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Thread: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

  1. #1
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    Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    Hi! First, I want to thank everyone for the help here in the past! A general contractor who seems to attract higher end clients, contacted me last week to look at installing hand rails at a house theyre nearing completion on.

    The contractor wants the railing to free float, like a hidden mount. He wants to mount something with a clip of some sort that bolts to the house, and the railing slides over said clip and gets attached by a set screw.

    My only thinking has lead me to making some sort of mounting thing with a pipe splice lock, but you cant weld the splice to something, it wont expand. My limited search through McMaster-Carr has lead to nada.

    Its not that I cant tell the guy no, you cant do that its just, he seems like someone I can get a decent amount of business with, and I want to knock something so simple like a wall mounted hand rail, out of the park.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    So you want hidden mounting hardware for a wall mounted rail, like ADA grab rails? Try wagner. I have another catalog, but cannot recall the company. It had nitbing but tubular rail components. I get it tomorrow when I get to my shop.

    I have made them on many occasions. Not difficult.

    Will there be adequate support? If you have mounting support the you can do everything internally/hidden. I would do a short rail like this or a rail that had intermediate supports going to the ground or wall.
    Last edited by tapwelder; 12-14-2021 at 11:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    Install a tube with a flat plate on the end to the wall. Slip the handrail over the tube. Need some sort of escutcheon to cover the hardware and a small bolt at 6oclock to hold them together.

  4. #4
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    Hi! First, I want to thank everyone for the help here in the past! A general contractor who seems to attract higher end clients, contacted me last week to look at installing hand rails at a house they’re nearing completion on.

    The contractor wants the railing to free float, like a hidden mount. He wants to mount something with a clip of some sort that bolts to the house, and the railing slides over said clip and gets attached by a set screw.

    My only thinking has lead me to making some sort of mounting thing with a pipe splice lock, but you can’t weld the splice to something, it won’t expand. My limited search through McMaster-Carr has lead to nada.

    It’s not that I can’t tell the guy “no, you can’t do that” it’s just, he seems like someone I can get a decent amount of business with, and I want to knock something so simple like a wall mounted hand rail, out of the park.

    Thank you!
    Is it going to be stainless pipe? The reason you do not see hidden rail mounts so much is it is a pain in the butt to mount them behind the rail and you still see them anyway. When I do custom stainless and glass rails with 1 1/4” pipe rails I will make brackets that do not knock your fingers off as you walk down holding the rails, but they still look nice. You are going to see something no matter what you use. But you could just get the brackets that go to the wall and then you lay the pipe on them and tap and screw them into the pipe.

    https://www.tophardware.com/product/...nish-wb-e038s/

    These I made.

    Name:  citirail3.jpg
Views: 322
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    Name:  citirail7.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  70.7 KB

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Last edited by William McCormick; 12-15-2021 at 02:28 AM.
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    Rails are uncomfortable unless the support is from the bottom & the rail is at least 2" OD. the hand fits over the round railing, but unless you are NBA star, your fingers aren't long enough to bang into the support.

    I'd suggest a 1/4 x 2"square flat to attach to the bottom of the rail. The rest of what attaches to the wall as needed. Invisible? that'd be tough! Support with a magnetic field.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  7. #6
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    I made a "grab" bar for the stairway in my own basement stairway very similar to what William shows. Room and clearance was a huge factor. I used aluminum angle and 1 inch thick wall tubing. It's simply something to hang on to for we old folks.

  8. #7
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    How long does the handrail need to be?

    I would not make any handrail that was mounted in some tube mount,, your hand would hit it,,
    no one would like that, you gotta be able to simply slide your hand continuously,, IMHO,,

    My wife wanted a 12 foot handrail,
    I made it out of 1 1/2" cold rolled solid steel ,, (i had it)

    I have used a bar like that for prying, there is NO WAY body weight can make it bend, at all.

    I ALMOST made a single center mount, and the entire hand rail was gonna free float, except for one center, super rigid bracket.

    I decided that two supports would look more "conventional",, I did not want anyone to be afraid to use it, in spite of the fact that it would not be able to show any give,,

  9. #8
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    sharpeproducts.com may have something. Is this new construction with open walls? If yes, you could share some of the pressure to the framers and drywall folk.

  10. #9
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    Looks good

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    Is it going to be stainless pipe? The reason you do not see hidden rail mounts so much is it is a pain in the butt to mount them behind the rail and you still see them anyway. When I do custom stainless and glass rails with 1 1/4” pipe rails I will make brackets that do not knock your fingers off as you walk down holding the rails, but they still look nice. You are going to see something no matter what you use. But you could just get the brackets that go to the wall and then you lay the pipe on them and tap and screw them into the pipe.

    https://www.tophardware.com/product/...nish-wb-e038s/

    These I made.

    Name:  citirail3.jpg
Views: 322
Size:  80.1 KB

    Name:  citirail7.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  70.7 KB

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick

  11. #10
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    Re: Any ideas on how to make a 1 1/4 pipe handrail free float?

    i had 1 instance to do a free floating rail on limited funds as well
    any i used 3/4 anchor bolts with 1 1/2 washers mounted the anchors and weld legs and rails in place
    granted it was early in construction and welding there caused no marring or damage

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