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Forum topic by Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop posted 02-28-2012 10:42 PM 699 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

633 posts in 1348 days


02-28-2012 10:42 PM

Hey LJ’ers, I have recently built a two step platform for patients to stand on while getting their x-rays in my clinic I work for. The platform has a handrail used for balance on one side of the platform. During the build of this project I thought it would be a fine design but after the build was complete I am concerned about the handrail’s stability. The rail is made of two upright dowels (1 3/8” in diameter) that are 36 inches from the platforms upper step and run through the top of the platform and screwed to the inside of the carcase. The uprights are capped off with a mortised handrail that connects the two together. The instability concern comes from the give the dowels have when pulled or pushed on. What can I do to increase the stability of this rail so it is less likely to break?

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK


6 replies so far

View peterbb's profile

peterbb

36 posts in 945 days


#1 posted 02-28-2012 10:56 PM

I think I’d use steel (or heavy aluminum) pipe instead of wood.

I’d also extend the base of the thing to the right – if someone leans on the rail they’re as likely to tip the whole thing as to break the posts (unless you have a lot of weight under the lower step).

-- Peter

View UltimateCarvercom's profile

UltimateCarvercom

12 posts in 945 days


#2 posted 02-28-2012 11:06 PM

I agree with the previous posts too. The dowel is just not strong enough. The client on the handrail has a huge mechanical advantage in making the dowel flex. You need material that will not flex, hence steel.

-- Steve Groeneweg, http//www.UltimateCarver.com

View Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop's profile

Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

633 posts in 1348 days


#3 posted 02-29-2012 12:04 AM

Since removing the dowel may be too difficult without damaging the carcase do you think a strip of steel run up the length of the dowels would help?

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK

View peterbb's profile

peterbb

36 posts in 945 days


#4 posted 02-29-2012 12:19 AM

Anything you add to strengthen the dowells must go right to the floor. If it just runs from the top of the step to the handrail, the dowells would likely break at the top of the step.

I’d suggest steel angle rather than a flat strip, as the angle will add strength in all directions – flat strip will only help in its wide dimension.

Also, as I mentioned in my first post, you need to extend the step to the right, otherwise a person leaning on the rail would tip the thing to the right (if the dowells didn’t break.) A panel against the wall, solidly attached to the steps, would probalby be sufficient.

-- Peter

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2529 posts in 1009 days


#5 posted 02-29-2012 12:41 AM

I’d go with square steel tubing.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112104 posts in 2235 days


#6 posted 02-29-2012 12:53 AM

If you install a “X” in the middle of the two uprights that will make it much stronger as far as racking is concerned.
you don’t say what kind of wood the uprights are made out of? the kind of wood you use will make a big difference strength wise.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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