Shaping a handrail transition

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Blog entry by miles125 posted 12-17-2007 12:57 AM 4084 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my attempt to show you how i made the handrail transition i listed in my projects page.

What i started out with was a full size drawing of the handrail profile. I then decided i was going to do the rough hogging out of material by using a core box bit in my formica router. So if you look at the drawing you can see how i drew in the actual router bit size and its depth location to tell me how far from the edge of the rail to go, and how deep to go.

I then fashioned a fence to clamp onto my router base. This fence allowed me to reference off of the 90 degree side edge of the handrail. Also i made it a tall base so i could simply let my router ride on top of the handrail, but the edge being held at 90 degrees is what reall kept the setup user friendly. Of course, with such a small (but easy to hold) router i had to take all this wood out in about 1/8” increments.

I then took away my referencing edge on both side using the coping saw. Refering to my full size drawing i was able to get a line to cut on i knew would get me close to the actual shape.

Next i used my scraper or chisel to get most of the high ridges off. Then i fashioned a scaper to the profile to help me stay as true to the correct shape as i could.

Finally i got to do a lot of 80 grit hand sanding to clean the piece up and make it start looking presentable.

I could go on as to how i got the lower profile area but i suck at this getting photos into my blog. I just hope i’ve given you a pretty good idea of how i went about this project.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

5 comments so far

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4031 days

#1 posted 12-17-2007 01:40 AM

I wish the pictures were a little larger. Not sure how to do that.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 12-17-2007 03:54 AM

Thanks for sharing Miles. There’s a lot of clues the Jocks can pick up from those notes & photos.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 12-17-2007 03:31 PM

Good info, Miles. As always the emphasis is on get’er done.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3900 days

#4 posted 12-17-2007 03:59 PM

It’s amazing how often it comes down to a lot of work with the 80 grit paper! You give some good suggestions about how to approach and solve a difficult challenge. I have to do a handrail on a spiral stair soon – any suggestions!?

-- -- --

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3906 days

#5 posted 12-17-2007 04:03 PM

exellent blog miles you have great courage and conviction . when i saw this in projects i was quite curious as to how you did it thanks for posting this blog great job

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