How to fit traditional stair parts

 
         
  Although these instructions are primarily aimed at the Hallmark range of stair parts,
they can also be used as a guide for any similar traditional type of stair installation.

Check dimensions before any cutting takes place.
 
         

Shop for Hallmark Stair Parts

 

Shop for Stair Parts

 

 

Contents

     
 

Step   1 - Decide the look you want
Step   2 - Hallmark components
Step   3 - Measuring stair pitch
Step   4 - Measure newel distance
Step   5 - Using the tape measure
Step   6 - Check newel position
Step   7 - Mark bottom newel
Step   8 - Mark top newel

 

 

Step   9 - Mark quarter turn newel
Step 10 - Mark half landing newel
Step 11 - Trim newels to height
Step 12 - Measure newel width
Step 13 - Mark & trim baserail
Step 14 - Drill & install baserail
Step 15 - Prepare newel base
Step 16 - Fixing the handrail

 
 

How to fit handrails to newel posts:

Steps 17-25 - Bolt Fix method´╗┐
Steps 26-35 - Twist Bracket method
Steps 36-45 - Stud Bracket method
Steps 46-54 - Traditional method  

 

How to fit the spindles: 

Steps 55-61 Fit spindles and finish  

 

 

decide the look you want, Hallmark PINE  parts, PINE  parts, staircases, landings, Hallmark, newels, newel posts, newel post distance, baserails, handrails, WONKEE DONKEE says: "If you haven’t already decided, there’s plenty to chose from. See the shop for ideas. Or, click here for our stair choosing guide."

Step 1 - Decide the look you want

 

With Hallmark you can have a quality and stylish staircase by selecting and matching spindles, newel posts and newel caps, all available in pine only.

 

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Hallmark TM components, ball newel cap, acorn newel cap, square newel cap, handrail, connector, baserail, hallmark newel posts, 525mm, 200mm, bracket fix newel, hampton, stop chamfer bracket fix, stop chamfer, edwardian, georgian, 900mm, PINE , Hallmark, WONKEE DONKEE says: Hallmark consist of the Handrail, Baserail, Spindles, Newel Posts and Newel Caps.  Shown here is the complete range of the smaller of the two sizes available.  These 95mm Newels and 46mm Spindles are proportioned for the smaller home and will look great in a traditional or upmarket setting.

Step 2 - Hallmark components

 

 

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measuring stair pitch, pitch, protractor, Hallmark, PINE  Hallmark, stair Hallmark, newel posts, WONKEE DONKEE says: Depending on your circumstance, Align the protractor on the Newel Post if vertical or floor  if level.  Don’t forget - Heritage is suitable  for any stair pitch and all configurations  If you need more help, click here, or click on me!

Step 3 - Measuring stair pitch

 

Measure the pitch (angle) of your stairs.
You may use the printable protractor to do this, or any other accurate method of measuring your stair pitch - otherwise your calculations may not be correct .

 

 

 

 

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measure newel distance, newel post, W, newel post to newel post ND, string, stairs, parts, richard burbridge, Hallmark, WONKEE DONKEE says: Measure along the string. the tape needs to be kept at the same angle as the stairs to be accurate.  By the way, did you know that the end of the tape measure is loose for a   reason?   Click here, or on me, for more info. 

Step 4 - Measure newel distance

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 their spacing.
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.

 

 

 

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Using the tape measure, viewed from the side, error, viewed from above, marking centreline, hallmark, pine parts, pine panel stairs, richard burbridge,  fitting PINE  parts,WONKEE DONKEE says: "Remember the old saying…  Measure twice, Cut once…", Diagram, straight edge, pencil, level, baserail

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 spindles.
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.

 

 

 

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Check newel position, newel post installed to side of string, riser, string, newel post installed central to riser and string, riser, string, installing pine parts, install hallmark pine parts, stairs, pine panel stairsl, richard burbridge,, stairs, staircases, richard burbridge Hallmark, WONKEE DONKEE says: "If you have to replace the Newel Base, follow my      instructions or seek       professional guidance.  It’s not a job for the faint hearted!"

