This is probably something rather simple, but what's the best way to connect the upper end of a raked wood handrail to a box newel - hardware? Everything I find is about the bottom-end connection.
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor R:
Is the box newel solid or hollow? I also have some ideas on how to mount them if you are interested.
Make sure the pilot hole is closer to the bottom than the top of the rail. This is so you have plenty of material (meat) between the screw head and the post so the screw won't blow out when you tighten it. After that is accomplished pre-drill your holes to accommodate whatever screw you choose to use. I find I pull the rail very tight using this method if I use a hefty screw.
The 3/8" plug in the top of the rail may trouble you but if you match it well and because it has such a small footprint, customers never seem to mind. If you want to go through the back of the post drill a 1" plug hole then a pilot a hole through the post into the rail same as through the top of the rail. Then set up to use a 5/16" x 3" lag with washers. It seems to me if I use a screw in this situation I usually strip out the head or snap the screw. A lag is better in this instance.