How to Make a Handrail Out of Pipe

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Make a handrail to help you maintain your balance.
Make a handrail to help you maintain your balance. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you have stairs leading to a basement or garage area, you need a handrail to help you maintain your balance as you go up and down. One is generally installed already, but on the off chance that it hasn't been or if the railing broke, you can easily make a new one out of pipe. Creating the handrail won't cost you much in the way of supplies while adding greatly to your personal safety.

Things You'll Need

  • PVC pipe
  • Measuring tape
  • 2-by-4 board
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • 4-inch wood screws
  • Drywall anchors
  • C pipe clamps

Measure along the wall that needs the railing. At the top of the stairs, measure up from the floor to a height that you want the rail, generally about 3 feet. Make a mark on the wall. Repeat this at the bottom of the stairs. Run the measuring tape between the marks.

Cut a piece of pipe to that length. It is better to use a lightweight pipe such as PVC, whose weight won't pull on the wall. Use a saw to cut the pipe.

Cut a 2-by-4 board to get two pieces that are 4 inches long.

Drill pilot holes into the boards on the 4-inch side of the board. Make the holes about 1/2 inch from the cut ends.

Place one of the boards on the mark at the top of the stairs and position it so that the mark would be in about the center of the board. Drill the board into the wall with 4-inch screws. If you don't hit a stud, tap drywall anchors into the wall and try again.

Screw a C-shaped pipe bracket into the wood block. Attach it at a slight angle so that the hole of the bracket is pointed downward toward the bottom of the stairs. If you are unsure of the angle, insert the pipe railing into the bracket after you attach one of the screws. This way you will be able to rotate the bracket to the right position and then attach the other screw. Have someone help you hold the pipe at the bottom. Repeat the attachment of the board and bracket at the bottom of the stairs.

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