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I recently purchase stair railing kits to install on a handicap ramp for my mother-in-law's home.

The ramp angle is approx. 11 degrees. The install instructions for the kit, indicate they are usable for angles 26-36. What options are there for 'correcting' the 26-36deg brackets for use with 11deg? Or is there a better option not involving bracket modification or use of brackets at all?

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I thought perhaps trying to cut 11deg channels for the rails in the posts, but cannot find an convenient/easy way to do so. Another idea is had would be to sand the mounting plate side of the bracket to reduce the post-to-bracket attachment angle from 90 to 75? I'm just fishing for ideas/suggestions. This cannot be an unusual issue for users of these kits.

  • What are you mounting them to? – isherwood Sep 30 '19 at 16:27
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For that shallow of a slope I'd be inclined to look at level railing kits and their associated hardware instead. That would be a much closer starting point. I'd then mill some 11° wedges from white vinyl to place behind the brackets, tilting them into position.

If that's not a good solution, create some 20° wedges (31° - 11°). Pre-drill them so that longer mounting screws pass through smoothly at the bracket mounting hole locations.

Solid vinyl board stock is readily available at home improvement stores. Try to find pieces that allow you to leave the factory milled finish on exposed faces. Cut faces will show a rough, porous surface.

Ideally the wedges will be roughly 1/2" wider and taller than the brackets (for a 1/4" reveal all around), and smaller than the posts (to avoid flush joints, which are tricky and can be unsightly).

  • The first suggestion won't work because the spindles would not be vertical. The other suggestions I like, but I don't think there is sufficient room for 1/4" reveal all the way around. I will see if I can find the blocks you suggest. The mounting is to 4x4 PT posts. Thanks. – peinal Sep 30 '19 at 17:08
  • Maybe, but there may be enough play in the spindle cavities for a little tilt. Those assemblies aren't solid. And if there isn't room for 1/4", go with 1/8". I seriously doubt you wouldn't have at least that much space. – isherwood Sep 30 '19 at 17:18
  • I looked further into your suggestion. Unfortunately, the vinyl blocks are ridiculously expensive--$19 each. So, I will instead use PT 2x4s to make the wedges. On the plus side, the reveal will not be an issue. – peinal Oct 2 '19 at 15:15
  • I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I'd have expected that you'd buy a single board for roughly that price and cut all your wedges from it. – isherwood Oct 2 '19 at 15:24
  • The only vinyl material available near me is 1.5x0.75x8ft for $8. That is cheaper than the block 12.5x8 3/8 x 1 7/8 ($18), but I don't want to piece several together to make one block. I wish I could find what you describe. – peinal Oct 2 '19 at 15:41

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