Replacing broken Stair Bannister Spindles

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by twisty, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. twisty

    twisty New Member

    Due to an "accident" carrying a large item of furniture downstairs, I have broken several bannister spindles on a wooden staircase (the spindles that go from the base of the stair to the hand rail).

    In order to replace these it looks like I will need to remove the bannister rail to remove the spindles, but can see no obvious way of doing this, there are no obvious screws holding it on. The staircase is approx 18 years old and the bannister rail and spindles have been painted.

    Please could someone give me some guidence and tips to dismantle the bannister rail to effect repairs.


  2. everhopeful

    everhopeful New Member

    Leave the rail alone. The spindles are cut at the correct angle then glued and nailed into grooves about 6mm deep and as wide as the square sections at the top and bottom of each spindle. Between each spindle is a length of wood (fillet) that also is cut to an angle so as to fit exactly. This is also glued and nailed, or more correctly pinned into place. With all that glueing and pinning it's likely to be a messy business levering the broken spindles out. The important thing is not to damage the rails if you can avoid it. After that, as the Haynes motor manuals say, "Replacement is a reversal of the above".

    Wickes have a leaflet on this, I think, but you will find a Richard Burbridge leaflet at B & Q or any of the others who sell the parts. If it's 16 years old the hardest part will be matching the spindles. You may have to get them turned specially.

    Good luck.
  3. everhopeful

    everhopeful New Member

    Should have posted this on the chippies' forum really.

    Most of them, it's beneath their dignity to read posts meant for rough old builders.
  4. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    Everhopeful is right leave the banister alone.

    Remove the broken spindles, saw them in two if necessary but keep them in as good a condition as possible as you can copy the cut angles and length for the new spindles from the old ones.

    You should now have a couple of square holes in the bottom, using a chisel remove the lower fillets so that you can put the new spindle in the top hole and push it upwards and into position,pin in place and replace the fillet.

    If you get stuck best to post on the chippie forum

  5. ~StevieB~

    ~StevieB~ New Member

    when I was at building school we were doin the stairs n stuff...going through all parts of the staircase.."right Boys"..the teacher would boom " here we have the handrail, newel posts, spindles, baulistrades,runners risers....."excuse me" I butted in..." but where does the bannister come in"...oops big mistake..." A Bannister Laddie, is somethin yer maw hangs her jacket shut up and learn"...never asked much after that.

    not very helpful I know but what the hey!
  6. Becky2259

    Becky2259 New Member

    Thanks for explaining how to do this. My son broke a banister post when moving out and we had an extra one in the garage. I followed your instructions and had it fixed securely in ten minutes. I did not pin it in place but the pins that were there left a little point after I snapped them off with a needle nose pliers. It was such a tight fit that the little point was more than enough to hold it in place.

    Thanks for saving me a pile of money that I would have spent hiring someone to fix it.

    Becky in OHIO

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