|Project by DeLayne Peck||posted 09-24-2013 05:08 PM||7099 views||4 times favorited||26 comments|
The railing is part of a three year down-to-dirt demolition and reconstruction of the porch on our 1925 Craftsman style home, necessitated by a sinking foundation. I think of the railing project as another installment payment on bad Karma I earned somewhere. This payment involved 5 weeks of work with construction-grade Douglas Fir 2×6s, 2×4s, over 230 feet of 2×2s, and commercially available architectural molding.
The inspiration for the original design of the railing was drawn Internet research. To carry through the elements of the rebuilt porch columns, posted previously, and porch skirting, I used the same molding. The railing was constructed in four elements:
Top Cap: A 6 degree bevel was ripped the length of both sides of 2×6s. The result center peak was sanded to rounded over the top. A 1/8” round-over router bit was sunk 3/16ths into both sides to create a edge band and break the stark appearance of the flat sides.
Bottom and Top Receiving Elements: Molding was simply applied to wide side of 2×4 stock with Tite Bond III and clamped. The 4” bottom molding applied to the 3 1/2’ wide 2×4s. This left a 1/2” dado or channel. The transition element, between the cap and balusters, was created by apply 1 3/4’” molding to 2×4 stock ripped to 1 1/4”, again creating 1/2” channel to receive the baluster assembly.
Balusters: All for sides of the 2×2’ stock was squared and smoothed though a planner. All 4 rough corners were relieved by routing a 1/4” deep campher or bevel. The railing required 120 balusters cut to 23”. The balusters were assembled between 1×4” strips ripped to fit the 1 1/2” x 1/2” channels, described above, and leave a 1/4” reveal. The horizontal “speared through tenon” look was created using 112 blocks precisely planed to 1/2” thinner that the balusters and centered between the camphers.
Assembly: A simple jig was used to set the spacing and square blocks at the same height. Each baluster and block were glued. Each baluster was pin nailed with sufficient side pressor to hold the blocks in place. Clamps were applied as the section progressed. Completed baluster sections were then simply glued into top and bottom channels secured by screws.
Lessons and Advice: Check City Building Codes before beginning. Build baluster sections from dead center outward. Be extremely careful to keep square and avoid accumulative error. To do so, make extensive use of reference blocks and jigs. Don’t buy the house if the porch is sinking.
Special Credit: To my wife, Joyce, who has become an avid, apprentice woodworker. She was right in there covered with saw dust, cutting, chopping, gluing, and nailing all the way!
-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.