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Log Railing Post attachment recommendations

Railing Loft Hardware

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#1 GordonMcAlister

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 07:03 PM

Howdy all,

It's been a long time since my last post, but we've been a bit busy working on the Log home at Otter's Run, VT every chance we get, while at the same time trying to eek out a meager living and maintain our two homes in today's economy. Not that easy a feat considering we're building our future retirement log home "out of pocket", with no financing. But still we're getting there, 12 years under construction as "weekend warriors", and maybe 95%+ complete, everything from the Home automation systems to the custom Radiata Pine raised panel Kitchen Cabinets and custom furniture I'm building (have Router, will travel) . Eventually, I'll post some pictures of our progress. It's been a long hard road we've travelled, but it's been worth it and for the most part very enjoyable, and dare I say, therapeutic. Oh yeah, by the way, did I mention that I also enjoy a nice glowing hot, sharply pointed stick, shoved directly into my left eye?

 

Right now, we're in the middle of installing nailed down, 3/4"x 3-1/4" prefinished Australian Cypress Flooring (www.Bellawood.com ) over a 1" dual layer (glued & screwed together) plywood subfloor that is floating on a layer of 3/8" Owens Quite Zone Acoustic Mat http://www2.owenscor...ou-floormat.asp

on top of the 2x8 T&G Loft decking attached to the Log beams/joists below the 2nd floor Loft and Catwalk (loft decking is the 1st floor ceiling). I do have to say it is a spectacular looking floor (see Photos attached).

 

*Edit, I having trouble attaching the pictures, I'll try again with a separate post.

 

At the same time we are now 98% done sanding and staining all the 2nd floors 4" Top & Bottom Log Railings (114 L/F), the 2-1/2" x 32" long spindles ( 250 ea.), and the 7" x 45" long Log Railing Posts (14 ea.). starting with 60 grit disc on a 5" hand held Random Orbital Sander, and moving on to 80 Grit, 100 Grit, 150 Grit and 220 Grit for every piece until we achieve a furniture quality sanded finish, and then it's 3 coats of Sansin's Clear Interior finish (2 coats of Gloss, and a final coat of Satin Finish, with additional 220 grit sanding between coats). This is the same process we've used on all the interior T&G Paneled Walls, T&G Ceilings, Cabinetry, Furniture, Log Walls, Beams, Trusses, and Purlins, with the addition of first sanding all the Log surfaces with a 7" Vari-speed sander with 50 Grit and then 80 Grit 7" sanding disks to remove the mill glaze, stains, sap leakage, and wood marring (dents, dings, splinters, and chips) before moving on to the 60 Grit 5" sander, then up to the 220 Grit finish.  It's a very labor intensive and time consuming process, not to mention how it eats up the sanding discs, and they wonder why it's been 12 years building this home. But I do have to say the wood work is as smooth as a baby's butt and just glows with a beautiful depth and color. It really is worth the time and effort (now where'd I put that smoldering stick?).

 

Whew, that sure was a long winded preamble to the question I'm asking, (Geeze Gordon, GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!) As I said, we're laying the flooring and now need to start installing all that log railing to keep my 3 energetic, sock wearing, Grandkids from riding the "slip and slide" polished flooring over the Loft and Catwalk edge to the 1st floor below, thereby saving needless trips to the hospital and all that cost in medical treatment hardware. My question is (FINALLY!), what do other Log Home people and builders out there beyond the LED screen use to attach the Log Railing Posts to the flooring?

 

I've used commercially available Newel Post attaching hardware before for the “walk-out” basement Home Theater's Stair Railing with good success. The 16" 3008 Sure-Tite “hanger bolt” newel post system works well and provided a good stable post for the traditional stair railings. http://www.ljsmith.n...pe=9&product=17

I'm leaning toward this system for the Log railing post attachment in the Loft, together with a few lag bolts driven thru the Log post, hidden in the railing's tenon holes into the walls at the end of a railing run, as it would give a nice "hidden hardware" look to the Log railings & posts.

 

My exterior log railings on our wrap around Deck and Upper balconies were attached to the decking by using 2 - 1/2"x12" galvanized Lag Bolts and Washers per post driven up through the decking into each Log post from below. But as I said, the Loft and Catwalk decking is the ceiling for the 1st floor and I prefer not to have all those hex head bolts and washers showing on the 1st floor ceiling.

 

I’ve looked at the black metal “Post Pal” hardware at Schroeder but it’s really expensive for 14 - 8” units (close to a grand with shipping) http://www.loghelp.c...4-post-pal.aspx , and I feel the 6” Post Pal will be too small for the 7” posts and the 8” size will be a slight bit too large, and of course the hardware would no longer be hidden. Not that the black hardware would be that objectionable, it’s the cost that’s the real killer.

 

Unfortunately, due to the loft decking and floating floor thickness, the pre-made railing lengths and the position of the Log beam/joists below, it’s not possible to use a notched overhang and lag bolt through the post’s side method of attachment to the decking/flooring. Therefore, the Log posts need to be cut straight and lay fully flat on top of the finished flooring. The depth of the flooring also eliminates the use of the “Spring-Bolt” system of post attachment. http://www.spring-bolt.com/merchant2/

 

So, to the greater minds out there beyond the screen and to all those with past experience with installing Log railings & posts, any suggestions or recommendations on how to attach the Log posts to the floor/decking before I commit to the Sure-Tite “hanger bolt” type system? Any help would be, as always, greatly appreciated.