Step 6 - Check newel position

Before you begin, the newel post must be installed central to the riser and string.

If it is installed to the side of the string, then the newel will need removing and a new newel base installed centrally.

IMPORTANT:
Check that the newel is non-supporting and non-structural before removing. If in doubt, seek professional advice!

Fit new newel bases to the heights shown in the following steps. Click here for newel base fitting instructions.

 

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Mark position of handrail, centre line, newel, 280, tread, riser, nosing, string, pitch line, installing pine panel stairs, fitting pine parts, Richard Burbidge, PINE , Hallmark, stair parts, Step 7, Mark bottom newel, Wonkee Donkee says "The nosing is the bit that runs along the front edge of the tread.", "If you are unsure of what’s what, check out our glossary pages for a detailed breakdown of stair parts.", "When using your square for the first time, Make sure that your Square is actually square by testing on a scrap piece of wood before using."

Step 7 - Mark bottom newel

Place a straight edge over the nosing of at least three treads to find the pitch line, and mark this pitch line on the inside face of the existing newel. Mark a centre line to intersect the pitch line mark.

Measure 280mm up from these intersecting lines and, using a square, mark a line showing where to cut the newel. Continue this line all the way around the newel post again using the square.

 

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fitting instructions, marking out lines, cut point, newel, centre line, landing, 194, nosing, tread, string, pitch line, marking out lines, cut point, mark centre position handrail, installing pine panel stairs, fitting pine parts, fitting handrail to pine parts, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , stair parts, parts, position parts, Step 8, mark centre position handrail, Wonkee Donkee says "Be sure to measure the newel height from the Pitch Line, and not the baserail or string."

Step 8 - Mark top newel

Now mark the top newel post, measuring up only 194mm this time from where your marks intersect.

 

 

 

 

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Fitting instructions, newel, centre line, pitch line, 270mm, string, tread, nosing, marking out lines, cut point, installing pine parts, how to drill wall, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , stair parts, newels, handrails, handrail, Step 9, Mark quarter turn newel, Wonkee Donkee says "A quarter turn is where the stairs have a small square landing somewhere between the ground floor and first floor, and is designed to change the stair direction."

Step 9 - Mark quarter turn newel

If your stairs have a quarter turn, place a straight edge over the nosing of at least three treads to find the pitch line, marking this pitch line on the inside face of the quarter turn newel. Mark a centre line to intersect the pitch line mark.

Measure 270mm up from these intersecting lines and, using a square, mark a line all the way around the newel post showing where to cut the newel.

 

(Warning - this height given as 270mm requires confirmation. Please check and proceed with caution)

 

 

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Fitting instructions, marking out lines, cut point, newel at bottom of upper flight, newel at top of lower flight, centre line, pitch line, string, tread, nosing, 270mm, newels, newel posts, Richard Burbidge, PINE , Hallmark, stair parts, Step 10 - Cut newel post to size, Wonkee Donkee says "Measure the newel height from the pitch."

Step 10 - Mark half landing newel

For half landings, mark the newel post that sits at the bottom of the top flight (that is, the upper most of the pair of newels), measuring up 270mm from where the markings intersect.

 

 

(Warning - this height given as 270mm requires confirmation. Please check and proceed with caution)

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Fitting instructions, pitch line, 194, 280, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , stair parts. Step 11, Mark handrail length, Wonkee Donkee says "Always double check that your markings are correct before starting to cut.  Better safe than sorry!", "Once the the Newel Posts have been cut down to size, What’s left, will now be known as the Newel base.  Your new Heritage Newel Post will fit on top of this base."

Step 11 - 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.

