The parts used for making the stands will be kicking around most workshops.

Softwood such as pine is ideal for the legs but any stable timber will suffice.

A good quality ply or any other boards material will work for the other parts, it is worth using something half decent if these stands are to last, some of my stands are over 20 years old and still going strong.

The material required:

  • A. 4 off – Ply or board material 3/4″ or 19mm thick by approx 8″ X 9″ or 225 X 200mm
  • B. 1 off – Ply or board material 3/4″ or 19mm thick by approx 16″ X 4″ or 400 X 75mm
  • C. 2 off – 1 3/4″ X 1 3/4″ X 28″ PSE or 44 X 44 X 700mm PAR
  • D. 2 off worktop bolts or other at 4″ or 100mm
  • E. 4 off worktop bolts or other at 3″ or 75mm
  • F. A handfull of screws about 1 1/2″ no 8 or 35mm X 4mm
Handrail stand Materials.
Handrail stand Materials.

Download pdf.

Material diagram available to download in either Imperial or Metric.

The base.

The base is made by fixing 3 of the ply panels together.

Firstly square 2 panels to 8″ X 8″ – 200 X 200mm

Then if using 3/4″ or 19mm material cut another panel to 8 ¾” X 8″ or 200mm X 219MM

Two of the square panels may be screwed together. one set on top off and flush with the edge of the other.

Then the third panel, which is the same size as the first two in one direction and the same size as the first two, plus the thickness of the material used, in the other direction.

This will be screwed onto the edges that mask one edge of each of the other two panels.

Handrail stand - Base assembly.
Handrail stand Base assembly.

The legs.

The legs are constructed out of ex 2″ X 2″ or 50 X 50mm.

These may be made with square stock or with One leg grooved and the other is rebated or rabbeted to each side of the leg, this option keeps the legs true and stops them from trying to lean when set for a pitched handrail.

The legs are then morticed through along the centres of the grooved and tenoned faces, allowing a bolt to pass through for clamping them together.

Bolt slots.

On the lower fixed leg, the slot will start approximately 4″ or 100mm down from the top of the leg and finish approximately 10″ or 250mm from the bottom of the leg.

This leaves some strength at the top of the leg to stop it from splitting and enough room at the bottom of the leg to allow for fixing it to the base.

On the top sliding leg, the slot will be reversed, starting approximately 10″ or 250mm Down and stopping approximately 4″ or 250mm up from the bottom, this is to allow for the adjustable pitch mounting plate that the handrail will be clamped to, to rotate.

The slot will be a clearance slot for the bolts to be used, this will allow the legs to slide easily without binding on the bolts.

I normally use a ¼” or 6mm bolt.

The top of the sliding leg should be rounded off to allow for the handrail mounting plate to rotate.

Handrail stand -  legs.
Handrail stand – legs.
Leg drawings with dims.
Leg drawings with dims.

Fitting the legs to the base.

First, you will need to drill two holes in the lower solid part of the legs, these are drilled to take the bolts you are going to use and can be fairly snug to minimise any movement but still allow for the bolts to be withdrawn when turning the legs for left or right handed stairs.

The bottom hole is best suited about 2″ or 50mm up from the bottom of the leg, the second is best around 6″ or 150mm up from the bottom of the leg.

These stands can be folded down for transport or to store when not in use, so it is worth making a jig to drill these holes, this will allow any leg to be fitted to any base.

Adjustable pitch plate.

The adjustable pitch plate is made from one of the ply squares, It has a bolt hole drilled through to mount it to the top of the sliding leg.

Using the same centre as the bolt hole, a radiused slot is machined out to allow for a second bolt to be drilled through the leg, this bolt will allow you to lock the angle in place, this is especially useful when working on short flights of stairs where it is not possible to set up two stands to support the handrail.

Still to come.

Assembling the stands.

Once these are done I am working on a page on how to set up and use the stands.