The main structural purpose of handrails is protection of the individual from the risk of injury. Every staircase with more than three steps must be equipped with safety elements, the most reliable of which are welded metal railings and fundamental wooden handrails. There are strict requirements for the total height of railing (900-1900 mm) and its ability to withstand a load of 100 kg per 1 running meter. Railings must be properly mounted and fit perfectly into the interior. Manufacture of handrails and railings with your hands is a difficult task, but this article will help you answer the question of how to build the stair railings and what materials to use.
Variety of materials for manufacturing the handrails
A number of practical and durable materials is used for manufacturing the stair railings:
- Glass. You can use transparent, darkened, matt, mosaic, stained, thick and tempered glass (triplex). The most common constructions have racks and handrails from chrome or nickel-plated metal, to which the glass sheets are attached (you can see them in the photo below).
- Wood. Choose hard woods: beech, oak, ash or larch. They have a high rate of aesthetics and ecological safety. Such constructions are durable, reliable and practical.
- Metal. Stair handrails can be made of iron, aluminum, fine-grained cast iron and different brands of steel, which may undergo electroplating or art forging. Metal railings can be stamped, molded, forged, prefabricated, combined and welded.
- Plastic. This material is becoming increasingly popular for manufacturing the elements of stair railings due to their low price and ease of processing, which allows you to give it any shape (as in the photo).
Looking for the new ideas, designers and architects are increasingly applying the mix of different materials, combining metal with plastic, nickel-plated metal – with glass, and art forging – with wooden elements. Such solutions add uniqueness and special charm to the interior.
Field of application and operational characteristic of handrails
Depending on the effect of aggressive factors of the natural environment, the railings can be divided into two groups:
- For indoor use in a comfortable microclimate.
- For outdoor use, where they will be affected by sun, snow, rain and frost.
In the cottage, multi-level apartment or office, the choice of railing elements is determined only by the aesthetic component and customer’s imagination. When deciding to build an auxiliary structure at the entrance of the house, you should not only think about how to make the handrails for the porch with your own hands, but also implement a number of the recommendations on the choice of materials and their additional treatment.
Constructions from any metal are suitable for indoor use. However, it is better to use welded steel models or iron handrails with the linings made of processed wood.
Benefits of steel constructions
Recently, steel chromed railings in “hi-tech” style, made of iron alloy with added nitrogen, nickel and 10% chrome, have become widespread (in the photo below). Such production technology allows you to exclude the possibility of corrosion and give a noble shine to the handrails. The structure is installed in a construction manner; it is easy to make with your own hands. However, this procedure is pretty hard and requires the use of drilling and cutting electric tools and numerous fasteners.
At first, you should install the vertical mounts, and then attach the horizontal handrails to them. Unfortunately, small details aren’t particularly strong. They can deform under the load, while in public places they are often subjected to the acts of vandalism.
Other criteria of durability and fundamentality are welded railings and handrails (pictured right), whose benefits are:
- Variety of forms and possibility of creating a unique design.
- High safety factor and ability to withstand heavy loads.
- Accessible price.
- Durability. Speaking of operation period, it may reach 50 years (but that’s not the limit).
- Short period of construction and quick installation.
- Easy care and minimum cost to keep the handrails new.
Such type of handrails is used in the places that require maximum security and reliability of structures: stairs in the educational and medical institutions, fire escapes, wide stairwells in the multi-story and private houses, stairs in the high industrial premises and handrails for the porch. On the example of compact railings, providing support at the building entrance, you can figure out how the welded handrails are created and how to perform the works on your own.
If you can’t perform any stage on your own, you should see the welding specialist.
Manufacture of welded railings and handrails for the porch with your own hands
The whole process of creation of the welded constructions for the porch can divided into the following stages:
- Determining the scale of construction. It is made by measuring the porch at the place of installation of the welded handrails and railings with construction roulette.
- Creation of sketch with graphic symbols of the real sizes, received at the first stage. Idea of handrail design must be not only original but also quite concise so that you can realize it (picture from our collection is on the right).
- Choice of material and calculation of the necessary amount. You can make the welded railings on your own from steel or ferrous metal. Buy the material in the form of pipes, rods or corners.
- Cutting the elements of construction of the necessary size by means of electric tools.
- If necessary, you may create the non-standard rounded elements of decoration, using the cold bending technology.
- Assembly of structure with the use of welding machine. You must do the work slowly trying to weld the neat seams. It is necessary to make the pre-fitting of construction to the place of installation on the porch.
- Careful polishing of all welding seams and application of primer to the surface of the railing, painting.
- Installation and fastening of handrails on the porch.
- Installation wooden handrail (pre-painted or varnished) for external works (picture below).
The manufacture of welded handrails and railings with your hands is based on the working methods of the company executing similar orders. However, it may vary depending on the circumstances.
High-quality welded metal handrails combined with wooden and forged elements of decoration can be easily called artworks. Moreover, they are very strong and durable.
Share with us your ideas and comments about the manufacture of welded handrails, railings for the porch or any other types of handrails. By so doing, you will help the new users of the resource to expand their horizons and understand this issue.