Step 1 - Measure your stairs
Measure the distance between the inside faces of the newel posts (ND).
Measure the width of the newel base (w). Enter these two dimensions into the Wonkee Donkee calculator. This will give you the number of spindles that you will need, as well as the spindle centre positions. (The height of the handrail is determined by the spindles as shown later).
Step 2 – Measure stair pitch
Measure the pitch of your staircase.
You may use the printable protractor to do this.
There are other methods of measuring your stair pitch - including measuring tools and also “Apps” for your phone/tablet that can be used.
Step 3 - Check spindles
If you are using the MK1 type spindle, you will need to assemble them before going any further. The MK2 type spindle needs no assembly.
Step 4 - Assemble the MK1 spindles
Insert the brackets into the spindle tubes as shown, and secure with the supplied 63mm long screw.
Ensure that the brackets line up with each other by placing on top of two blocks of wood before tightening.
We suggest that you leave one of the brackets unassembled - this will be used later to mark the hole positions on the baserail without scratching the spindle's finish.
Step 5 - Mark & cut baserail to size
Place the baserail on the stairs so that it runs parallel to the string. Make a vertical mark on the side of the baserail at both ends where it meets the newel bases. Using a handsaw, cut the baserail to length.
Step 6 - Position baserail
Loosely put the baserail into place, making sure that it is lined up centrally to the newel post and parallel to the string edge.
Do not screw anything down at this stage.
Use masking tape, if necessary, to hold the baserail in place.
Step 7 - Attach connectors
Undo the nut and separate the two parts of the bottom handrail connector. Fix the handrail part of the connector onto a length of handrail that's longer than required and secure with the two provided screws.
Place the other part of this connector on top of the bottom newel post but do not screw into position just yet.
Slide the top handrail connector loosely over the top newel post but do not screw into position.
Step 8 - Position handrail
Re-assemble the bottom connector, but do not tighten.
Using a spirit level, place two assembled spindles on the baserail, vertical and spaced apart.
Position the handrail on top of the two spindles giving the finished height.
Place the top connector so that it is lined up with the handrail and using a pencil, make a mark on the handrail just shy of the connector hole depth.
Tip: place masking tape on the top of the connector and mark
on this the depth of the 54mm diameter hole.
Step 9 - Cut handrail to length
Using a fine-toothed handsaw, cut the handrail to length.
Step 10 - Attach top connector
Separate the two parts of the top connector in the same way that you separated the bottom connector.
Making sure that the handrail part of the bracket does not move, secure with the two
Lower onto the newel post part of the connector and re-assemble.
Step 11 - Secure handrail
Temporarily place two spindles near the newels as before, ensuring that the handrail sits correctly on the spindles and that the spindles are vertical.
Finally, secure the top connector to the top newel post and the bottom connector to the bottom newel post using the supplied screws
Step 12 - Measure & mark spindle positions
Make a mark centrally on the baserail using the Wonkee Donkee calculator figures. These mark the position of the spindle centres. The notch on the spindle brackets will line up with your centre marks.
Make sure that you measure from the newel base and that the tape measure is flush with the top of the baserail. The tab on the end of the tape measure will lift the tape off the baserail and cause errors in your marking out. See next step for details.
Step 13 - Using tape measure
For accurate measuring and marking out, make sure that the end of the tape measure is correctly
positioned as shown.
Being a tight angled corner means that the tape measure will not get right into the corner resulting in an error that can easily be as much as 15mm (the height of the tab), and incorrectly spaced spindles.
Step 14 - Mark hole positions
Using a bracket from one of the spindles as a guide, mark the position of the fixing holes using either a bradawl or a drill and drill bit. Make sure that the notch on the bracket is lined up centrally to your previous marks.
If using a drill and drill bit, select a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the size of the fixing hole in the bracket - a 4mm diameter bit should be sufficient. Using a slow speed, and with the drill positioned in the fixing hole, carefully drill only enough so as to make a mark on the baserail.
Repeat for all brackets attached to the baserail.
Step 15 - Drill pilot holes
Remove the bracket and, using the marked hole positions, drill two pilot holes using a 3mm drill bit to a depth of around 25mm.
Drill an additional pilot hole 5-10mm uphill from your centreline mark. This will be used later to secure the baserail to the flooring. Space these about 500mm apart (every fourth or fifth spindle) - but make sure that it will lie under the brackets and hidden from view. Also make sure that a fixing hole is located under the first and last spindle brackets.
Step 16 - Drill baserail fixing holes
Identify which of the pilot holes are for fixing the baserail, and, using a 5mm drill bit, drill only the baserail fixing hole. Drill all the way through the baserail. Repeat until all the baserail fixing holes are drilled.
Using a countersink bit, countersink the hole to accept the screw so that the head of the screw is just under the surface of the timber. This is to prevent the screw from fouling on the bracket.
Secure the baserail to the floor using No 10 x 45mm (5x45mm) countersunk screws.
Step 17 - Fix spindles to baserail
Place the first assembled spindle into place on the baserail and secure using the No 6 x30mm (4x30mm) screws supplied.
Step 18 - Check spindle alignment
Using a spirit level, ensure that the spindle is vertical and central to the flat on the underside of the handrail. Mark the hole positions using a bradawl.
Step 19 - Fix first spindle to handrail
Fix the spindle into place on the handrail securing using the No 6 x30mm (4x30mm) screws supplied. Leave the screws loose enough to allow movement in the spindle then place the spirit level against the spindle, ensure that it’s vertical and then tighten the screws.
Step 20 - Fix remaining spindles to handrail
Continue until all spindles are in place then check to ensure that they are all secure.
Step 21 - Repeat
If you have an intermediate newel post, you will need to repeat these fitting instructions until all spindles are in place.
Check that all screws have been tightened sufficiently.
Step 22 - After care