Return to the Porches & Decks Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Deck/Patio railing - cutting posts and attaching a rail cap

Posted by wkrick (My Page) on
Fri, May 25, 12 at 17:07

I'm preparing to build a railing across the back of a terraced patio area in my yard to prevent people from accidentally stepping off the back edge. It's a 3 foot drop so a railing is necessary.

I'm building the railing using 4x4 posts with 2x4 top and bottom rails with round aluminum balusters in between. All wood is pressure treated.

Questions:

1) My posts will be flush with the top of the rail, and then I'll be adding a 2x6 cap. What is the best way to attach this cap? My first thought was to use #8 2 1/2 inch stainless screws from the top side. I've seen people suggest that drilling down through the top will allow water to seep in and cause the wood to decay faster. So then I started thinking about possibly attaching it from the underside instead, but I'm not crazy about toe-"nailing" with screws because I fear splitting the 2x4s and/or having the screw points poke out through the top. I also don't have a countersink bit, though I could pick one up. When screwing from below, 2 1/2 inch screws are probably too long, so I assume I'd need something shorter.

2) I was planning on cutting all my posts to final size before installation, but I saw someone online suggest that you should leave the posts longer than needed and cut them after installation by snapping a chalk line with a level. How do people normally do this?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Deck/Patio railing - cutting posts and attaching a rail cap

I screwed from the top and then plugged the holes.


 o
RE: Deck/Patio railing - cutting posts and attaching a rail cap

What did you use for plugs?


 o
RE: Deck/Patio railing - cutting posts and attaching a rail cap

I used a drill press to cut plugs from scraps of the wood (garapa in my case).


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Porches & Decks Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here