Changing for bigger newel post

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by Shivy, 31 Aug 2008.

  1. Shivy

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    We live in a 1980's house and we are trying to replace our horrible 80's balusters with the Richard Burbage Fusion range.

    Only problem is we have a newel base post which is 67mm but the newel base needed for the fusion range is 82mm. the original newel base goes right through the floor into the kitchen. The upstairs floor is tongue & groove chipboard which goes UNDER the walls so we can't pull it up.

    Trying to get this newel base out is a nightmare. It won't budge. Any tips? I can provide phots if needed.

    Shiv
     
  2. Symptoms

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    Shiv - pics would help ... but a first thought might be to cut a tenon (as big as possible) on the 'stump' of the old newel, then fashion a mortise in the base of the new piece, glue then bolt together (bolt head & nut/washer hidden in counterbores which can be capped with matching timber plugs).
     
  3. awbcm

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    So the difference between your existing newel post is 15mm ?


    So would it be possible; Cut the existing newel post to a suitable height and then laminate the existing newel post with a matching timber i.e. add timber to each side of the existing newel post ?
     
  4. Shivy

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    Hmm no I don't think that will work as we're getting quite a good quality newel and it would look out of place/odd and also its the bit between the top step and the string and it would be incredibly fiddly. I think we want to remove and replace the whole newel...
     
  5. Shivy

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    Thanks. Sorry I missed this reply. I will tell my other half your suggestions and see what he says - it will make more sense to him.

    I really do think he wants to remove the whole post and replace it with a breand new one.

    Is there a reason why people are suggesting cutting down the orginal newel rather than replacing it?
     
  6. awbcm

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    In a word yes; the existing newel post should be mortised and tensioned jointed onto the end of the stair string. Therefore it is structural to the stairs. That’s why I recommend that you laminate the existing newel post. I forgot to mention you will need to cap the top off with a matching piece of timber. This set a stairs I laminated the newel posts which are constructed from prime european oak

    Have a look at the fitting instructions
     
  7. Shivy

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    Thank you for your reply. I will let my other half know. The existing newel has had a fair bit of pulling and shaking which has made it rather lose now :confused: oops.

    Will let him know and see how we get on.

    People must have to replace a newel base at some point though.

    I have seen the fitting instructions for the fusion. It rather fiddly to laminate the exitsing newel base to 15mm think without it looking rubbish - for us to do it anyway. I can't see us pulling it off.

    Thanks for the advice tho. Much appreciated and will tell persistant partner!
     
  8. awbcm

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    Closed string construction


    [​IMG]

    Open or cut string construction

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Shivy

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    Ok here are some pics.

    The stair case is a closed string between 2 walls. Newel top left.
    [​IMG]

    This is where the newel finishes in the ceiling of the kitchen:
    [​IMG]

    Newel post
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] The right side of the newel sits on top of the step. Its only the left side (in this pic) that appears to go down.

    The view of where the balusters need to go on the landing
    [​IMG]

    The reason your laminating idea won't work is because it means that it will not allow enough newel on one side for the baserail, which is 54mm, to run up to. If we did it how you suggested it would mean the newel post attached to the newel base will be over by 8mm and so would be at an angle sideways unlike the baserail, which is straight against the edge of the landing, meaning the metal balustrades will be at an angle which will look rubbish.

    Not sure if that makes sense....

    Doesn't look as though the newel is actually doing anything structurally that a replacement newel cannot do with the right fixings? We are going to cut some of the chipboard flooring as its not in very good condition and needs replacing anyway so we could access the lower part of the newel.
     
  10. awbcm

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    Look very carefully at the photos I have published. It’s the same construction at the top i.e. the string is mortised and tenon jointed to the newel post and may also have two wooden dowels through the tenon. The riser and tread will be housed into the newel post and the newel post will be housed over the floor / ceiling joist.

    Your replacement newel post will need to be fixed in the same way. That means to fit the mortise and tenon joint you will need the lift the stairs clear. And don’t forget the replacement newel post will not come ready mortised or housed so you will have to cut theses joints very accurately you’re self.

    This type of job is not the easiest thing to do by a qualified and well experienced carpenter. At the same time any Budget & Scarper dogs body will tell you it’s a piece of cake.

    Think very, very, very carefully

    Good look I think you will need it
     
  11. Symptoms

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    Shivy - now that I've seen your photos it confirms my solution outlined in my earlier post. It seems to me that the issue for you is the discrepancy between 67mm and 82mm and not the joining method. So to join use either motice & tenon technique or dowel (25mm dia or bigger). The important thing is to ensure the base of the new post is level with the landing. Now, how to disguise the join (or make it look as it's always been there) ... chamfer the bottom 4 edges of the new post to meet the old 67mm stump (you're only going to have nick-off 7mm from each side), paint the remaining stump section to match the white, finish the new newel as required.

    Other here have suggested the probable structural nature of the hidden part your old newel so you should leave it alone (unless you want to pull ceilings down and do some major alterations). Using the above method you don't compromise the structure, you also ensure your new newel is central for your baserail, new handrail & metal balustrade.
     

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