing a pretty nice tree.

    Here is one of my posts mounted:



    Thanks again for the replies!
    Mike[/QUOTE]

  16. #16
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    What should I use for height for the top and bottom rails? I read code is 32-36".

    If there is a bow to the rail should I put it up, down or?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  17. #17
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    I got this out of Wikipedia for you great reference.

    Handrail dimensions (USA)
    Various model codes -- The International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-- and accessibility standards -- ANSI A117.1 and the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) -- refer to handrail dimensions. Current versions of these codes and standards now agree that handrail is defined as either a circular cross section with an outside diameter of 1-1/4" (32 mm) minimum and 2" (51 mm) maximum or a non-circular cross section with a perimeter dimension of 4" (100 mm) minimum and 6-1/4" (160 mm) maximum and a cross section dimension of 2-1/4" (57 mm) maximum. In addition, the International Residential Code (IRC) includes a definition of a "Type II" handrail that allows for handrail with a perimeter dimension greater than 6-1/4" (160 mm).

    The IRC and residential portion of the 2009 IBC define Type II handrail as follows:

    Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 6-1/4 inches (160 mm) shall provide a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of 3/4 inch (19 mm) measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of at least 5/16 inch (8 mm) within 7/8 inch (22 mm) below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for at least 3/8 inch (10mm) to a level that is not less than 1-3/4 inches (45 mm) below the tallest portion of the profile. The minimum width of the handrail above the recess shall be 1-1/4 inches (32 mm) to a maximum of 2-3/4 inches (70 mm). Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).[1]

    Handrails are located at a height between 34" (864 mm) and 38" (965 mm).

    How tall are your posts and how far down are you going to put your top rail? I use a 40" tall post and a top rail height of 36". Steve

  18. #18
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Here is the first fitting of the first short section. It is only 26 inches between poles. Still needs sanding etc.....







    Thanks for all the help. I hope the next section goes faster!

    Mike

  19. #19
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    Looks good Mike, love the character pieces you added it'll look great when your done your off to a great start. It does get easier the more you do. Keep up the good work, I'm looking foward to seeing your progress.

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    Mike,

    Do you have any new pictures of your handrail project?

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