Joining Rails and Fittings
How not to lose your shirt installing stair rails.
Thirty years ago, in a fit consisting of equal parts hubris and innocence, I let a builder convince me to install his stair rails. I was newly self-employed and saw installing railings as an opportunity to expand my offerings, even though I knew next to nothing about them. While I lost my shirt on that job, these step-by-step instructions will help you keep yours on.
For me, one of the more intimidating parts of the installation was cutting and attaching easings, volutes, and goosenecks to straight rails. These parts are expensive, which makes cutting the correct angle even more stressful — and then you still have to fasten the fittings and rails together both invisibly and stoutly. The fittings come with instructions, but they don’t tell the whole story.
The key thing to remember is that fittings have to be cut at the point where their curves are tangent to…