Step 1 - Decide the look you want
With Elements modern metal spindles you can choose the style and look of your stairs by selecting and matching spindles, newel posts and newel caps. Baserails and handrails are available in white oak only.
Step 2 – Elements TM components
Step 3 - Measure stair pitch
Measure the pitch of your stairs.
Use the printable protractor to do this, or use any other method of measuring your stair pitch, provided you make sure that your measurement is accurate.Your calculations will not be correct otherwise.
If you need help in using the protractor, please follow this link.
Step 4 - Measure newel distance
Using a tape measure, measure the distance between the newel post inside faces (ND). Enter this into the Wonkee Donkee calculator along with the stair pitch. This will give you the quantity of spindles and spacing of your rails.
Note: Be aware of errors that can creep in when measuring the newel distance with a tape measure, particularly when measuring right into an angled corner. See next step.
Step 5 - Using the tape measure
The joint between the Newel and the string is a tight angled corner resulting in the tape measure not getting right into the corner resulting in an error that could easily be as much as 15mm (the height of the tab), and incorrectly spaced panels.
Make sure that you measure from the newel base and that the tape measure is flush with the top of the baserail otherwise the tab on the end of the tape measure will lift the tape off the baserail and cause errors in your marking out.
Step 6 - Mark bottom newel
Place a piece of scrap baserail onto the string. Make a mark where it touches the newel face.
At the same angle as the stairs and baserail, 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 195mm up from this point. Using a square, mark a line showing where to cut the newel. Continue this line all the way around the newel post using the square.
Step 7 - Mark top newel
Now mark the top newel post, measuring up only 120mm this time
from where your marks intersect.
Step 8 - Trim newels to height
Cut all newel posts to your marks 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 9 - Measure existing newel
Measure the width of your existing newel post - this should be no less than 90mm x 90mm square and installed central to the riser and string. If the newel base is less than this, it will need to be built up by cladding each side equally to get to the required size. Use adhesive and pins to fix in place, cladding the newel so that it ends flush with the top of the newel base.
Step 10 - Mark & trim baserail
Lay the pre-drilled baserail on top of the stair nosing and place against the side of the newel bases. Slide along until the gap between the inside face of the newel and the drilled hole is the same at the top newel and the bottom newel.
Mark a vertical line following the inside face edge of each newel base.
Remove and carefully and cut to length. Check the fit
between the inside newel faces.
Step 11 - 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 - 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 12 - Drill & install baserail
Position the baserail between the newel bases, ensuring the rail is central to the newels, and drill 4.5mm clearance holes for the screws at and in the 2nd hole from each end, and spaced every 3rd or 4th hole. Drill right through the baserail and slightly into the floor to mark the fixing position.
Remove the baserail and drill 2.5mm diameter pilot holes into the floor.
Ensure that all debris is cleared from within the holes of the baserail before securing the baserail to the floor.
Reposition the baserail and fix to the floor using the No.8 screws.
Step 13 - 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 in 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 at this stage.
Step 14 - Fit handrail
Locate the raking twist brackets central to the underside of the handrail and, using a pencil, mark out the slot on both ends of the rail.
Step 15 - 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 16 - Prepare battens
To set the correct height of the handrail you will need to cut two battens, each 766mm long. Use an adjustable bevel set to the pitch of your stairs and mark a line at each end and 766mm apart. Ensure that the cut ends match the angle/pitch of your stairs. Check that the length of each is correct after cutting
Step 17 - 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 18 - Mark bracket positions
Use a pencil to mark the centre of the twist bracket hole onto the newel face on both the top and bottom newels.
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 19 - 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 20 - Drill newels & 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 21 - 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 saw dust.
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 22 - 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 23 - 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 24 - 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 25 - 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 26 - Secure connectors
Once all the spindles are in place, apply adhesive to the cover caps (included in the handrail fixing kit), and place over the previously drilled 11mm diameter holes.
Use the same adhesive to secure 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.
You may need to trim the timber covers slightly to fit up against the newel face.
Step 27 - Check all fittings
Finally, check all fittings, covers and spindle positions, etc.
Step 28 - After care
Wipe down with a damp cloth and enjoy!