Step 1 - Decide on the look you want
Step 2 – Measure newel distance
Using a tape measure, measure the distance between the newel post inside faces (ND). Enter this into the Wonkee Donkee calculator. This will give you the spacing of the rails, and the quantity of spindles you will need.
Step 3 - Mark landing newels
Place a piece of scrap baserail on the floor and pushed up against the newel. Make a mark on the
newel where it touches the face and continue this line along the side face of the newel (as shown).
Mark the centre of this line (effectively the centre of the newel post).
Measure 173mm up from your first mark and, using a square, mark a line showing where to cut the newel. Continue this line all the way around the newel post using a square.
Check that this lines up with the top stair newel before going any further. Repeat for all landing newels and half newels.
Step 4 - Trim newels to height
Once you are happy that all newels have been marked correctly, cut newels using a fine-toothed handsaw. Ensure that the saw is kept level and straight at all times, taking care when breaking through to avoid splintering the timber.
Step 5 - Measure existing newel
Measure the width of your newel post - this should be 90mm x 90mm square. If the newel base is less than this, build up by cladding each side equally to get to the required size. Use adhesive and pins to fix the cladding in place so that it ends flush with the top of the newel base.
Step 6 - Mark & trim baserail
Lay the pre-drilled baserail on the floor and place against the side of the newel bases. If you can, slide along until the gap between the inside face of the newel and the drilled hole is the same at both newels. Mark a line at both ends of the rail following the inside face of the newel base.
Alternatively, measure between the inside faces of the two newel bases and mark the mid-point (or centre position) between them. Measure the rail so that the mid-point mark falls either at the centre of a hole, or at the centre between two holes. The position used should be the one that gives the greater distance from the rail end to the hole.
Remove and carefully and cut to length. Check the fit between the inside newel faces.
Step 7 - Mark & trim handrail
Use the two 15mm dowels supplied in the bracket pack to align the handrail with the baserail by placing a dowel in each end (as shown). Push the rails together until the faces touch, then mark the handrail where the baserail finishes at both ends.
This will ensure that all the pre-drilled holes in the two rails are correctly aligned with each other.
Separate the rails and cut the handrail to length. Do not fix just yet.
Step 8 - Drill & install baserail
Place the baserail between the newels, ensuring that the rail is central. Drill 4.5mm clearance holes for the screws at and in the 2nd hole from each end, spaced every 3rd or 4th hole. Drill through the baserail and just slightly into the floor so as to mark the fixing position.
Remove the baserail and then drill 2.5mm diameter pilot holes into the floor, at the points previously marked, with the 4.5mm drill bit.
Make sure that all the baserail holes are clear of debris before
securing the baserail to the string.
Reposition the baserail and fix to the floor using No.8 screws.
Step 9 - Prepare newel base
Find the centre of the newel base by marking across the corners. Use a 50mm hole saw to drill a hole 50mm diameter to accept the spigot on the end of the newel post. Chamfer the corners.
Insert the newel post and, checking that it is a good fit, ensure that the newel is vertical.
Do not secure anything at this stage.
Step 10 - Fit handrail
Locate the landing twist brackets central to the underside of the handrail and, using a pencil, mark out the slot on both ends of the rail.
Step 11 - Cut out slot
Chisel out the previously marked out slots for the twist bracket to a depth of 8mm.
Then fix the bracket into place using the three screws provided.
Step 12 - Prepare battens
To set the correct height of the handrail you will need to cut two battens, each 818mm long. Use a square to mark a line at each end. Ensure that the length of each is correct after cutting.
Step 13 - Position handrail for marking
Use masking tape to hold the battens against the newels then lower the handrail on top of the battens so the twist bracket hole is on the outside of the newel face.
Step 14 - Mark bracket positions
Use a pencil to mark the centre of the twist bracket hole on the newel face.
Remove the handrail and mark a hole position that is off-set by +2mm from the previously marked centre line. This will then pull the handrail tight to the newel face when the tapered screw is tightened.
Repeat for all newels.
Step 15 - Continue marking
Using a square, mark a line on the inside of the newel face from the centre of the twist bracket holes and across the faces of the newel. Follow the centre line with the square and draw a line across the face of the newel where the handrail will be attached.
