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Railing Jig

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  • Railing Jig

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm working on replacing my old stair railing with a new one. I used a cheap angle finder and measured it at 33 degree slant. This railing will be a different height and the rails will be spaced differently than the orignal one (to meet the updated codes).

    Here is the basic idea:

    The front post will be the largest. I will also have 2 different kinds of posts throughout the rest of the railing.

    Here are the post sizes:
    Large= 1" wide
    Medium= 3/4" wide
    Small= 1/2" wide

    Do you have any tips on how to build a jig for this project so i get some nice results?

    HH 140
    HF Mig
    40Amp Plasma Cutter

  • #2
    Build your jig on a piece of plywood using pine wood pieces to secure your metal. Draw a diagram of the stair as you want then dry fit the piece and use hot glue to secure small blocks to the base. It's cheap and it won't burn (too much) while tacking each piece. When all tacked up remove the art piece and do final welding. Yes, the wood will smolder a little bit. And you do have a fire extinguisher handy when welding don't you? If not get one. Having you shop burn or you burn is not a very good thing this time of the year. Here's your phone with little boxes which represent blocks of wood. You get the idea and when placed away from a joint nothing should burn.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Grumpy; 12-24-2008, 06:48 PM.
    The definition of courage. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through to the end no matter what." From "To Kill a Mockingbird"


    • #3
      How much railing are you building? Jigs are primarily used for either repeatability or for precision placement (i.e. bicycle frames, etc.). Given that it's a stair rail rules out precision; and if it's just a one-off job, you could just build it faster than it would take you to design a jig for a one-time fabrication.
      Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
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      • #4
        Thanks for the info!!!

        The stair railing will be 4 different sections.
        1. about 25' long
        2. about 6' long
        3. about 9' long
        4. about 9' long

        I figured if i had a jig that could do about 5+ feet at a time i could tack it in. then move the jig down to do the next section.

        Since it's for my house i want to make sure it looks nice since i'll be seeing it every day.

        Thanks again for all your help!!!
        HH 140
        HF Mig
        40Amp Plasma Cutter


        • #5
          I'm with Grumpy on this one. I often lay apiece of plywood in my trailer (because it's 4 x 8), then use my brad driver to fasten wood guides. Everything can be re-used that way. I also place weights along the piece to help keep lift under control, and just plain make the whole setup more stable.

          For your railing, I would probably jig the upper, lower, and the two end rails, then just use spacer blocks to butt against the last welded, and just walk them along

          I do mine out in the driveway, and always have "charged" hose ready, but have never needed it.
          "Good Enough Never Is"