Many Tries at a Railing

We had visitors overnight and during the day today, so I didn't think we'd get much done, but Noel had other ideas. Possibly because he didn't partake of the pitcher of Mai Tais last night.

It was a nice and sunny day, and he pulled out the deck railings and started putting things together. He started by installing the upper brackets, because we had this idea that we could cut and re-weld the bottom of the railing to fit the stairs.

Installing the upper bracket

Note Mr Kitty also enjoying the sunny day in his favourite window.

A wooden template for the rail

When Noel had the brackets in place, he made a wooden template to fit the railing to. This was because the railing just didn't fit into the spot it needed to go in -- which we knew, of course -- and we needed to figure out the right geometry somehow.

Jenifer helps Noel draw the line

One of our visitors, Jenifer, even got in on the action, helping Noel draw the profile of the railing on the template.

Fiddling with the railing

Then we spent some time messing with our piece of railing and the template. Our original idea to just cut the bottom off and weld a new piece on would not work, because the bottom rail was a lot lower than we expected.

The right angle

Noel came up with the idea of slicing through the balusters and just changing the angle of the bottom rail.

Accumulated error

Only. OK, that did not work. If you change the angle of the bottom rail, but leave all the balusters attached where they are -- and they are attached with a special pin system that makes them pretty much impossible to move without making a big mess -- the balusters no longer line up.

Time to re-think. We threw some ideas around and all of them sounded like a huge amount of work. Then I suggested we go buy the shorter railing available from the lumber yard, and try welding something on the bottom of it. They were still open and had the piece in stock, so that was actually possible.

Smaller railing

Noel held it in place and it works, though of course there's way too much open space at the bottom to meet code.

Railings installed

And here they are installed. We'll probably just add some wooden or metal infill panels of some sort on the stairs to reduce the size of those openings -- Noel suggested some cutouts of lounging animals, because apparently we don't have enough of the real thing around.

Now if only it would stop raining for long enough for us to sand and re-seal the deck.

posted by ayse on 03/02/13

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