Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

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Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:41 pm

OK...here's the thing.

I've looked on the internet. There's some stuff there, some good stuff but as one comment said "OK..very helpful...now please can you tell us how to draw the remaining 99%"

I've looked at diCristina's "Simplified guide to ...tangent handrailing" until my eyes have bled and I'm still no further forward.

I now know that if you have defined the end, in three dimensions, of two handrails on a flight of stairs where they turn through 90 or 180 degrees between the two flights and the slope of the two flights then you're sorted and out pops a set of face mould drawings etc.

But ...

Image

Can anyone help please ? For beer money, real money, undying gratitude ?

TIA
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by jfc » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:07 am

Joinery and Carpentry volume 3 covers stairs and handrails .

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:33 pm

Thanks Jas. I've found a good website that actually tells you how to do it.

https://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2011/11 ... -handrail/
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:37 pm

Sorted ! I can now draw tangent handrailing.

Image
And the dots joined up by hand gives me the exact face mould outline I need and thus the size of timber needed if I'm to do it in one piece (probably not)

Image

And this gives me the cross-sectional profile required to cater for the twist

Image
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:07 am

Roger what is the drawing in front of your feet of? It looks large if it is of the bottom wreath.


Image

This is how I drew the wreath. NB note how the pitch line is used.
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Wreath.jpg

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:15 pm

Hi Mark

Sorry for the confusion. It's the quarter-turn.

I'm seeing a question mark in your post. Did you post two images ?

Cheers
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:31 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:15 pm
Hi Mark

Sorry for the confusion. It's the quarter-turn.

I'm seeing a question mark in your post. Did you post two images ?

Cheers
Only one image Roger.

I'm quite busy at the moment but I'll give a bit more input soon if that's ok with you. Supply some links which might be helpful etc.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:36 pm

Oh yes, please, Mark. Always willing to listen to you as you clearly know what you're talking about.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Oldboy22 » Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:03 pm

Hi newbie here I have a little experience in tangent hand railing
I have done a tangent handrail job about 15 years ago, always found it interesting, if I can help I will. Your drawing looks on the right track . A quarter turn equal pitch wreath, will need a twist both ends( that’s not clear to me) when you make a template for the wreath it has no resemblance to the finished wreath, so holding it in position won’t look even close.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:52 pm

Many thanks for your offer of help. Thing is that I now realise that the tangent handrail drawing won't work in my case because the two tangents are on different planes due to the way the staircase was made.

Welcome to the forum, by the way. Why not tell us a bit about yourself, post up some photos of things you've done etc.?
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:44 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:52 pm
Thing is that I now realise that the tangent handrail drawing won't work in my case because the two tangents are on different planes due to the way the staircase was made.

Who told you this Rodger?

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:49 pm

The two tangents have to eventually meet, don't they?
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:50 pm

Does this help, Mark ? I've extended the handrails

Image
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:55 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:50 pm
Does this help, Mark ? I've extended the handrails

Image
Take a look at the below video Roger he has some very interesting techniques that I hope will offer some encouraging light on how to solve difficult transitions in stairs. They may be easier to use in your stair layout at the quarter turn than the tangent system. I'll try to find some very helpful videos for laying out the volute which helped me quite a lot. I'll should have a bit of time at the weekend to dig them out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRUOcNwWpLI

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:37 am

Hi Mark and thank you for your continued interest and suggestions. There is a parallel strand here that you might be interested in. The early posts mirror the ones in my other thread over here but as others chipped in the content has diverged. I did another drawing yesterday and with a trial fit using my Flexicurve ...well, let's just say I'm quietly optimistic.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:41 am

Just wondering where the cut line is ? Blue or red line ? I think blue. Maybe !
cut line handrail end.png
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:23 am

Hi Roger now taking a look at your link to the other place, seems you have had a lot of discussion over there.

Is there any possibility you can provide a plan drawing (sketch will do with accurate dims) of the dimensions about the quarter turn, noting the riser positions about the turn (but not nosing to nosing positions). Also the rise of the treads would be helpful please.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:40 am

Hi Mark

Will do. I'll get straight on it. When I offered up the blank prior to moulding it (my first effort ever) I spent the best part of the day trying to work out the best way with minimal hand tool use. And, close of play last night, was reasonably optimistic that come this morning when I offered it up, it would be smiles all round.

