Bending Handrail Install Guide
Bending handrail is a term used to describe handrail that comes in multiple layers and is used to make a curve for spiral stairs and curved balconies. The handrail is made out of wood, usually comes in 7 to 10 slices and has an outer molding to protect it from the C-Clamps.
The process of bending handrail should only be attempted by a professional. The average DIY weekend warrior should not attempt this. The cost of bending handrail is too high to afford any mistakes. The average cost of a Red Oak bending handrail is $10 for the most basic models and can easily get up to $50 when you are looking into exotic wood species such as mahogany or walnut.
Tools Needed for Bending Handrail
- C-Clamps – A lot of them, about 1 per foot
- Wood Wedges – For lining up the handrail
- Wood Guide Blocks – Made out of plywood and 2x4s
- Wood Glue
- Paint Roller
- Hammer with no textured end – This is to prevent indention into the rail.
Skills Needed for Bending Handrail
- Advanced Measuring
- Extreme Precision and Patience
How to Bend Wooden Handrail
Step 1 -Prepare the guide blocks. These can be made out of lumber.
Step 2 – Nail the guide blocks along the handrail path. These guide blocks are used to hold the bending handrail on the correct path and curve.
Step 3 -Prepare the handrail by taking your wood glue and a small paint roller and roll a thin coat of glue between each layer. Do not glue the molding layer to the handrail!
Step 4 – Lay the handrail into place within the guide blocks. Make sure the outer layer molding is installed. The outer molding layer protects the handrail while you clamp it into place.
Step 5 – Use shims to pack the handrail into place. Lightly tap the handrail where needed to help align the layers. Use a hammer with no texture so it does not dent the wood.
Step 6 – Use C-Clamps to hold the handrail into place between the guide blocks.
Step 7 – After it is clamped into place, let it dry for 24 hours. After it has dried, measure where you need to cut it for your newel posts.
Finishing Steps – Sand off any excess glue and then stain.