I just made some new handrails for SKYE, and since having a “blog” incurs some responsibility to try to post something possibly useful now and again (I think), I thought a little photo essay showing how I made them might be good material for a post.

There are a bunch of other ways of making handrails, and I’m not saying this is the best way, but it worked for me.

There are several different woods which would work for handrails, but I chose teak, since I want to try the “leave the teak unfinished” approach to see how it works out over a period of time.

After marking a center line down the length of the board, I transferred all the screw and bolt positions from the old handrail to tick marks on the line. I then marked where the “loops” and “bases” were located.

Having that done, I set to drilling some holes, in this case 2-5/8 inch diameter, which was twice the gap between the bottom of the old rail and the cabin top, plus a bit for a saw kerf.

I then used a jig saw to cut out the sections between the holes, making the loops. (And being really careful to cut in the right place and not through one of the bases.)

The next step was to cut the board in half, down the center line, with a circular saw, and then run the pieces through the table saw, with the blade set to about 6 degrees to form the tapered sides of the rails. Oh, and I cut the angles for the ends as well.

I then grabbed the router and half inch round-over bit to, well, do a bunch of rounding over — the rail tops and inside all the “loops”.

All that remained was a lot of hand sanding to get rid of the saw and router marks, blend all the surfaces together and generally smooth things up.

Easy. Well, not too easy…  it took, I think, around 6 to 7 hours, and produced an insane amount of sawdust.

I’ll post another photo after I get the new handrails mounted on the cabin top.