 

Many thanks to all for you for putting up with this long post, and my best wishes to you all!

Regards
Gordon


The path I tread is narrow, and the drop is sheer and very high.
The Ravens all are closing in, under covers here I hide.
Please wake me! (PF)

 

www.ottersrun.com


#2 GordonMcAlister

GordonMcAlister

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 07:35 PM

Here are the photos referenced in the above post, I cleared out all my old attachments & photos from my old posts. I hope this works.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 03 - Catwalk flooring installation.jpg
  • 04 - Catwalk finished flooring.jpg

The path I tread is narrow, and the drop is sheer and very high.
The Ravens all are closing in, under covers here I hide.
Please wake me! (PF)

 

www.ottersrun.com


#3 Greg Steckler

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 10:41 PM

Hey Gordon, nice to hear from you and your project again.

 

My friend Tom Zimmerman of Wild Wood Works makes juniper beds and I asked him how he got such a tight solid fit where the bed rails attach to the posts...given that over time and a lot of bed movement they could work loose.

 

Ans:  2" tenon, scribed shoulders to the rail and a 5/8" threaded rod driven at least 16" into a 5/8" hole drilled into the rail.  And get this...set with equal parts Elmer's white glue and Gorilla glue.  Let stand at least 24 hours before tightening.  In all the years he's been making beds (dozens), he has never had a rail work loose.  ya learn something every day.

 

Might work for your situation.


Greg Steckler
Webmaster at
Lhoti.com

Here is my temporary email:  stecklergreg@gmail.com

2253 NE Edgewater Dr.
Bend OR 97701
541-389-4887
Designer
Log Rhythms, Inc.

"Only Nixon could go to China" ~ Mr. Spock


#4 GordonMcAlister

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:02 AM

Dear Great and Powerful Grand Poobah,

 

I can hear you saying now; "Oh cr@p not another long post from Gordon, why'd I ever reply to him!", but I wanted to thank you so much for your kind reply. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner with lavish praise, tributes and sacrificial offerings for your efforts and suggestion regarding my request for help in attaching the Log railing posts to the loft flooring, but I figured I'd give it a few days to see if any other members had any suggestions, and at the same time it gave me some "Google" time to research components. Being Scottish I have a very hard time prying open my padlocked and welded shut wallet to fork out any money for products before searching out the cheapest source and/or a comparable alternative item to what is commercially available.

 

After much consideration, I've decided to go with a combination of using a 15 inch x 1/2 inch "Hanger Bolt, Washer & Lock nut" system like the newel post attachment method with the end lagged into the loft floor and set with 3000 Lb. Slow Set Marine Epoxy, along with your suggestion of glued "Threaded Rod" as used by your friend at Wild Wood Works. The only changes I'm making to the "Rod & Glue" method is to use two 8" x 1/2" hanger bolts lagged into the loft floor and set with 3000 Lb. "Slow Set Marine Epoxy". For the Post, I'll use the 50% Gorilla Glue and 50% PVA Glue filled into a 5/8" hole to hold the threaded end of the 8" hanger bolts. (PVA is Elmer's type Glue, but I'll probably use Titebond II brand PVA glue since I have gallons of it that I use for Furniture, Cabinets and for the floating floor. Titebond II also has a better water/moisture resistance then Elmer's once cured).  

 

The 15"x 1/2" hanger bolt will be installed in a clean 5/8" hole in the center of the Log Post, and a 1/2" Serrated Lock nut will be torqued down against a SAE 1/2" flat washer with a box wrench inside a 2" access hole cut into the side of the Log post, that will later be plugged with a matching wood plug. This should give the post a good vertical hold to the loft floor. Since there is not a whole lot of wood "beef" to the loft floor I'm opting to use the higher strength slow set marine epoxy that is compatible with both wood and metal to set all the hanger bolts lag ends into the loft floor. The Hanger Bolts will be lagged into the floor and set into the epoxy for a minimum of 24 hours until fully cured, before the Log posts are set on top of the bolts.

 

The two 8" x 1/2" hanger bolts will be installed to the right and left of the center 15" hanger bolt, perpendicular to the Log railing direction. This should give good lateral stability to the post if stressed in any direction. I'll fill the two drilled holes in the post for the 8" hanger bolts with the 50/50 Gorilla/PVA glue mixture and cap off the holes with a square of 2" blue painters tape to prevent the glue from running out of the holes when I flip over the post and railing sections to align the drilled holes in the posts with and over the 3 pre-set in the floor epoxied hanger bolts.

