Best options for handrail to newel post fixing?

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I'm looking to renew my stair bannisters (base/hand rail, spindles, spacers) while retaining the existing newel posts.

The layout is a straight run on the first floor... free standing newel post on one end and half newel post on the other against a wall.

The run up the stairs has a newel post at the bottom and fixing to the ceiling at the top.

What would you recommend for fixing at these posts?

I assume the original handrail is fixed with nails through the recess where the spindles sit in the handrail at an angle into the post. That seems like a straightforward easy solution but most of the guides online for modern staircases recommend some kind of hidden fix system through the side of the newel post and into the end of the handrail where it meets the post.
 
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not nails.
normally the newels have a rebate which is covered by a button or infilled timber.
a system of metal coarse screws go into the handrail and a more delicate bolt style pulls the newel close.
 
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not nails.
normally the newels have a rebate which is covered by a button or infilled timber.
a system of metal coarse screws go into the handrail and a more delicate bolt style pulls the newel close.

The existing one is fixed with 3nr nails for sure, bearing in mind this is something that would have been installed at the end of the 1930s.

When I install the new one it will likely have some form of handrail fixing kit although I find the cap/button that covers most of these to be a bit unsightly tbh.

Just looking for recommendations on good quality or preferred ones from the pros here.
 
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The existing one is fixed with 3nr nails for sure, bearing in mind this is something that would have been installed at the end of the 1930s.
That doesn't make any difference, it would have been a builder's bodge back then, too. The traditional method a carpenter would more than likely have used is handrail bolts:

Handrail Bolt 120mm with Slotted Nut.jpg


The coarse thread is a wood screw thread. You pilot the newel post, put two hex nuts on the finer thread locking them together and screw the "stud" into the newel post using a wrench, and finally remove the nuts. The handrail is end drilled to take the bolt and a pocket chiselled-out of the underside of the handrail to accommodate the slotted nut and a washer. The slotted nut is hand tightened and final tightening is done with a sort of bent flat drift (straight drifts can be used but are nowhere near as effective). I used to have one years ago which an uncle in the trade made, but AFAIK they were always made-up by the local blacksmith out of an old cold chisel, because they were a tool you bought once in a lifetime, if that

I can't recall seeing people using this type of connection for years but they are still available, so someone must still be using them

a system of metal coarse screws go into the handrail and a more delicate bolt style pulls the newel close.
That's the system I showed above, which is still available. I've found them a lot in old staircases and they are far from delicate IMHO

When I install the new one it will likely have some form of handrail fixing kit although I find the cap/button that covers most of these to be a bit unsightly tbh.

Just looking for recommendations on good quality or preferred ones from the pros here.
Before I had my Festool Domino machines I used to use these jointed connectors:

Handrail Newel Post Connector Angled.jpg


which can be installed with a drill, a 10mm auger bit and a 25mm Forstner bit. They work well and they are fairly forgiving of minor errors. At one time I had a firm locally which stocked them, so maybe that has coloured my view. The other ones I've used are Zip Bolts:

Handrail Angled Zip Bolt.png


These require the same 25mm Forstner/10mm auger bit to install. Zip also do fixed straight connectors for landing handrail to newel post connections

I mostly swapped over to using Dominos for some KD work and stair handrails about 7 years back partly because you can set the angles bang on with the machine (so a perpendicular or angled cut will be just that). With solid wood handrails you can just machine the pockets, glue in a loose tenon (a Domino) and push them together. They are really solid:


however, all this requires a Domino jointer, an appropriate size cutter and the handrail fence - which will set you back about £800 to £850 these days. On commercial staircases I've used my bigger Domino (the DF700XL) a few times with the Domino XL connectors. But that isn't why I bought the machine, however it can do the job and you did ask what the pros use (and this is what some of the pros use)
 
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That doesn't make any difference, it would have been a builder's bodge back then, too. The traditional method a carpenter would more than likely have used is handrail bolts:

View attachment 275867

The coarse thread is a wood screw thread. You pilot the newel post, put two hex nuts on the finer thread locking them together and screw the "stud" into the newel post using a wrench, and finally remove the nuts. The handrail is end drilled to take the bolt and a pocket chiselled-out of the underside of the handrail to accommodate the slotted nut and a washer. The slotted nut is hand tightened and final tightening is done with a sort of bent flat drift (straight drifts can be used but are nowhere near as effective). I used to have one years ago which an uncle in the trade made, but AFAIK they were always made-up by the local blacksmith out of an old cold chisel, because they were a tool you bought once in a lifetime, if that

I can't recall seeing people using this type of connection for years but they are still available, so someone must still be using them


That's the system I showed above, which is still available. I've found them a lot in old staircases and they are far from delicate IMHO


Before I had my Festool Domino machines I used to use these jointed connectors:

View attachment 275869

which can be installed with a drill, a 10mm auger bit and a 25mm Forstner bit. They work well and they are fairly forgiving of minor errors. At one time I had a firm locally which stocked them, so maybe that has coloured my view. The other ones I've used are Zip Bolts:

View attachment 275871

These require the same 25mm Forstner/10mm auger bit to install. Zip also do fixed straight connectors for landing handrail to newel post connections

I mostly swapped over to using Dominos for some KD work and stair handrails about 7 years back partly because you can set the angles bang on with the machine (so a perpendicular or angled cut will be just that). With solid wood handrails you can just machine the pockets, glue in a loose tenon (a Domino) and push them together. They are really solid:


however, all this requires a Domino jointer, an appropriate size cutter and the handrail fence - which will set you back about £800 to £850 these days. On commercial staircases I've used my bigger Domino (the DF700XL) a few times with the Domino XL connectors. But that isn't why I bought the machine, however it can do the job and you did ask what the pros use (and this is what some of the pros use)

Ahh yes, the Domino isn't going to be an option unfortunately but they are pretty amazing looking, watched many a Peter Millard video on Youtube.

That's two recommendations for the same kit in this thread so I guess it's well regarded... I'll order those. (y)
 

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