My plan is to use a 2x4 instead of what you see there enter image description here

here is where it will go

enter image description here

Update: here is how I plan to shape the 2x4
enter image description here

  • Are you changing to a 2x4 for the stiffness? – A. I. Breveleri Sep 23 '17 at 0:57
  • Why do you want to use different hardware? – A. I. Breveleri Sep 23 '17 at 0:57
  • I just don't know what the hardware was used, I don't plan to change it. I would go with two by 4 because I think it is easier to grab and it is already finished. What you see in the picture does not look very functional to me grip wise – MiniMe Sep 23 '17 at 4:26
  • Are you going to change it to the same specie of wood? It looks like you have Ipe, a very strong, dense hardwood. Also known as Ironwood. It has another common name too that does not come to mind. Something like Brazilian Cherry. – Jack Sep 23 '17 at 4:27
  • The rail you have there now is code compliant, a 2X4 will not, but it is not like an inpector will knock on your door for a spot check... – Jack Sep 23 '17 at 4:28

Well the first thing you could try would be to get your socket wrench and take that hardware fitting apart to see how it is made. Perhaps you could take it to a hardware store and ask for a match.

If you don't want to do that then try this. First, measure the outside diameter of that metal shaft. Then buy a piece of pipe and three washers whose outside diameters all match up exactly (and are about the same as that shaft). You will also need a wood spade or auger bit of the same diameter, to make the flat-bottomed countersink holes.

The pipe should be 1/2 inch longer than the distance you want behind the railing. The ends of the pipe should be flat and perfectly squared off.

Also get a hefty lag bolt. Use the thickest that will fit through your washers. Use the longest that won't go all the way through the vertical post.

Assemble and install the hardware like this: railing installation The washers keep the metal hardware from punching into the wood. The close-fitting countersink holes keep the pipe and washers exactly lined up. The tension of the lag bolt together with the close fit of the countersink holes keeps everything from shifting or sliding around. The pressure of the washers against the hardwood contributes to the strength of the installation but most of the resistance to bending comes from the stiffness of the lag bolt.

I have used this pipe-and-washer construction to make a table and chairs. They didn't wobble.


That could be as simple as gas pipe surrounding a good sized lag bolt... If it was me, I'd counterbore the pipe about 1/2" into the post and rail to stiffen it up.

  • I don't think that the counter boring will make the whole thin solid enough – MiniMe Sep 23 '17 at 4:21
  • This is the answer what type of hardware is it. I use pipe usually scraps of conduit and lag bolts in outdoor locations or workshops to provide the required space and it is a cheap way to go. + – Ed Beal Sep 23 '17 at 18:31

It looks like your "theme" is those 1x elements - 1x6 top rail, and maybe 1x3 or 1x4 lower rails. I'd suggest you gen up a 1x3 or 1x4 hand rail, with another at a right angle to provide stiffness. (That is, create an "ell" shape, with a smooth top surface horizontally, and another board mounted vertically below one edge.) This would be a great place to use that pocket-hole jig you've been wanting to buy. ;-)

It looks like you could fasten this directly to the posts, avoiding the need for any mounting hardware other than nails, screws, or whatever you're using for the rest of the deck.


Here's a bad picture of what I meant: post, two 1x boards at right angles for the handrail.

post with handrail

  • Interesting idea with fastening this directly to the posts. I have the pocket hole jig already but I can't remember posting about it around here, was that a blind guess of yours ? :-)) I can't say I visualize what you are saying above, can you please link an example or something similar – MiniMe Sep 23 '17 at 14:01
  • The pocket hole comment was just a joke - doesn't everyone want a (new|nother) pocket hole jig? I've added a pic of the "two boards at right angles" handrail idea. – aghast Sep 23 '17 at 14:25

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