 

 

 

 

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Fitting instructions, 82mm Min., clad newel base, liquid PU adhesive, wood adhesive, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , stair parts, Step 12, Measure newel width, Diagram, hand rail, hand saw. WONKEE DONKEE says: "Clad equally around the newel so that the newel remains central to the string.  If the newel is slightly     off-centre adjust cladding as necessary.", "This is a great opportunity to  match the Newel base with the rest of the timber.  Always follow the manufactures instructions and precautions when using adhesives."

Step 12 - Measure newel width

Measure the width of your existing newel post - this should be no less than 82mm x 82mm square. 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.

 

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Fitting instructions, string, baserail, existing newel post, blue pencil, marking out lines, trim baserail, handrail, how to trim baserail, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , Wonkee Donkee says: "Cut the ends as clean and accurate as you can using a fine toothed saw.  Remember, this cut will be visible once you’ve completed the installation.",

Step 13 - Mark & trim baserail

Lay the baserail on top of the stair nosing and against the sides of the newel bases.

Mark a vertical line following the inside face edge of each newel base.

Continue this line around the baserail to guide you when cutting.

Remove and using a fine toothed handsaw, carefully cut the baserail to length. Ensure that it is a good fit when placed on the string between the newel bases.

 

 

 

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Fitting instructions, baserail, drill baserail, string, no.10 x 60mm, install baserail, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , stair parts, newels, fitting newels, Step 14, Drill & install baserail, Wonkee Donkee says "Take care not to mark the top of the rail as you drill through."

Step 14 - Drill & install baserail

Position the baserail between the newel bases, ensuring the rail is central to the newels, and drill 5.0mm clearance holes for the screws spaced every 300mm or so. Drill right through the baserail and slightly into the string to mark the fixing position, and countersink so that the head of the screw sits below the slot surface.

Remove the baserail and drill 3.3mm diameter pilot holes into the string where marked.

Ensure that all debris is cleared from the string and baserail.
Reposition the baserail and secure using No.10 x60mm screws.

 

 

 

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Fitting instructions, hole saw, easier to drill straight, forstner drill bit, removes centre waste, Richard Burbidge, Hallmark, PINE , newels, stair parts, Step 15, Prepare newel base, Wonkee Donkee says "If you don’t have a hole saw you could chain drill. That is, mark the outline of the circle and drill a series of 10mm holes inside and up to your mark. Use a chisel and spade drill to remove the surplus material.", "If it was me doing it, I’d get myself a Forstner bit. The small cost outweighs the time and hassle to chain drill, and it also removes the core unlike The hole saw although it is probably easier to drill straight with the hole saw!"

Step 15 - Prepare newel base

Find the centre of the newel base by marking across the corners. Use a 50mm hole saw or good quality 50mm diameter Forstner bit to drill a hole 50mm diameter to accept the spigot on the end of the newel post. Then chamfer the corners of the post, sanding down to an acceptable finish.

 

 

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Ftting instructions, Richard Burbidge, PINE , Hallmark, stair parts, Step 16, Fixing the handrail, Wonkee Donkee says "To make it easier, I have colour coded the fixing methods for you.  The fixing methods shown are in order of ease of installation."

Step 16 - Fixing the handrail

Before marking and cutting your handrail, you will need to decide on which fixing method to use.

The handrail may be fixed to the newel post either by the traditional mortise and tenon joint or by utilising modern fixings.

The bolt fix method is ideal for those with little carpentry skills.

Either way, the handrail will need to be lifted into position, marked and cut to length.

 


Click on the appropriate fixing method above to go to the relevant steps

Fitting instructions, Richard Burbidge, WHITE OAK , Heritage, stair parts, Step 16, Fixing the handrail, Wonkee Donkee says "To make it easier, I have colour coded the fixing methods for you.  The fixing methods shown are in order of ease of installation."
twist bracket option, twist bracket, screws, steps 26-35
stud bracket option, stud bracket, screws, steps 36-45
traditional option, traditional stair fitting, cutaway showing tenon, mortice and tenon, steps 46-54

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Some of the images used are © Richard Burbidge Ltd 2016 used with permission