Draw a vertical line through the previously drawn line down the centre of the newel face.
Step 16 - Drill newels and position handrail
Drill the newels using an 11mm diameter drill bit on the inside faces of the newels (facing inside the stairs) to a depth of 60mm to accommodate the tapered screw, and a 16mm diameter drill bit to a depth of 40mm on the inside faces of newels to accommodate the ends of the twist bracket.
Place a small amount of PU adhesive (not Fast Grab) on each end of the handrail and offer up to the newel, position the ends of the twist brackets into the 16mm diameter holes in the newel and insert the tapered screw so it starts to pull the rail in, do not fully tighten at this stage.
Step 17 - Secure newels
Once the handrail is in position in the newel turnings, lift the newels out and ensure that both the spigot and the hole are clean and free of sawdust.
Apply a large bead of a proprietary ‘Fast Grab’ PU adhesive to the inside circumference of the newel base and a small bead to the underside flat surface at the base of the newel (not spigot).
Note: Do not use any other type of adhesive.
Step 18 - Secure handrail
The tapered screws can now be fully tightened into the 11mm diameter holes in the top and bottom newels using a 6mm hexagonal drive/allen key until the shoulders on the handrail are flush against the newel faces. Clean off excess adhesive.
Step 19 - Install spindles - adhesive to holes
Using a multi-purpose adhesive in a mastic gun (No-nails, Stixall etc) place a bead into the bottom, pre-drilled holes of the baserail, repeat this for the pre-drilled holes in the handrail. Take care not to put too much in each hole. Remove surplus adhesive.
Step 20 - Install spindles into handrail
Place the spindle at an angle and slide it into the pre-drilled hole in the handrail as far up as it will go so it makes contact with the adhesive.
Step 21 - Install spindles into baserail
Straighten up the spindle so the bottom end lines up with the pre-drilled hole in the baserail and slide the spindle down as far as it will go.
For the spiral metal spindles it will be necessary to twist them into position (before the adhesive dries) so that they are uniform in appearance whilst still maintaining the 99mm maximum gap.
Step 22 - Secure connectors
Once the spindles are positioned correctly, apply adhesive to the cover caps found in the handrail fixing kit, and place over the 11mm diameter holes.
Using the same adhesive, glue the twist bracket cover caps (also included in the handrail fixing kit), under each end of the handrail into the chiselled slot so that it covers the twist bracket.
Step 23 - Horizontal turns
If making a horizontal turn without a corner newel post, follow these simple rules to ensure that no gap is bigger than that required by the current building regulations.
1. a) Mark & cut a 45º mitre to clear any holes (49mm max from centre as shown); or
b) Mark & cut a 45º mitre through the centre of a hole so that when two mitred rails are joined
together, a spindle can be placed right at the corner of the two rails.
2. Use the dowels to ensure both rails are mitred and cut at the same position.
The position of the cut will depend on how the rail fits at the other end.
Step 24 - Horizontal turns
Screw through the spindle holes to fix the baserail to the floor. Apply adhesive to the mitre joint and screw down. Fix the handrail to the newel post as previously described. Place a batten, 818mm long, so it crosses the mitre joint. This will help position the handrails flush with each other and at the correct height. Drill through with a 3.2mm diameter drill to a depth of 55mm, followed by a 4.5mm diameter drill to a depth of 45mm. Drill 8.5mm diameter counterbore to a depth of 15mm max. (or use a No.8 screwdigger which drills, countersinks and counterbores in one operation). Apply adhesive to the mitre face and fix using a No.8 x75mm screw. Use a plug cutter to cut a plug from the same place in a scrap piece of handrail, matching the grain where possible. Glue into place.
Step 25 - Half newels
When the landing balustrade ends at a wall, use a half newel and base. Fix the twist bracket in the same way as for a full newel instruction making sure the newel base height is the same as the top newel base (steps 3 & 4).
Step 26 - Example stair configurations
Intermediate landing half turn.
Step 27 - Example stair configurations
Intermediate landing quarter turn with three winders.
Cut the intermediate newel as a bottom newel.
Step 28 - Example stair configurations
Half turn with extended landing.
Step 29 - Check all fittings
Finally, check all fittings, covers and spindle positions, etc.
Step 30 - After care
Wipe down with a damp cloth and enjoy!