Home>Discussions>NEW DIY IDEAS>Remodels & Upgrades>Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"
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jabifa
Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"

I would like to adapt stair railing in older home (1950?) so that it can be removed and reinstalled without too much effort, so that larger pieces of furniture can fit up the stairs? Is there a way? Much appreciation to all who respond.

ed21
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"

Hard to say how easy it will be without seeing the installation.
I have used metal sleeves in a commercial building to create removable rail sections at a mezzanine so equipment could be hoisted up. This also included a jib crane and a winch to move stuff. The rail sections were small enough to be lifted out of the sleeves by hand.

jkirk
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"

it can be done but it wont look very good

all the fasteners will have to be bolts and screws plus be accessible, meaning nothing countersunk and plugged

jabifa
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"
ed21 wrote:

Hard to say how easy it will be without seeing the installation.
I have used metal sleeves in a commercial building to create removable rail sections at a mezzanine so equipment could be hoisted up. This also included a jib crane and a winch to move stuff. The rail sections were small enough to be lifted out of the sleeves by hand.

thanks so much for the feedback! Since this is in an older home I would want to stay with wood. I was hoping that as long as the top and bottom could be made to be securely "re-attached-able"(not sure by what method) that perhaps the spindles could be held in place by being sandwiched between the top railing and the stair tread without being either glued or nailed. It's a short run, about 6 steps, with a newel post at the bottom and goes into the wall at the top. Thanks again for your suggestion.

jabifa
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"
jkirk wrote:

it can be done but it wont look very good

all the fasteners will have to be bolts and screws plus be accessible, meaning nothing countersunk and plugged

Guess that's what I was afraid of...just hoped someone might have a clever solution. Thanks for the observation.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"

I made a 3' long section of rail removable once for a landing, so furniture did not have to make the 180 degree turn. I routed keyhole slots into the end grain of the top and bottom rails (it was configured like piazza/porch railing) so the rails dropped down onto bolt heads emerging from the newel posts. The top rail/newel joint also had 90 degree ell brackets to screw into the rail from beneath, so it couldn't be lifted off unintentionally. The newel leg of the ell bracket was oriented upward so it was hidden by the rail, the only visible piece of metal was under.
There are a lot of variations on this slide upward to free the railing idea, if you have metal skills you can make some custom brackets that wedge onto the bolt head to make it as strong as a normal railing when driven tight, which would be crucial for longer runs of rail.
S_M

ed21
Re: Is there safe way to make stair railing "removeable"

Not that I've done it or seen it done, but the keyhole slots sounds like a workable idea. Over the weekend I was wondering if an idea like that would work, but didn't get online until today to see Sombreuil_mongrel post. Good job.

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