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Splicing Handrail

 
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:23 PM   #1
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Splicing Handrail


I need to splice a round-with-bottom-flat handrail. I can only get 16'ers and I need a 19' rail.

I've tried both wood glue and gorilla glue with a dowel and the joint breaks.
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Splicing Handrail


they make a special fastener for that It has a special magnetic bit that goes on your drill that makes them tighten up inside the rail

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Old 11-27-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: Splicing Handrail


I've seen a range of "off the shelf" stair parts that uses a recessed bolt to join the handrails, maybe you could adapt something like that or possibly use a wortop bolt if there is room to fit it in. I think there is also a system using a hidden bolt and a magnet, sound wierd I know but someone else will know what it is.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: Splicing Handrail


I've seen the magnetic gizmo in action and it looks slick. Lowes carries some parts which could help you out-would require you to drill a hole in the bottom of one rail and in the end of the rail, then screw the bolt into the other rail. Tightening is achieved by a bolt with just enough room to get a small wrench in the hole on the bottom of the rail. There may be some newer systems out there to help you better line up the rails-nothing like having mis-aligned rails which are easy to pick up when running the hand over it.
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Are you trying to butt-joint endgrain? This will never work.

To join handrail; Cut shiplap (a min. of 6:1), dowel for position, glue and clamp. It will be as strong as the original rail.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Splicing Handrail


yeah, you dont need those magnets or anything like that, just do what teetor said. I dont know what shiplap is, but I assume it is a scarf. Is that right teetor?
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:36 PM   #7
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Same thing only marine, almost.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:08 PM   #8
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Also known as a "half-lap"
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
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Re: Splicing Handrail


I tried to find a pic to no avail. The way that I was taught was a long scarf stubbed at each end, it was clamped in both directions. The joint looks like an elongated Z. The end joints were just to maintain position as they were pegged or riveted.

Yes, we used to rivet wood with copper or bronze rivets and washers.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:54 AM   #10
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Installation is much easier it you glue up your scarf joint beforehand and let it cure, then install it as one piece. instead of trying to join the handrail as you install it. Likewise with returns.

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Old 11-28-2006, 10:00 PM   #11
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Re: Splicing Handrail


teetor, thats interisting.

how do you make the cut?
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:05 PM   #12
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Re: Splicing Handrail


A band or vertical recip is required on big stuff. For standard handrail configs. a good sabre saw and a little hand work can make a tight joint.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:47 PM   #13
 
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Teetor, is it like the one on this page? Except maybe with square stopped ends- like this one.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:15 PM   #14
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Re: Splicing Handrail


Karma, you nailed it! The scarfed splice is what we call a 'shiplap'. It is designed to take motion on a continuous cycle. Your average 60-80 ft. boat cycles at about every 6 secs. I have seen the straight scarfs used but only on large timbers such as keels.

Thanks for the help! There don't seem to be a lot of wooden shipbuilders on the web. I know of a few who only use electricity for serious functions such as lighting and firing up the bandsaw.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:57 PM   #15
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Re: Splicing Handrail


The things I learn from you Teetor!
You and Tom R keep me learning.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:13 PM   #16
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Re: Splicing Handrail


I may be off base on this but couldn't you make a scarf cut and use a kreg jig/pocket screw on the bottom then plug the holes.???Seems like it would be pretty strong

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Old 12-01-2006, 06:43 PM   #17
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Re: Splicing Handrail


i'm sure it would be strong, but people dont realize how strong the glue is. it may sound crazy, but the glue is actually stronger than the wood, so if there is going to be a break, its going to be the weakest part of the wood, and since there is two different peices of wood with different grain being put together, you scarf with glue will be pretty strong.

On the other hand, Your pocket screw will not need time to cure, which is also nice.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:15 PM   #18
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Re: Splicing Handrail


For glues, you can go to quickset epoxies. I use some that set in 6 mins. and are good to go in 20.

I don't know that I could set up a Kreg jig on a handrail in that amount of time unless they make one specifically for that purpose. Then you have to cut plugs, glue, fair and, in my world, someones still going to see them.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:37 PM   #19
 
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Re: Splicing Handrail


the magnet idea is great but you need to buy the whole jig in order to do it and that cost about $700. and you can but joint a piece of rail together, just do it just like you are doing a gooseneck or any other type of over the top rail part.use a rail bolt!
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:51 PM   #20
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Re: Splicing Handrail


A quick search of 'rail bolts' looks like massive holes (1") that will need to be plugged. What about top surface alignment?

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