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I have stair handrails held on by brackets like the one in the image. The bend in the loop piece has a larger diameter than the diameter of the post on the bracket that it loops around. Also the post on the bracket sticks out a bit longer than the loop. These two things lead to a little bit of play back and forth in the directions indicated by the arrows. So the handrail can wobble back and forth about a quarter inch or so.

Looking around online for a solution it seems most everything is just assuming there are screw(s) loose somewhere that need to be tightened.

I've double checked every screw on both the wall bracket side, and the handrail loop side and all of the screws seem to be fastened securely.

Is there a "correct" way to tighten up the loop so that it grabs the bracket post more securely to prevent the handrail from moving at all?

My first inclination is to use some sort of filler, perhaps a little piece of cardboard or something wrapped around the bracket post to make it a little bit bigger so that the loop will fit more snugly to prevent the movement. Are there any reasons why that is a bad plan?

  • What is that loop or bracket made of? If it is something you can solder to then a few beads or tracks of solder will take up the play...
    – Solar Mike
    May 21, 2019 at 16:01
  • 2
    i squirt hot glue into those kind of brackets to keep down vibration, but i'm lazy... works well and resists working out with setting, temp changes, strain, etc. i've tried shims too, but they tended work loose.
    – dandavis
    May 21, 2019 at 17:55
  • @dandavis must have some screws loose to not think of that, and I have a hot glue pen...
    – Solar Mike
    May 21, 2019 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


A cardboard or soft aluminium (from a drink can) shim sounds like an excellent solution to the problem. You want it just thick enough that the screws into the handrail cause the loop to grip tightly when they are done up.

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