handrail mounts against each newel at a matching elevation from the stairs. When you’re satisfied with final placement of a newel, apply con- struction adhesive to the wooden mounting block and fasten it with four washer-head screws down into the floor framing. Fill any hol- low voids at the newel base with solid blocking and nail or glue into place. For final assembly, apply adhesive at all points of contact between the mounting block, the
filler blocking, and the interior of the newel. The newels are then anchored into the blocking or floor/stair framing using two 1/2- in. lag screws through the front of the base. For a belt-and-sus- penders approach, drive finish
nails through the sides of the newel into the blocking.
SPACING Before you ever order your stair parts, you’ll need to have deter- mined the maximum baluster spacing and how many balusters are required per tread. The first baluster of each tread should be 1/2 baluster square back from the face of the riser. Divide the run of the tread (distance from riser to riser) by the required number of balusters per tread to find the center-to-center distance for the other balusters. For example, if the run is 10 inches and the maximum spacing required by code is 4 inches; 10 divided by 4 equals 2-1/2 spaces required per tread. Round this up to 3 spaces. Thus, 3 balusters per tread are required. A 10-in. run divided by 3 balusters equals 3.333 in. (3-11/32 in.) center-to-center.
The newel is anchored over the blocking with a couple of countersunk lag screws. The landing newel will connect the stair rail to the upper guard rail.
Position both newels to ensure a consistent rail height over all the stair treads. The newels should align so the rail connects at the centerline of each post.
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