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A Sweeping Handrail Download the Article:
A Sweeping Handrail for a Centerpiece Stair

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Introduction Introduction

Get an overview of the process of installing a new staircase railing.

Newel-Post Installation Newel-Post Installation and Tune Up

Learn how to position and secure a newel post with recessed hardware.

Installing a Guardrail Installing a Guardrail and Baluster Assembly

See how to remove an old railing and reconstruct it, reusing using existing parts when possible.

Balustrade Installation Stair Balustrade Installation, Part 1

See the correct way to locate and secure balusters for a pleasing and professional look.

Balustrade Installation, pt. 2 Stair Balustrade Installation, Part 2

Learn how to connect the top rail to the newel post and balusters.

Retrofitting a Skirt Board Retrofitting a Skirt Board

Watch carpenter Chris Whalen as he devises a creative solutin to a botched skirtbaord.

Building StairsFOR PROS BY PROS:
Building Stairs

Everything you need to know to build quality stairs

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The Inspector GameThe Inspector Game:
Clumsy Stair Trim out

Find four of the staircase's major aesthetic and safety flaws.

VIDEO: Better Staircase Framing 
A pro shares a framing method for high-performance stairs that resist cracking, shrinking, and warping

Miter AnglesVIDEO: Solving Tough Miter Angles for Staircase Baseboards
Learn how to find skirtboard to landing baseboard trim miter angles without using math

Quick Tips for Better Stair Building
Five simple techniques that greatly improve staircase construction

No-Fuss Newel PostA No-Fuss Newel Post 
A frame-and-panel box, dressed up with molding, creates an elegant anchor for a stairway

Framing Stairs with a Landing 
An L-shaped staircase is less complicated than you might think, and the framing techniques shown here will improve even the most basic set of stairs.

New Life for Old BalustersNew Life for Old Balusters
Learn how to find skirtboard to landing baseboard trim miter angles without using math

Installing Handrails Made From Stock Parts 
A full-scale drawing and some shop-built jigs can ease the assembly of expensive stair parts

Chris Whalen

Chris Whalen
Chris Whalen has spent his career working in Missoula, Mont., as a finish carpenter and project manager. When not swinging his hammer, Chris enjoys fly-fishing, rummaging for old tools, listening to his iPod, and going for a spin in his MGB. His partners in Black Mountain Company lure him back during the week to oversee construction projects and pound more nails.