Front Entrance Handrail

This was a fun little project, although with the number of different steps involved it was one of those projects that was completed a little at a time.

When we first got the place, it had a little black wrought iron handrail that wasn’t in great shape.

In fact, if you were to lean on it, it would move about 8″ from side to side.

So it had to go.

This project was done toward the end of the reno, as there were other projects that were a priority that kept pushing it back.

First, I had to cut a hole in the floor to run my 2×4 below the front entrance landing and brace them from underneath.

I didn’t think that lags through the front face of the 2×4 would give me enough strength, so I opted to secure it below the floor so that I could brace the 2×4 from two different directions.

Of course, this meant doing a crazy contortionist routine in the crawl space underneath the front landing …but a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.

Underneath the floor, you can see that I had to put a brace in between the joists to catch the first 2×4 of the post so that I could brace it in one direction.

I had pre-measured my 2×4’s and cut the top angle on both of them before going underneath and installing them.

After that, I screwed the 2×4’s together and braced them in the opposite direction (again from underneath the landing), making sure that they were now plumb in both directions.

After the 2×4 post was installed, I measured to get my angles and figure out the width and length my top rail and supporting boards needed to be.

I ripped the boards to size, stained and clear coated them before ripping a pocket down the center of all 3 boards to receive the metal tree design once that was done.

When all of that was done, I drew up the timber design and had it laser cut out of steel.

From there, my wife and I used vinegar to add some rust to the steel to give it some character before clear-coating it.

When it was done, I remember thinking that it almost made it look like there was fire and smoke around the trees.

I found that to be interesting because when we were doing this project we there were wildfires in our area, there was smoke in the air and we had been placed on evacuation alert (meaning we had to be ready to pack and leave at a moments notice).

Thankfully, we were fortunate and the wildfires didn’t come much closer and we were able to finish the project and wrap the 2×4 post with some stained 1×4.