tutorial: curved stair railings

This weekend we did some more work on our stairs. They are still VERY far from being complete, but we made some progress. That’s just how things go around here with so many projects! Do a little on one project this weekend, work some more on another one the next weekend. That’s the best we can do.

Here you can refer to earlier stair projects.

This weekend we put the railing for the stairwell that connects the living room to the basement. It’s a very curvy stairwell, so this was super helpful.

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DIY curved stair railing
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Hand railing  – we will sand the bump you see on the railing and fill the drill holes so it’s perfectly smooth
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Close-up of end-work and filled holes – we will lacquer these eventually
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DIY curved stair railings

The concept for the curved railing is more simple that you think it would be.

  • Rip several pieces of plywood in the desired handrail width
  • Rip 2 pieces of the same width with finish-grade plywood for the outsides (the part that touches hands) – this saves a bit of money not having all of the wood finish-grade
  • Slap the strips together with wood glue
  • Then bend and clamp the railing strips to the vertical steel supports to dry – this allows the railing to dry to the exact curve of the stair

We didn’t take photos of processing the railing in the above photos. But below I posted old photos of how we did the landing curved railing. You can see how we did this step-by-step.

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Start by bending one strip of plywood, then glue several more strips to it
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Clamp the glued strips of plywood in place so that they dry to the shape of the curve
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Glued plywood strips drying in place
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Drill holes for rods
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Drill holes for rods
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Start putting in metal rods
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One railing complete

 

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