 

Since there will be no lateral movement to the posts once lowered onto the bolts, the Log railings and Log stiles will need to be pre-assembled and will need to be already tenoned into the Log posts, before flipping the railing sections over and on to the hanger bolts. This will take several people to lift and flip over the heavy railing/posts sections and I'll construct graduated removable platforms of 3/4" and 1-1/2" wood slabs piled 15 inches high to support the railing sections as the drilled holes in the posts are lined up to the hanger bolts set in the floor. Once the posts are aligned we'll remove pieces the wood slabs from the platforms to slowly lower the Log posts onto the hanger bolts. As they are lowered the 8 " bolts will pierce the blue painters tape and embed into the 50/50 glue mixture inside the drilled post holes. Once the posts have made contact with the floor, we'll install the washer and lock nut on the center 15" hanger bolt and torque it down tight, then we'll stress the post in each direction and re-torque the lock nut tight again. Once the posts are as tight as possible to the floor we will clean up any glue seepage and we will leave the posts untouched for a minimum of 24 hours until the 50/50 glue mixture has set and is fully cured.

 

Ok, I realize that explanation is a bit wordy and the method I'm attempting is most likely over thought and overkill. Heck I'm even having trouble getting my head wrapped around it, (especially since there are way to many brain cells in my head that were burn-out at far too many Pink Floyd concerts in my youth! LOL in a kind of Syd Barrett Crazy Diamond sort of way..."I've always been mad, I know I've been mad like most of us are"....hahaha) but I've been spending a whole lot of sleepless nights thinking how to install these railings and posts to get a stable, clean and stress free attachment. Believe me I have two grandchildren boys age 3 and 4 (their baby sister Reagan is only 3 month old) and they WILL stress these Log railings and posts (besides stressing me out). As Roger Waters once sang; "I have amazing powers of observation, and that is how I know, when I try to get through" no matter how many times, to my two little maniacs, that you can't grab the railing tops, stick your feet on the railing bottom and rock back and forth! They will just give me that same dumb look I gave my father and grandfather, then smile and nod as if to say; "Oh silly Papa, you just don't understand, it is something we have no control over, just like Pink Floyd, WE MUST ROCK!" and rock they will, so these posts must be "Rock" solid! I've attached a drawing to help you better understand the above explanation and attachment method I'll be attempting (Yes I'm mad, "Pretty hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad"...hahaha).

 

Greg, with all of the above explained, as I only have one shot of installing these railings and posts, since once they are lowered onto the hanger bolts, removing them may not be possible, as such I have a few concerns as follows;

 

A) How much 50/50 Gorilla Glue/PVA Glue mixture should be injected/filled into the post holes to prevent a total goopy glue mess once the blue painters tape is pierced and the threaded hanger bolts embed into the post holes and displace the glue, 1/2 full, 3/4 full, etc.? It is also noted that Gorilla Glue will expand 3 to 4 times it's application amount.

 

B) There are several Gorilla Glue products available out there, which one does Wild Wood Works use? Is it the "Original" diphenylmethane diisocyanate formula?  This formula recommends dampening the bonded surfaces first, does Wild Wood Works use this dampening method or does the PVA glue serve as the moisture component to help the bonding?

 

I was going to contact Mr. Zimmerman directly about these questions, but wanted to check with you first if that would be ok. I don't want to step on any toes, annoy Mr. Zimmerman, or compromise your relationship with your friend. Would it be OK to email him at his web site with the above questions, or would you prefer to make the contact with him? By the way I checked out the Wild Wood Works web site, his products are truly beautiful and awe inspiring!

 

Speaking of products, as mentioned I'm always looking for a good deal whenever possible. As such, I found Blacksmith Bolt ( www.blacksmithbolt.com ) and had them make the long 15" x 1/2" hanger bolts for me at half the price of the commercially available product. They also carry a whole bunch of Black Ox nuts, bolts and washers and we are using some of the products for functional decorative hardware around the house. Their service is amazing, and the prices are great. It took 1 day to make up the 14 Hanger bolts I needed and have them delivered to my door in NJ from Portland, OR via 2 day priority mail (3 days total order to delivery). You might want to contact them for your supplier page and/or possible advertisements on your site. We also used The Nutty Company (www.nutty.com ) for the 8"x 1/2" hanger bolts, also very reasonably priced and same day shipping.

 

At any rate, Greg, I can't thank you enough for your suggestion, reply, and for setting me off in a new direction, that will hopefully be an ideal solution to my Railing and Post installation. Many thanks again and as always,

 

Best Regards

Gordon

Attached Thumbnails

  • Log Railing Post to Floor Attachment Small.jpg

The path I tread is narrow, and the drop is sheer and very high.
The Ravens all are closing in, under covers here I hide.
Please wake me! (PF)

 

www.ottersrun.com


#5 Greg Steckler

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:49 AM

Tom's cell is 541-548-twozeroeightfive.  Just tell him I sent you and (briefly) tell him about your project and ask about glue mix.  All will be revealed. (Remember we are on the West Coast)

 

Boy you made up with your long absence with one post!  :D


Greg Steckler
Webmaster at
Lhoti.com

Here is my temporary email:  stecklergreg@gmail.com

2253 NE Edgewater Dr.
Bend OR 97701
541-389-4887
Designer
Log Rhythms, Inc.

"Only Nixon could go to China" ~ Mr. Spock





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