Wonky newel !

5 Jul 2006
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United Kingdom

I'm looking for a bit of guidance on sorting the bottom newel post. It has been like it since the house was built about 25 yrs ago. We are decorating stairs and landing and fancy a bit of a baluster makeover. I didn't realise how far out the newel was until I took the handrail baserail and spindles out and put a level on it. It leans towards the top of the stairs and is out by about an inch from bottom to top.
I've read about the issues around trying to remove newels so keen to try and avoid that.

Does anyone have any possible solutions
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Hard to say but I replaced my newel post easily

The previous owner had cut it down to knee level so I removed it and fitted a hardwood one

I did it by making a slot carefully so it fitted over the diagonal (stringer?)

Then screwed through and used dowels to hide the fixings
You will have a number of difficulties plumbing up that newel. It could be a lot of work.
The stringer tenon slips into a mortice in the newel and is held in place with pegs.
If you move the newel you will create a gap - it might be almost impossible to move the newel without splitting the tenon - you cannot move the stringer.

Looking below the treads and floor to where the newel is possibly bolted on to a joist or a noggin might allow you to unbolt it and ease it into a more plumb position.

Or, after unbolting,
you could cut the newel free at the join and re-set it without a morticed tenon. You would have to drive heavy screws through the face of the newel into the stringer.

All or any of the above while also taking into account the bottom tread and riser which are perhaps routed into the newel? Any movement affects everything.
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I've made a bit of progress and decided to chop the newel out. It isn't into the floor just sat on top of it. I've removed the nails which are pinning it to the tenon at the end of the stringer. I've cut it off at stringer level and I'm going to split it down with a chisel to remove it

I'm just wondering whether to keep the tenon or cut it off and use the flat end of the stringer to screw and glue to rather than trying to mortice the new newel out.
I would keep the tenon and make a mortise in the new post carefully for a tight fit
Yes I suppose it makes sense to try and maintain some sort of interlocking joint rather than just butting it

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