Newel Post

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Chris_Munday, Feb 18, 2022.

  1. Chris_Munday

    Chris_Munday Member

    Hi All,

    I have recently bought a new house and the staircase was boxed in. I've removed the plasterboard wall to open the room up and I've got some stair parts ready to install. I'm stuck on how to install the newel post on the ground floor. There has never been a newel post installed, so I can't cut it and install on top. This is the first newel post the staircase has had.

    In my view, I have two options:

    1) Cut the stringer and first step away (so the newel sits flush with the first step) with the view of bolting the newel to the concrete floor. The problem here is that the stringer will then not be sitting on the floor.

    2) Notch the newel post and the first step so the newel slots over the stringer and between the stringer and first step and then screw it to the stringer with plenty of screws. But with this, I'm worried there will be a lot of flex in the newel and if someone grabs the top and swings on it like a monkey to run up the stairs quick (kids!) it'll rip the staircase apart.... or will it be strong enough?

    below are some photos. Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

    1.jpg 2.jpg
  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Cut the string back to about an inch off the nosing on the bottom tread then house the bottom tread, riser and string into the newel post by cutting a mortise and gluing and screwing through the post into the string.
    Chris_Munday likes this.
  3. Chris_Munday

    Chris_Munday Member

    Thanks for your quick reply Jord. Thinking about it, mortising the newel in this way means the tread and the stringer will support it meaning it should flex less. Better make sure the cuts are nice and tight!

    Another question if I may lean on your kindness again.

    Should I make a cut into the stringer, paralell with the floor, so that I don't have to cut the mortise in line with the pitch of the stairs? Sorry if that doesn't make sense, I've attached a drawing of what I mean below.

  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I would say no because I can't see what it would achieve in the positive other than reducing the gluing area and screw/dowel position. You want to go into the newel by at least half its depth, to two thirds maximum.
    Chris_Munday likes this.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    As an aside, I would get a scraper on those treads to see what they come up like, paint the strings bright white then varnish or stain the treads to contrast the strings if they aren't too damaged and dented, then a runner carpet up the middle. Only my opinion.
    Chris_Munday likes this.
  6. Chris_Munday

    Chris_Munday Member

    Agreed, the more stringer, the more stable it is. Was also wondering how deep to mortise the newel and you've confirmed what I was thinking.

    Regards the treads, I'm toying with this idea but thinking of filling the dents and glossing them, with a nice carpet up the middle. Or, I might install risers and carpet the whole thing to hide the treads. Not sure yet.

    Thanks again for your help on this.
    Jord86 likes this.

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