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Joints on large prefinished cherry handrails10/10
Hi. I have a few questions on installing a few large long multi level cherry handrails that I will be installing.
After more research it looks like Spring Bolts may be the key for hidden connections on a handrail. I'm going to do a sample with one and see. Also may be able to dry fir part of the railing this way too.
I have used glue and plugged pocket screws ( 2 1/2" screws drilled and plugged on backside and bottom)
Festool domino has an attachment for handrails.
Regular handrail bolts and dowels are traditional and remain the preferred method. Splines, biscuits, zips, springy-bolts, clamps-nails, face screws and other "zippitydoodah's", are all doable but less than "best".
A dowel-drilling-jig or shop horizontal-bore would be helpful. Forget epoxy and concentrate on properly cut and bolted joints (epoxy is only for loose, lousy and non-clamped joints and will prove inadequate sooner rather than later).
The best handrail joints are butt-joints and the best way to avoid multiple spliced miters, is to use transitional easements. These not only look 1000% better but yield a much stronger balustrade. Sharp-mitered, horizontal handrail corners, are also nasty and unnecessary.
I suspect this 2x6 horizontal rail is for a hospital or other commercial application? If so, then the emphasis should be on the best possible installation (with no call-backs ever) The last one that I helped "fix" involved several hundred loose joints.