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Tighten stair Newel

Posted by jsbakal (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 22, 06 at 18:10

I have a loose stair newel and was looking to get an idea about how to best tighten it. I pried off the button at the top hoping to find a bolt that ran through the oak newel that I could tighten but all I found was a short wood screw. I looked in the basement up towards this first floor staircase but no bolt was exposed there either. Without drilling through the newel and bolting it to a riser and then covering it with a dowel, I figure I could cut a window in the lowest painted riser and then get access below the newel to tighten a bolt. Does this sound reasonable and if I wanted to hire a trim carpenter to make this type of stairway repair, approximately how much would you guess it would cost?


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RE: Tighten stair Newel

Newels should be long enough to extend down to the joists and be through bolted to the joists or solid bridging.
I use x4 lumber and at last inch fasteners in bored holes.
The holes should be undersized enough (1/16 to 1/32 below the fastener) to require driving the bolts.
Only unthreaded shank should be in the bearing area.
2 inch washers under the bolt head and the nut are a good idea to avoid crushing the wood.
Steel angle iron can be used to fasten bridging between joists if required.

An 80 pound load 4 feet from the first fastener produces an almost 500 ft-lb torque.
The wood cells structure can be crushed and then the newel is loose. The damage accelerates from there.
How many times have you seen a 120 pound child swing around the newel at the bottom?


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RE: Tighten a round stair Newel

Does anyone know how to re-thighten an existing 'round' newel that has come loose. Tailing as a result moves about 1 to 2 to the right+left. I found stabilizer brackets for square base newels but nothing for a round base newel. Any advise would be greatfully appreciated.


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RE: Tighten stair Newel

"Does anyone know how to re-thighten an existing 'round' newel that has come loose. "

Every round newel I have ever seen had a square bottom section for attachment.

It may be attached to the stair carriage under the last step if it is not correctly attached to the joists below.


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