How to Make Hand Rails Out of Steel Pipe

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Use a rubber mallet to tap the posts and malleable plugs into place on a steel hand rail
Use a rubber mallet to tap the posts and malleable plugs into place on a steel hand rail (Image: mr. fixit 31 image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com)

Steel pipe hand rails are well-suited for use on outdoor steps. OSHA standards require that a hand rail be 42 inches high in residential construction. Purchase 42-inch pipe lengths, use swivel fittings and make a hand rail up to eight feet long without a support in the center. Follow these instructions to make one for two concrete steps. Determine the incline of the steps before beginning, and adjust the length of pipe according to the slope and span of the steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Concrete drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Washable marker
  • 2 flanges
  • 2 - 42-inch long, 2-inch diameter steel pipes
  • Rubber mallet
  • 2 swivel fittings
  • 1 - 28-inch long, 2-inch diameter steel pipe
  • 2 malleable plugs
  • Allen wrench
  • Level

Measure the outside edge of the tread on the bottom step. Find the center and mark the step. Measure 4 inches straight in from the mark at the edge and place a second mark on the step.

Center a flange over the second mark. Secure the flange to the concrete with concrete screws.

Insert one of the 42-inch posts in the flange. Tap into place using a rubber mallet. Locate the Allen screws on the side of the flange and tighten them with an Allen wrench to lock the post into place.

Attach a swivel fitting to the top of the set post and tighten the Allen screws.

Insert the 28-inch top rail into the swivel fitting and tighten the Allen screws.

Secure a swivel fitting to the second 42-inch pipe (top post) and tighten the Allen screw.

Attach the swivel fitting on the top post to the hand rail and tighten the Allen screw.

Measure and mark the top step in the same manner you did the bottom step.

Slide a flange on the bottom of the top post. Set the post on the top step and center over the mark. Level the post so it stands at a perfect vertical.

Use a drill to secure the flange to the step with concrete screws. Secure the flange to the post by tightening the Allen screws.

Place a malleable plug in the top of each post. Tap into place with a rubber mallet.

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