Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm making cedar porch rails for a job to match the existing rails around the porch of the house. The existing rails are white and my rails will be stained. anyway on the beveled bottom rail I see most people put the bevel facing outward(down and away) I always thought putting reversing the rails would be better because of the bevel there is almost no way the baluster can be pushed outward and someone injured from falling through. I was arguing with a friend of mine today on which way the face the beveled bottom rail. Which is the correct orientation. Sorry if this is a totally asanine question
 

·
Talking Head
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
I need a pic to figure out what you're talking about. Balusters can go on the inside or on the outside depending on the aesthetics of the rail. Either way, they should be installed in such a way that they will meet the impact requirements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry should have explained it better. I will actually be replacing the existing so I can change it if need be. The bottom rail is 2x4 upright with 15 degree bevel(for water run off) and there is a small lip at top. Around here its standard porch rail. So the balusters set on top of the rail and have 15 degree cut on bottom to match bottom rail. So when the bevel is outward facing the balusters have no impact resistance except for the nails holding them. When the bevel faces inward the bevel disallows any outward movement of the baluster. Most people face the bevel outward, but I never understood why.
 

·
Talking Head
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
How would you cut that v? 2 passes on a table saw?
You rip the "V" on the rail with two passes on the tablesaw. For rails that are installed vertically it's a piece of cake but you need to be careful for horizontal rails as you'll need to do a left rip without a lot of bearing edge left.

To rip the "v" on the balusters you can use a sled or miter gauge on the tablesaw with a stop to set depth, a sliding miter saw with a depth stop or you can clamp a bunch of balusters together(dead flat and square) and rip the angle with a tracksaw. The tracksaw trick is much easier for cutting the compound notches on the stair balusters.

You can also order all of the components prefabbed from a vintagewoodworks.com. I've had good luck with them but order a few extra balusters as some of the turning might be a bit rough on a large order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Funny this thread comes up at this time. I'm also making a pitched bottom rail and I was actually thinking of hawing a piece of the top rail on the bottom. The type is the standard fir beaded rail that's 2by4. What do you guys think of this idea? The top rail does not look like it has a 15° slope on it. Any opinions on this vs. custom? I have both capabilities.

And to the original post, I think they run the bevel to the outside because it looks better? Being an exterior element it would be designed to look its best upon approach.

Bob
 

·
Artisan Carpentry
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
How would you cut that v? 2 passes on a table saw?
I use the sliding CMS. A few practice cuts to get things dialed in. It took about 15 minutes to make the "v-cuts" in shown in the photo.

I found the "v-cut balusters" and peaked bottom rail detail in architectural drawings from 1700's Williamsburg, VA. It is a old detail and should be used more often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I use the sliding CMS. A few practice cuts to get things dialed in. It took about 15 minutes to make the "v-cuts" in shown in the photo.

I found the "v-cut balusters" and peaked bottom rail detail in architectural drawings from 1700's Williamsburg, VA. It is a old detail and should be used more often.
I'll have to try that with my Kapex, looks like a good place to use the adjustable depth stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
basswood said:
I use the sliding CMS. A few practice cuts to get things dialed in. It took about 15 minutes to make the "v-cuts" in shown in the photo.

I found the "v-cut balusters" and peaked bottom rail detail in architectural drawings from 1700's Williamsburg, VA. It is a old detail and should be used more often.
Bass,

I've also seen this in older homes. Definitely a good detail.

My question is what do you consider a minimum angle. My first thought would be 12°-15°. The standard beaded fir rail doesn't look like its beveled that much.

Bob
 

·
Artisan Carpentry
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
Bass,

I've also seen this in older homes. Definitely a good detail.

My question is what do you consider a minimum angle. My first thought would be 12°-15°. The standard beaded fir rail doesn't look like its beveled that much.

Bob
I tend to use 10-15º which is plenty for water shedding, the steeper angle helps lock the balusters in place better though.

The Williamsburg example looks like 22-1/2º. Would have to check it to be sure
 

Attachments

1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top