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Square Spindles & Fluted-square Spindles for Interior Handrails

box newel interior railingFor most of the last 20 years an interior railing consisted of turned Newel Posts and matching turned balusters or spindles.

In the last three years there has been a design shift towards square Box newels and square spindles... see here for more information about your options for Box Newels.

See below for information on what spindles you might want to use with the square box newels. We do have a number of these railing options set up in our showroom to give you a better idea on what they would look like, once installed, so please do visit and we'll help you sort out what you'd like and what you need :)

Red oak, hard maple and paintable are the most common wood species we have used for box newels and square spindles, but we have also made Brazilian Cherry, Walnut, Mahogany, Birch and Black Cherry. In fact we are pretty good in making these posts in just about any wood that we can find.. even tigerwood.

Recently we have added computer run routers to our lineup of woodworking tools so we can now produce very professional looking "fluted" spindles as well, so ask to see samples if this is a style that you would like to consider.

Balusters, Spindles or Pickets, call them what you will ...

Spindles or balusters are the small square pickets that are mounted under your handrail and installed either in horizontal runs across a landing or mounted onto the end of stairs. They must be installed close enough together to create no more than a 4" space between adjoining spindles. (At least according to the Ontario Building Code, check your own local building office)

Spindles like the box newels, are carried in stock perfectly square in 4 different lengths. The lengths reflect the current height requirements according to the Ontario Building Code. In the past year they have increased the mandatory height of railings both horizontal and going up hill. ALL railings must now be 900mm or 35 3/8" high. In the case of steps they measure up from the very front of the step.

To achieve this height you must use 38 & 42" spindles on the stairs. The 38" spindle is used on the front of the step and the 42" spindles is used on the back of the step. For all horizontal applications the 36" spindle is the one for you.

For the rare occasion that you have spindles that are sitting on the side of the stairs (stringer) you may be able to get away with a 34" long spindle.

The norm in the industry is to make all spindles 1 5/16" x 1 5/16" square to meet minimum Ontario Building Code requirements. That being said we do and have produced 1 3/4" square spindles for those houses who's design requires a more massive looking picket.

#3936, #3938 and #3942 Square Spindles

square spindlesSizes: 1 5/16" x 1 5/16"
(1 3/4" X 1 3/4" by special order)

34" - for mounting on a stringer (18" pattern)
36" - for horizontal runs
38" - for the front of your step
42" - for the back of your step

Dowel Pins: If your installation method requires a dowel pin to be added to the bottom of these spindles then please ask at the time of order. As standard stock they are square on the top and on the bottom.

Pattern: All edges are square and all faces are sanded


# 3836, 3838 and 3842 Square Spindles with coved corners

wood spindles, balusters, picketsSizes: 1 5/16" x 1 5/16"
(1 3/4" X 1 3/4" by special order)

34" - for mounting on a stringer
36" - for horizontal runs
38" - for the front of your step
42" - for the back of your step

Dowel Pin: as above this is added only on request.

Pattern: All four edges are coved for a distance of 18" on the 34" long spindles and 22" all the rest.

All four faces are sanded and require only a minor amount of fine sanding before finishing.


Calculating How Many Spindles You Need ?

To calculate how many spindles you need for a horizontal railing, take the number of inches of railing you require and divide by 5 and that will get you pretty close.

It is impossible to get bang on because you always have to fiddle with the numbers to get it to create even spacing between the newel posts. And often you don't know exactly where the newel post is going to mount until you actually do the job.

So always prefinish all but 2 or 3 spindles and then if you don't need the last few, you can always bring them back.

Calculating what you need in spindles for your stairs is really easy... just order one long and one short spindle for every step. Note that often the last step does not need a short spindle as the newel post is half mounted on the step and takes up its space.

In most cases it is best to order spindles with a dowel pin added to the bottom. The only wood handrailapplication where this is not necessary, is for the one in a hundred contractors that use hanger bolts for attachment rather than a dowel pin.

If you are using these 1 5/16" spindles then you typically use handrail #4000 with the matching groove.

If you have special ordered 1 3/4" square spindles then you need to upgrade to the colonial handrail #4001 that is slightly larger and made with an 1 3/4" groove on the underside.



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