Restoration Journal

Build Loft Railing
1. Building Shop
2. Building Stairs and Floor
3. Build Loft Railing
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How I Built the Loft Rails

OK,I wanted to do this to keep people, especially me, from falling off the side of the loft. Plus, it look really nice. I decided to place 4"X4" posts through the floor beside the joist across the front and side where the stairs are and attach them with3/8" hex bolts from the front and side (attached to the joist and to the front header). These pass through the floor the length of the joist so they are 9.5" through the floor and extend 30" above the floor. I placed then as evenly spaced as possible. After that I just built little walls to go between them. You first lay out the top and bottom plate like you would for regular studs with one on both ends and I then placed two evenly spaced ones between those two and marked them on the two plates as shown. After they are assembled you have a small wall that you can place between the first set of posts. I started with the corner and started toward the outside wall. I measured close enough so that I had to drive the walls into the space. I then placed some of Dad's nails into the wall in a couple of locations as shown in one of the pictures below.
webassets/Layoutstuds.JPG webassets/Build-railing.JPG  webassets/Nail-post.JPG  webassets/Nail-joist.JPG
webassets/Railing.JPG webassets/Cut-post-even.JPG  webassets/Sand-post.JPG
Now, after all of the little walls are finished you'll probably notice that some of your posts are not even. Well, nobody is perfect! Just take a saw and cut off the excess and then sand it off smooth like I did and is shown in the last two pictures above. The reason you want to do this is that you'll want to add one final piece of lumber, called a top-cap (I think), on top of everything. I bought a 2"X4"X16' piece and laid it on top and nailed it down to all of the 4"X4" posts and to the studs also. You have to make sure that it is good and straight or bend it if you need to. I made a lap joint on the corner because I think it is stronger than the 45 degree that most people put on there but is is a little harder to make. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished railing with the end attached and also showing the lap joint I mentioned. I then finished the last wall the same way. I had to add a couple of spacers between the last post and the main post for the stairs but you can see them in the pictures. I then cut the stair rail off to match the loft rail and called it finished! Gene
webassets/Topplate2.JPG  webassets/End-finished.JPG webassets/Last-rail.JPG
webassets/Lap-joint2.JPG  webassets/Railing-Step.JPG  webassets/Finished-railing2.JPG  webassets/Finished-railing.JPG
As you can see, this from some of the pictures, this also gives me access to a lot of unused spaces that was above the stalls. I now have a lot of additional available storage space and that is always a selling point when you are selling a house or a good one just to keep a house. I'll show you a couple of other pictures of all of the "STUFF" that is on the floor of the barn now that needs to go into bins and on to shelves and stored properly. This extra spaced will allow me to do that. It also makes room for the 8,000# four post automobile lift I'll be installing soon. I'll be able to life one car up and store another below it or use it as a rack to work, safely, on cars. It also comes with a bridge jack so that I can lift up one end of the car to get the wheels off the runway. I got a good deal on this unit and was able to get it just down the road from me! I'll finish up after these last pictures.
webassets/Unused-Loft-above-stalls.JPG   webassets/Need-storage.JPG  webassets/Storage-Needs.JPG 
OK, it is time to go now. This brings me up to date and the cold weather and a bad cold has caught me before I got finished. I've still got to do the wiring and finish putting the siding on the inside before I paint it. I plan to prime it first and then use a gloss white paint on everything. After that the ceiling and walls will get insulation and the outside siding will go on. Then I'll finish wiring the inside and install the lighting and heating and, of course, the door. So, there is still a lot of work to be done and my health has let me down for a little while. The old pacemaker is acting up; with all of the power tool use I suspect but that can't be helped. I'll have the doctor check it out if I ever find a good heart doctor around this little burg. I've seen two so far. The first was a little chubby Oriental guy whose advice was to lose weight. Can anybody say: HYPOCRITE! I didn't see him anymore and refuse to. If you are going to advise people to do something them lead by example. Anyway, that's where I am right now. If I don't get back to this before next year (and I don't expect to) I'll just say HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all who happen to read it and I truly hope you have a wonderful and prosperous new year (the economy needs it). Gene

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