Hidden handrail connection
I recently needed to fasten a handrail to a wall and didn’t have room for a rosette to secure the handrail because of the minimal clearance to the outside corner. So I devised an invisible bolted connection through the rail into the wall framing. As shown in the drawing, the lag bolt is hidden beneath a wedge-shaped cap taken off the top of the handrail.
The first step is to make the plumb cut on the end of the handrail (1). But don’t cut the handrail to length yet. Now rotate the miter saw’s table to make about a 70° cut, and take off the wedge-shaped cap that will cover the lag bolt (2). Now tape the cap back onto the handrail so that it comes flush with the radiused top of the rail. Notice that it’s a little short. That’s because of the material removed by the sawblade. Recut the end of the rail so that the cap and the rail end in a flush plumb cut.
Next, drill the necessary holes to receive a lag bolt and washer, and the shank hole (3). Cut the handrail to length, run home the bolt, and glue the cap in place (4). Sanded and stained, the cap seam is nearly invisible.
Walter D. Colton, Wellsboro, PA