How to Make a Wooden Handrail on Metal Rail: Part 2

Here’s the second article on building irregularly curved handrails on metallic rails.

Theses articles explain how to make a wreathed handrail in walnut that follows a pre-existing metallic rail.

Before reading you might like to read the first article here:

How to Make a Wooden Handrail on Metal Rail: Part 1

Once the basic handrail’s curved forms are made I usually adjust them onto metallic rail to make sure everything is going to plan before continuing with the gluing of the decorative veneers. Decorative veneers are expensive and take some time to glue up so it’s always good to know that the forms have not been pulled out of shape during the first stages where the original foot print was still very fragile.

This handrail will receive several layers of decorative 2mm walnut veneers to build up a sufficient thickness to accept a 10mm deep moulding.

To apply the veneers I use some special clamps made from sections cut from a square metal tube. The tube is drilled to receive a 8mm bolt that presses all the laminates together while maintaining alignment.

These clamps are mainly use when I make handrails using my twisted laminates technique. See this article for more information on these techniques:

How to build curved stairs and handrails

These clamps  also come in handy for gluing veneers on any square shaped part.

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I always have several sizes ready and I never have enough of them!

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Here’s a quick video that shows the progression of operations.

In the next article I’ll show how the face veneers are added and moulded.

I’ll also be adding all the straight and no wreathed sections to finish off the job.

Hope this has been interesting for you.

Please leave a comment to tell me what you think.

All the best

Ness

6 Comments

  • Ches Neer

    Reply Reply July 2, 2012

    Hi Ness

    Most impressed at the skills

    How much time was spent on this handrail start to finish and did you
    get rewarded the skilled rate.

    Lookin forward to see video of the moulding of handrail.

    Respect

    Ches

    • admin

      Reply Reply July 2, 2012

      Hi Ches,
      Thanks for the comment.
      There’s a lot of handrail in this job, around 30 meters, with wreaths, curves, straight sections and volute.
      the total time is around 200 hours and the job pays around 50€ per hour.
      all the best
      Ness

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply July 2, 2012

    Hi Ness

    Them small clamps look the business,might make up a few myself,what size do make them?

    • admin

      Reply Reply July 2, 2012

      Hi Patrick,
      Thanks for the comment.
      I try to make them as close to the handrail section as possible counting 10-20mm wooden packing between screw and handrail.
      they are very easy to make just take some scrap square tubing and cut slices. Then drill and tap some holes around for bolts and eventually screwing the fixed packing.
      I actually get mine made for me by a metal worker friend who had the machines for quickly cutting and drilling. He makes them out of scraps he has and doesn’t charge anything.

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply July 2, 2012

    Cool cheers that for that Ness.

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