It wasn't. :(

Image
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:21 pm

Hi Mark

Will these suffice ? Curious to know why the risers are critical? What have you got in mind ?
quarter-turn dimensions  1.jpg
quarter-turn dimensions .jpg
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:35 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:21 pm
Hi Mark

Will these suffice ? Curious to know why the risers are critical? What have you got in mind ?

quarter-turn dimensions 1.jpg
quarter-turn dimensions .jpg
The Rise and the Going at the turn is critical. It is what your handrail will eventually rest on and is used to produce the wreath.

I'll take a look later at the dims to see if I can decipher the lines.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:01 pm

The pitch of both stringers is 29.9 degrees if that helps.

I also had a look at the 'flexible' method you linked to in that YouTube video. I had come across it before and came to the conclusion that it needed a firm base that followed the handrail line to provide support while the polyurethane glue they squirt into the hollows went off.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:07 pm

The centre line of the string would be the centre line of the handrail.

It would help to know.

1. The distance from the centre line of the lower string to the face of the first tread on the upper flight.

2. The distance from the centre line of the upper string to the face of the top tread and second to top tread of the lower flight.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:37 pm

Being a bit thick here, Mark. When you say 'face of the first tread'...do you mean the face of the riser ?
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:22 pm

Assuming that my assumptions are correct then the figures are

1) 77mm

2) 21mm
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:32 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:22 pm
Assuming that my assumptions are correct then the figures are

1) 77mm

2) 21mm
Yes "SORRY", I did mean to say Face of riser Roger.

Based on your pictures and dimensions, on the pictures I'm going to calculate that at least one measurement is out unless it's an optical illusion.

37mm (string) + 90mm (Newel) = 127mm (TOTAL)

It look like the top nosing on the bottom flight is half way onto the Newel.

So

127 / 2 = 63.5

63.5 - 20mm (20mm is the average nosing overhang) = 43.5mm

You gave a figure of 21mm, are you sure that is correct?

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:47 pm

TBH Roger if the need is that you alter the height of one handrail "slightly" more or less than the other to align the wreath then it will not impact significantly so long as it is not noticeable and it looks right.

The transition height about the handrail on quarter winding stairs in modern housing is never consistent.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:38 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:41 am
Just wondering where the cut line is ? Blue or red line ? I think blue. Maybe !

cut line handrail end.png
The butt joint between the sections of the handrail and wreath are made square to the inclined tangent lines.

"Square them off from your tangent lines".

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:34 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:32 pm
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:22 pm
Assuming that my assumptions are correct then the figures are

1) 77mm

2) 21mm
Yes "SORRY", I did mean to say Face of riser Roger.

Based on your pictures and dimensions, on the pictures I'm going to calculate that at least one measurement is out unless it's an optical illusion.

37mm (string) + 90mm (Newel) = 127mm (TOTAL)

It look like the top nosing on the bottom flight is half way onto the Newel.

So

127 / 2 = 63.5

63.5 - 20mm (20mm is the average nosing overhang) = 43.5mm

You gave a figure of 21mm, are you sure that is correct?
Redrawn and re-measured. The nosing of the top step is pretty much in the middle of the newel.
stair measurements.jpg
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:49 pm

Hi Roger is your Rise 150mm and Going 260mm

Reason I ask is you said your pitch is 29.9 Deg

Tan 29.9 Deg x 260 (Going in mm) = 149.5mm Rise.

Or

Tan 29.9 Deg x 270 (Going) = 155.3mm Rise.

The Rise is top of tread to top of tread.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:06 pm

I see where you're coming from, Mark. Since the builder that rebuilt this place in 1978 had only a passing acquaintance with a spirit level, why on earth do you think that the risers will be consistent ! Or the goings. I know that the bottom tread of the upper flight is not the same as the others. Will check.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:14 pm

155mm apart from bottom tread on the upper flight. Here it is 150mm.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:30 am

I've looked on the other site and see you have progressed a little more than on here Roger.

