Author Topic: What kind of joinery on deck railing.  (Read 1264 times)

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Offline suds

  • Posts: 390
What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« on: June 16, 2018, 08:32 PM »
My deck is 35 years old and the top railing and supporting structure need replacing. What kind of joinery would be the best/strongest?  We have snow and ice and very warm summers so it sees extreme temps.  I was thinking of using a dovetail joint but not sure if that would be good for wood movement.
MFT's, Kapex, TS 55, Vac, 150 Rotrex, 300 Trion, Domino

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Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 112
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 09:04 PM »
I'll be watching this thread with interest.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3612
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 07:53 AM »
Given that mitered type of rail joint, I'd be very tempted to use a lock domino joint to hold it all together.  Given that the deck is outdoors, I'd be absolutely certain to use sipo mahogany dominoes.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 217
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 07:54 AM »
Commercial nylon rail brackets provide a stable and durable rail to post connection.  Traditional woodworking joints like the dovetail are ill suited to an environment like yours (or mine) as the effects of water and ice will work over time to stress and loosen the joint.  Here's a picture of my deck which I initially built over 30 years ago with PT-SYP and redid 3 years ago in Ipe.



Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 90
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 08:40 AM »
Screws, preferably stainless ones.
Ts 55, Ts 75, of 1010, lr 32, mft, mfs 700, RO 150 x2 + paper asort, RO 90 + paper asort, pro 5, df 500 + dom asort, hl 850 e, ti 15, t18, cxs, centrotec set, ct48, ct sys, vac sys, 32;55x2;118 tracks, a stack of sys and an og festool first aid kit. Kapex, planex, carvex, conturo.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1946
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 11:38 AM »
The decks that I have done I've used a half lap joint, epoxied and screwed from underneath.  Exterior butt miters will never stay together.

Offline NL-mikkla

  • Posts: 271
  • www.m144h.com
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 08:20 AM »
Why not construct it the way it was, maybe a little nicer without screws exposed and such.
It held up for 35years, imo good enough

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 52
Re: What kind of joinery on deck railing.
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 11:14 AM »
Not sure what 'best' or 'strongest' would be but I'm currently rebuilding my deck railing using mortise and tenon.
I'm in the Pacific Northwest - not really an extreme environment. 

The posts have .5" x 2.5" mortise with matching tenon on 2x4" rails on edge.  The rails have .5"x.75" mortise with matching tenon on the pickets.
It's kind of a pita to make and install but I really like how solid it's going together and it looks great.
A very expensive experiment. :D
I posted a couple pictures in my thread in the Home Improvement section.