Editor's Review: An easier handrail connection
review date: September 1, 2007
One of the trickiest parts of installing stairway handrails is attaching the easings, volutes, and goosenecks to the straight sections. For the past 150 years or so, this connection has been made with a simple rail bolt. The Zipbolt system eliminates some of the hassle associated with the standard method. Zipbolt uses the same drilling configuration as standard rail bolts, but rather than requiring the traditional washer and nut, Zipbolt includes a small enclosed gear box with a washer and nut inside. The only hurdle is that I am accustomed to the wiggle room that traditional joinery methods allow, and the well-machined and matched Zipbolt is less forgiving in hole depth and placement. A little more care in hole placement is an easy trade-off for not having to thread and tighten that little nut every time.
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