You might find it easier to work the wreath if you raise each string above your newel post. Use 2" x 5" or similar and place (fix) it centrally on top of each string so your wreath has something solid to rest upon. It's essentially the same as suspending it in mid air as you are currently doing but gives a more substantial base to view your workings. You can also use it to hold your wreath for cutting the butt joint.

You can use the 2" as a reference to square your cuts on the wreath ensuring the correct but joint to the handrail on each flight.

I think you will find the volute easier to understand as the wreath at the volute is easier to manage having only one plane. If you have not already found them there are some excellent links that walk you through the process and are very easy to follow, unlike what you are now attempting.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:36 am

Below is a link to This IS Carpentry, the article in the link shows in easy steps how to construct a volute with wreath. If you watch the videos in the article you will find links to other videos in the series.

https://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2009/07 ... -a-volute/

Good luck Roger.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:18 pm

Thanks, Mark, for both emails. This IS Carpentry is my go-to ! Great site.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:16 pm

Hi again Roger I see on the other site that mention was made about unequal pitches. The reference does not refer to the actual pitch of each stringer that stands alone but more the pitch around the quarter turn. The turn is unequal giving an unequal pitch around the turn.

I notice you have been following the method set out in "This IS Carpentry" which illustrates a wreath of equal pitch "This example features a 90 degree turning handrail wreath, with equal pitches."

There is a slight difference in how to set out wreathes with unequal pitches and if not followed will give the wrong incline to the Tangents and thus the wrong ellipse will be produced for the face mould.

The wreath for the volute is much simpler to construct and understand and if it was me I'd try that one first then move back on to the quarter turn.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:32 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:16 pm
....
There is a slight difference in how to set out wreathes with unequal pitches and if not followed will give the wrong incline to the Tangents and thus the wrong ellipse will be produced for the face mould.
Do you now of any explanations on t'web on how to do this ?
Meccarroll wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:16 pm
The wreath for the volute is much simpler to construct and understand and if it was me I'd try that one first then move back on to the quarter turn.
I might well do that.

One thing that has been exercising my brain is how you keep all the spindles in place when you actually start to assemble it. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to fit some plywood vertically from the outside of the stringer to support them.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:12 pm

There are loads in books that explain the subject Roger and I have read some articles on the web too but not sure where to find them at the moment as it's been a while since I last studied the subject (work is swallowing my spare time at the moment too). The key part is finding an article that covers a similar situation to yours because there are a few slight differences to use when you set out using the Tangent System when encountering slightly different inclines.

When you think about it the specialist company that quoted you were really only going to do the easy bit with a wreath (The Volute) and use standard sections around the quarter turn. I think you should be able to out do them don't you!

You should find the volute easy in comparison, just follow
the linked article in This IS Carpentry and you can't go to far wrong :?...............

.............. Only kidding it's really a lot easier than what you are trying to do at the moment. ;)

Maybe try this Figure 95 and 98 : https://www.gutenberg.org/files/61150/6 ... 1150-h.htm have the book and find it can be very helpful in understanding why you use slightly different methods for different Tangent layouts.

I doubt this will help you with the quarter turn but it's a very interesting article to follow and is relatively short. Might give you some ideas about your own project.
http://www.customhandrails.com/the-proc ... ree-wreath

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Meccarroll » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:25 pm

Also take look at plate 14 in this link:

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/ ... frontcover

I have the book but have not used it much as yet. You can buy it as a re-production but it's scanned so not brilliant to read in paperback.

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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by thatsnotafestool » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:30 am

Thanks Mark. Will have a look.

However until I can get the specific gouges I need (Pfeil seem to have gone on strike with 'Out of stock' across the board everywhere I try...are they still trading, I wonder ?), the project is stopped.
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Re: Making a set of tangent handrail drawings

Post by Oldboy22 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:19 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:52 pm
Many thanks for your offer of help. Thing is that I now realise that the tangent handrail drawing won't work in my case because the two tangents are on different planes due to the way the staircase was made.

I joined the forum to get involved so if you will forgive me I’m going pipe up again. I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toe or upset anyone, so I’m posting a mostly finished drawing of how it could be done, on my “old project” post. Then you could choose to look or not.

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