Dismantling your stairs

 
     

 

Shop for Staircase Parts

 
  stairs removed so ladder used to go upstairs  

The first task of any major stair remodelling, is to dismantle the old one.

The level of dismantling will obviously depend on what you want to replace. This can be anything from changing the handrail only or renewing the spindles, newel posts, or removal of the whole staircase.

The remodelling of the staircase will usually entail renewing, and therefore removal of, the handrail, spindles, newels and baserail.

 
         
      The following pages will guide you through the dismantling process.  
         
         
 

 

 

Removing the rails

  old ranch style balustrading  

With ranch style balustrading, most rails are either nailed or screwed to the face of the newel. They may also be glued. Others may be fixed into the centre of the newel using a mortise and tenon joint. Remove the rails by sawing through a short distance from the newels.

If the top rail is not fixed into the top newel post, but meets the apron or ceiling, then cut the rail near to where it’s fixed, leaving enough to aid removal later

The image here shows the top rail fitted into the top newel post, and partially “sunk” into the apron. The width of the rail may have been cut to accommodate the apron, or, the apron may have been fitted after the rail and trimmed to suit the top of the rail before being fixed to the joist. The small triangular piece between the newel post and underside of the top rail is then fitted to finish off the trim. If the apron is not complete, then remedial work will be required before fitting your stair parts.

  

     

 

Cutting through an overlap ranch style balustrade

  Cutting through an mortice and tennon ranch style balustrade  
Overlap joint   Mortise & Tennon joint