I've got 2 newels (non supporting - it's an 'L' shape ballustrade on the first floor). I have bought some new drop-in newels with a 50mm dowel on the base, so I need to cut the existing newels off and drill a 50mm hole into the newell at the correct depth. My questions are as follows:
1) Cutting and shaping the existing newels:
- what is the best way to cut these straight (they are fixed in the vertical position) - mark the right angles and use a hand saw? - or can I use a circular saw? (900mm square) When cut what is the best way to create the chamfers? - surform and sander?
2) Cutting the 50mm hole
I have a standard hand drill and 50mm circle cutter (circular steel ring with teeth type) - is this the best way to cut the 50mm hole? I'm also concerned about not getting it plum? I expect it will have a little movement but I am using a cross wedge in the bottom of the newells, ( http://www.spindlesandstairparts.co.uk/ ... utions.htm )
so once they have been put in they should be tight.
Any advice appreciated - if you can advise me of any tools I may need to buy then that would also be appreciated.
Cut off existing using a hand saw, if you want chamfers use a plane and chisel.
Try drilling a hole in the offcuts and see how well you get on - because you are drilling into end grain you will find removing the plug difficult. Try using a forstner drill bit. Have an assistant with a level with you for drilling the holes to make sure they are upright.
"Do you mean put a spirit level against the drill when drilling???" NOT against but close enough so that your helper can make sure the drill is vertical.
"Would a 32mm flat bit or auger bit be ok?" I don't think that will help you drill a 50mm hole, use a 50mm forstner bit.
When cutting the newel post down to allow for the new newel turn make sure there is enough of the "newel base" left to ensure that when the handrail is fitted you have a minimum of 900mm on the landing, measure the length of the newel turn from the round at the top (where the ball will sit) to the bottom, excluding the spigot ie the part of the newel post you will see, deduct this length from 950mm (the extra 50mm is the distance from the handrail to the underside of the ball/acorn cap) so lets say your newel turn is 750mm, the leftover for the existing square newel post that you are due to cut down needs to be 200mm, this method only works on a gallery landing which Ive assumed your talking about. Thank you.
PS. I would use a 32mm flat bit as the Auger bit will only go so deep and im assuming the spigot at the bottom of the newel turn is around 80mm long, take it easy with the flat bit though as they can jam and snap the drill out of your hand, go in slowly and keep letting it spin out to remove the excess saw dust, also choose the glue very carefully, i would recommend a polyurethane glue whish expands slightly and is fast setting, this glue is a bit more forgiving if your hole is a tad wider than the newel turn spigot, the newel turn will need clamping plumb though because it dries like rock!
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