Last Thursday I awoke in the wee hours of the morning. A trip downstairs to the bathroom was in order. I typically sit and wake up enough to safely descend the stairs, because once, several years ago, I fell down the last three stairs, thinking I was already at the bottom. For whatever reason, I did not do that on this particular Thursday morning. This time, I fell down the last 2 steps because my left foot did not make full contact and down I went. So, I finally decided it was time to do something I had been threatening to do since the LAST time I fell down the stairs. It was time to install a handrail.
I went to Lowe’s and found a nice piece of low profile oak hand rail and some brackets.
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This one was a little barfed up on the back side. When the cashier pointed it out, she asked, “Is that going to be a problem?”, to which I replied, “Not if you give me a discount.” She did give me a 10% discount, so don’t be afraid to ask even the big box store to cut you a break when a product is not perfect, but you can work with it. My sander smoothed that right out, and since it was on the underside, it doesn’t show.
Next, I measured how high I wanted the railing on my post…
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I wanted a nice little bevel on the ends, so I set my saw table to 20 degrees…
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Cut that puppy off to the correct length; remember, measure twice, cut once!
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Then, I applied an all in one stain and polyurethane to bring out the grain and protect the wood…I Buffed it between with fine steel wool, and used two coats…
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Before I installed the railing to the brackets, I predrilled the holes into the railing, as oak is VERY hard, and you won’t just drive a screw into it. I also predrilled the holes in the posts. To keep from drilling all the way through the railing, I put a piece of masking tape on the drill bit at the same length as the screw.
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Attach the brackets to the posts…
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Attach the railing to the brackets, et voila’!
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Hopefully this will help me stay on my feet. I know my sore tailbone hopes so. Now go make life DIY!

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