Drawing the individual tangent handrail components.

Here we will guide you through some of the traditional ways of setting out and drawing the components,

This may have been either by using the tangent handrail method or creating rods and setting formers over the rods and transferring the rise and goings up through the former.

For the traditional Joiner/Carpenter in the workshop, using the tangent handrail method of making these components, would have required drawing these component parts out onto sheet material, using trammel rods and “T” squares etc.

Using modern cad programmes makes it much easier to draw the geometry and to correct any lines that may have been drawn incorrectly, to correct lines on a rod would normally involve using a chisel or cabinet scraper to scratch off the incorrect line.

The different lines may be depicted in different colours and their layers to be turned on and off as required.

Cad drawing may also allow you to get a much smoother spiral or helix the basic principles will help you with your proportions.

Creating the face molds and bevels for the turns allows the block material to be marked for cutting.

Monkey’s tail geometry.

View different styles and designs of Monkey’s tail and see how to draw the various designs to a scale that suits the staircase and the handrail profile size.

Instructions on how to draw this geometry.

As we get time we will be adding some pre drawn examples of these that you can download and drop straight into your cad drawings.

A sample of what’s to come.

Monkey's tail Geometry
How dividing the space for the Monkey’s tail will open or close the turns.

90º Turns – Right angle.

The components in this section turn through 90º at a constant radius, two of these parts may be used to create 180º turns.

These examples may be from a pitch leading into and out of the 90º turn.

Pitch leading in, horizontal leading out, etc.

Pitch to flat turn
Pitch to flat turn

pitch in the same as pitch out.

Lower Pitch in: 42º

Upper Pitch out: 42º

Turn Radius:


Shallow pitch in – flight pitch out.

90º turn between Joints B and C.

Lower Pitch in: 10.4º

Upper Pitch out: 41.2º

Turn Radius: 88.5mm

This is the upper half of a 180º turn that has a soft pitch through the apex of the turn.

Drawing the face mold for half a 180º turn.
Mold dims and elevations

Pitch – horizontal.

Horizontal in:

Pitch out:

A look at the 90º bend that comes to level.

The positions in which it is used.

Acute turns.

Shallow in / steep out.

Pitch in:

Pitch out:

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