Decking Frame and Wobbly Newel advice

30 Apr 2010
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United Kingdom
Hiya Lads,
Attempting my first deck and looking for your wisdom please
Ive constructed a frame roughly 3.6 x 3.0 mtr with internal joists every 400mm

Its laying on fairly rough ground Ive packed slabs under it to support the bigger gaps, now I attached my first newel in the corner with 2 coach bolts but its still seems to have way to much movement than I would expect, now I guess this is partly to do with the frame have no deck boards on and that it will probably gain strength once this is done but my worry is doing all the boards and its still wobbly as my plan was to use rope as I have an existing deck in the garden and the spindles keep getting smashed from my sons football practice :(

The second thing I would like to ask is Im thinking of chopping a corner out of the rectangle to make that the entrance/exit point, is there a special way to do this to get the angles correct etc, or should I just wade in with my saw ;) , oh its just occurred to me to ask what should I dab onto the cuts I make

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With regards to newel a couple of things could be the problem.

1st have you got a joist on two sides and have you secured bolts through opposite sides into each joist one top one bottom?

2nd how deep are your joists and does newel go to bottom of joist?

The entrance is not a prob as long as what ever you cut off remember you have then weakened the frame so you must then put more timber in to regain the strength and as a entrance it will take alot of traffic.

Angles all depend on width you want step for every 300mm from corner of decking out each joist you get an opening of 424mm i.e

to create 1200mm (4ft) opening at a 45degree angle across deck you measure 850mm from corner. (you are creating a triangle with measurements)

Hope this is of help.
thanks for the reply....!

The newel post (first and only one so far) is in the corner and has two coach bolts going through it one through each joist one higher and one lower (hope this makes sense)

The post had a large cut out notch which I chopped off.....!, as I thought that bit was to go into the ground (concreted), Ive since noticed on several decking pictures that this notch is suppose to rest on top of the joist :oops:
and then bolted in, so it looks like I might of fecked up a £10 post :(

Still unsure about the corner bit that I want to hack off but I will certainly take to heart your 850mm measurement to get the 4ft openeing


Yer that was what i was trying to say about bolts :eek: . unfortunately you have ruined that post. We all make mistakes it happens to the best of us :LOL:

Well best of luck for the rest of your project.
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Hiya Im Back.... :LOL:

Things are progressing but Ive just hit another snag, I bought some 24mm manila rope and drilled 25mm holes through the posts however when I came to thread the rope through theres not a chance in hell it will go through so I put my next drill bit in from 25mm to 32mm and drilled a hole in a scrap bit of wood tried the rope and bingo goes through easily, now here is the problem the posts have already got a 25 mm hole drilled through them and I cannot use my 32mm drill bit as theres no guide for the tip as its fresh air now and the drill bit just rips chunks out of the post...!

Ive attached some pics to hopefully explain a bit better my predicament, so my question is guys how can I widen the hole from 25mm to 32mm and make it neat and tidy what tool or drill bit do I need and if possible could you post a link to screwfix`s site please





Use a Hole Saw. (it is like a saw blade bent into a circle)

It needs a pilot drill to hold it steady, but you can nail a bit of scrap timber to the far side of the post which will do

Most hole saws are cheap and poor quality, if you have several posts to drill, either buy several in the same size (not a kit) or else try to find an unusually good one. I have used them with TCT teeth but they are available

the solid, welded ones are better than the ones that are screwed to an adjustable backplate.

Make sure you buy one long enough to go right through your post.

Or you could buy a big HSS twist drill and run it very slowly, but it would be expensive in such a big size. A twist drill is self-centring.

p.s. make sure you don't buy a Masonry Core Drill.
thanks for the reply John.........!!!

I was hoping for an easier answer :(

The holesaws did not look deep enough the posts are 85mm deep

Would buying some 25mm dowel do the trick then using my original 32mm flat wood bit work?


if it is a loose fit, no-more-nails type glues will take up a gap

I think I like the idea of a twist drill though. IIRC the big ones with a reduced shank are called "blacksmiths drills"

I don't know if a carpenter's auger in a brace can enlarge an existing hole, someone will know.

large sized drill have to be run at low speed

p.s are the posts irretrievably fixed? If not, turn them over.
hiya mate,
The posts have not been fixed in yet so they are just laying around in the shed however they are sculpted at the top so I cannot turn them over or around as they also have a section cut out the bottom to attach them to a joist.

Is there anychance you could link me to a suitable twist drill and bit please


Usually with the rope if you soke it in water for 24hrs then it tends to go in 25mm hole if needed use some washing up liquid as lube.

hope this helps.

Custom timber
see that bit of scrap you got the 32mm hole it? clamp it over the 25mm hole and the 32mm hole will keep the flat bit in check.. ( same thing that happens when the pilot spike exits the wood on the far side of the hole.. )
often done when widening holes with a holesaw.

if the flat bit's not up to the job ( might snag and twist.. ) then a forstner bit might work.. it's round so will sit in the guide hole a bit better..
Hiya Lads,

Thanks for the replies, this afternoon I paid a visit to the local timber merchant and picked up some 25mm x 2000mm (£4.25) dowel which Ive cut to size and glued with Blue Evostick Wood Glue, says it takes 24 hrs to dry so I wont try anything else with it till tomorrow afternoon

I soaked the manila rope yesterday for 3 hours in the bath then let it dry yesterday evening, I would be worried that if I managed to get it to fit into a 25mm hole that upon drying it would split the post as when dry its obviously quite a bit thicker

The 32mm x 90+mm holesaw bit would cost a fortune I could replace all the newels with new ones for that money, I also bought a new 32mm flat wood bit £1.56 from screwfix

My plan is to go through the dowel tomorrow with the new 32mm flat wood bit and into some scrap wood at the bottom unless someone advises me not to

I will let you know whether I have success or not

Hiya Lads,

An update for anyone interested......It Worked.....!!!
Drilled out the dowel with a 32mm flat wood bit, however the Mrs was near screwfix so I told her to grab another 3 of their cheapy £1.56 32mm drill bits as they where going blunt after each post

Hope this helps someone in future so they dont make the same mistake as me :oops:

Just going to start a new thread now ;)

Thanks to all who helped

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