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Here's a link to the post and a video on it wobbling. https://photos.app.goo.gl/huCeNoR4D79aDTJR9

In one video, you can see the whole post is moving quite a bit.

As you can see in the photos, I have access to underneath the stairs. And it appears they put a piece of pressure treated lumber under that spot with the post. There is nothing visible in the area under the tread.

However, I don't know how this post is assembled or attached. There's no plugs or anything on the post itself that I could remove to access screw or bolts. I see some brad nail holes in a few places. The top trim piece doesn't appear to have any brad nails or holes in it. Should it just pop off with a little pressure underneath?

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  • It looks like a surface-mount scenario. The newel needs to penetrate the tread and be fastened well to the stair stringers, which themselves must be boxed together with the risers and other components for rigidity. Obviously this requires a longer newel (or possibly an internal extension if it's hollow). If you're up for that major of a project I'll write up an answer. – isherwood May 3 at 14:34
  • @isherwood I'm up for some work, just not sure what you mean since I've never worked on handrail posts like this before. To me, if it's hollow, isn't the easiest thing to do would be to pop off the top, drill all the way down to the space under the stairs and use threaded rod with bolts to secure it? – Oggie May 3 at 14:40
  • Rods and nuts will not solve your problem (with a hollow newel). It'll be locked in place at the bottom, but it'll still be wobbly at the top. You need a robust post structure attached to a robust stair structure. It's the only way to get really good results. – isherwood May 3 at 14:44
  • @isherwood can you give me an example of what you mean? I didn't see many videos on how to repair this. It lasted 11 years. Is that short for something like this? – Oggie May 3 at 15:09
  • If it's done right it'll last a hundred and 11 years. This is just lazy workmanship. To give a good answer I'd need to see the structure of the newel a bit better. That might mean taking it out. – isherwood May 3 at 15:15
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To remove the post, I had to remove the trim piece under the handrail. It was held in with very fine brad nails and I had to wedge a putty knife in there to get it loose. That allowed me to remove the handrail from the post.

Once the post was free, I was then able to slide the post out. It was fastened with the keylock type post fastener. The fastener was screwed into the tread and 2x4 underneath and the screws had come loose. I tightened them, but I suspect they'll just come loose again.

I think the long term fix would be to use long bolts with a plate underneath to keep them tight.

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