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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/notched 6.5" square newel


I have a 6.5" square newel in solid cherry that requires notching to house around risers and treads (it will sit at landing--midpoint of stairs).  In view of this being a solid piece, can you recommend a procedure to perform the notching?

When notching large newel posts, I always used a 12" power miter box to cut what I can and then finish it with a chisel.  Some carpenters I've seen made use of the same with a table saw or a skill saw.  I think it depends on which one you are comfortable with.

WMCoffman has an online .pdf file for installing newels and touches upon notching newel with photos which may be a big help.  The link is:

Hope that helps!

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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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