Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
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Susanm220
Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Susanm220

We moved into our house, built in 1920, this past July. The main newel post at the bottom of the stairs has multilple parts: an octagonal base, a round center portion, then the top (attached to the banister) with a cap. When I take off the cap I see a gear type thing and a square metal part. The center part moves/rotates when touched, the banister shifts sided to side and some of the spindles have started to fall out. The stair goes up all three floors.

Any idea of how to re-secure and tighten the post and banister?

Thank you.

Jack
Re: Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Jack

The "gear type thing" is a nut that tightens the hand rail to the newel post and can be turned with a screw driver or small pry bar. The square piece is not clear but I would imagine is the end of a bolt tightening the newel post to the floor.

Jack

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Sombreuil_mongrel

BTW, your "1920" house has an 1870's staircase.
The square is the top of a bolt, follow it to find the nut. The serrated nut can be driven tighter with a screwdriver blade.
Casey

Susanm220
Re: Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Susanm220

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I went into the basement and found the bottom of the nut, it is another square bolt with a round washer on a threaded bar. We'll try tightening from there.

Is this an 1870's style staircase? Or are we perhaps misinformed about the age of the house? The paperwork from the sale all says 1920. Curious.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Mastercarpentry

I can't comment about the exact age, but in a lot of places back in the old days, there was one guy or company who did staircases and similar work only- the local builders all used them because he was the only game in town and they couldn't do any better themselves. Unlike today the movement of people and information was slower and more restricted so that '[email protected]" would use older techniques for not knowing any different. Thus it might not be so unusual to see 1870 in a 1920 house, or perhaps the homeowner wanted that type of stair design and the stair builder simply copied the one which the design was to follow in detail. Rare is the old house where there are no mysteries and that's part of their intrigue and attraction.

Phil

Susanm220
Re: Loose, Multi-part Newel post and banister, 1920's house
Susanm220

Thanks Phil, this is very interesting.
I tightened the nut in the basement and the newel post is much better.

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