Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/compound miter


350 series handrail
350 series handrail  
I have a job where I need to install handrail on a porch and then down a set of stairs using the top rail in the attached image. the angle of the handrail where it turns to go down the stairs is not quite a full 90 turn, but more like 57 degrees. the stairs are std 32.5 pitch. Can a compound be cut in this material the make this trans? Or will I have to level out first, then make the 57 turn? What are your thoughts? Thanks for your help, BP.

It would be impossible to make a compound transition with this handrail unless the manufacturer provided a lever 135-degree fitting.  I've installed a lot of full round and oval handrails where fittings were not available and found that it is best to miter the handrail into a level position, cut the 25-degree transition, and move on.  With wood handrails, over the last 25 years, they've begun making the "135-degree" fittings for these circumstances, but they still require leveling the handrail, inserting the fitting, and continuing the handrail.

Probably the answer you are not looking for, but you'll have to level out first.

Thank you for asking!

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Joseph G. Swallow


I can answer all staircase balustrade questions where handrails, newels posts, balusters (wood and metal), and stair treads are concerned. I cannot help with cabinetry and floor (outside of stair-related treads and risers), as well as stain and finish issues unless staircase related.


30 years in the stair industry. Founder of Hardwood Creations in Southern California and CEO of Westfire Manufacturing, Inc. I was a stair builder for 10 years, both in custom and production housing. Have estimated over 750,000 single family homes and provided materials to lumber yards and builders for 12 years. Was an expert witness in several staircase related law suits in Southern California. Stair codes, installation help, stair handrail and balustrade installation are what I know best.

NAHB of Portland, OR. Was a member of ICBO for 9 years.

Cal State Fullerton, Cypress College

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