When we first bought our house, the front porch was pretty much unusable. The deck boards were warped and rotted – we replaced those with composite decking. But the porch was still not very usable because there were no railings on the porch which sits several feet above ground level. Maybe I’m just a big chicken but I hated walking out there because one wrong step and you were on the ground!
Our next step was to enclose the porch with new railings.
I knew I did not want wood spindles for the railing because I saw just how soon they needed to be replaced on one of the back decks. Plus, I wanted white railings so I didn’t want to have to paint and maintain that much wood!
I visited Houzz to look for inspiration and found some great railings that used rebar for the spindles. Only problem with rebar is that, for it not to rust, it would have to be sealed.
So, I talked to my friend and ex-handyman Bryan Kneeland for some ideas since he was the one who hit on the galvanized roofing to be the porch ceiling that I loved. And out poured another great suggestion from Bryan – Use galvanized conduit tubing for the spindles!
I will never admit to Bryan that he is a genius, but he is a genius! If you tell him, I will deny it. 😉
Off to Home Depot for some galvanized conduit.
After looking at several sizes of tubing, I decided on the 3/4 inch tubing – large enough to be sturdy, but not so large as it would be overpowering.
Using 2×4’s for the top and bottom railings, we measured out the spindle placement (4 inch on center), marked and drilled holes for the spindles using the drill press and a forstner drill bit. The drill press makes the drilling quick and easy – just line up the marks, pull the lever and you have a perfect holes at a consistent depth.
After the top and bottom rails were drilled, we mounted the bottom rail between the porch support posts, put the conduit spindles into the bottom railling holes and braced ourselves for lots of good times! *sarcasm*
Next, the fun part.
The goal was to line up the wobbly spindles into the upper holes and attach the upper rail to the supports. This was in no way easy or fun. We started at one end and tried to lower the top rail over each of the spindles in order. It worked, for the most part, but there was always that one (or several!) spindles that did not want to cooperate and then brute force hammering them into postition had to take over.
Unfortunately, I do not have any images for how this worked. I was too busy trying to grow extra arms just to get the whole maneuver to work!
But here are some pictures of the finished product. I love the way it turned out.