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Milestone: Thirty One Feet of Craftsman Style Porch Railing

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Project by DeLayne Peck posted 289 days ago 2851 views 4 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.





26 comments so far

View maplerock's profile

maplerock

393 posts in 384 days


#1 posted 289 days ago

What a pretty place! You live in Mayberry? The design and construction look flawless. Great job! When I built mine I built the rail too high… eye level. I had to lower it so we could see out!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View ohwoodeye's profile

ohwoodeye

986 posts in 1737 days


#2 posted 289 days ago

Very nice transformation from Picture 5 to picture 1. Well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

329 posts in 786 days


#3 posted 289 days ago

Our neighborhood is very popular with attractive, very fit, young women who walk, jog, and bicycle. I intentionally used the minimum railing height required by City Code so an old man sitting on the porch wouldn’t miss anything.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1613 posts in 887 days


#4 posted 289 days ago

Your time consuming rail paid real dividends as far as the overall appearance of your house. It looks great!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2161 days


#5 posted 289 days ago

Nice work DJ

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View dpow's profile

dpow

457 posts in 1428 days


#6 posted 289 days ago

The beginning to end transformation looks nice. A lot of work I’m sure, but well worth it. Thanks for the update.

-- Doug

View HillbillyShooter's profile (online now)

HillbillyShooter

4266 posts in 876 days


#7 posted 289 days ago

Looks great! You did a very fine job and it is certainly better in appearance than what you had previously. Congratulations.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3517 posts in 1952 days


#8 posted 289 days ago

Does your wife approve of the railing height or are there young attractive men who jog by too?

Regardless, it adds to the appearance from both sides of the railing!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1224 posts in 841 days


#9 posted 289 days ago

What a dramatic improvement this is to your house’s appearance. I don’t think you are paying for bad karma, but, in reality, you are building great karma. That is a great thing to do for your house.

-- Art

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 408 days


#10 posted 289 days ago

Very nice improvement to the front of the house…makes a huge difference. Nicely done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Roger's profile

Roger

13953 posts in 1388 days


#11 posted 289 days ago

Lookin really good. Can ya come over and redo my deck and rails/?? lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10409 posts in 1274 days


#12 posted 289 days ago

VERY classy improvement over the previous look. And good that you made it where you can sweep leaves and debris under it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

329 posts in 786 days


#13 posted 289 days ago

Thank you, Brethern! I am grateful for the kind words.

The good humor award has to go to maplerock. I cracked up all day every time I thought about “What a pretty place! You live in Mayberry?”

My first three years of retirement, all that work, and where do I wind up? Mayberry. Shoot me.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View DavidIN's profile

DavidIN

73 posts in 572 days


#14 posted 288 days ago

redo looks much better, nice job

View bannerpond1's profile

bannerpond1

214 posts in 483 days


#15 posted 288 days ago

Excellent work! You have impeccable taste in architecture. You are rightfully proud of your home and your work.

-- --Dale Page

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