Last month, in Part One, the author explained how he installs the landing newel and assembles the rake rail and starting volute at its permanent, working height by using temporary rail stands. This month, in Part Two, he shows how he makes a customized gooseneck for the landing newel, anchors the volute newel in the bullnose tread and riser, and installs the balusters. Residential codes now call for the rake rail to be 34 inches above a line projected vertically from the tread nose, and for the landing rail to be at least 36 inches above the finish floor. If you project these two heights to their point of intersection, it will occur somewhere behind the landing newel.

In post-to-post rail systems, an elongated top square on the newel catches both rails at their different heights, but with an over-the-post system a gooseneck fitting must be used to make the transition. The pitch of a manufactured gooseneck can be adjusted to tangent, but every stair is different in regard to the height of the rail, the...

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