Curved Railings

Curved Railing Sections

$130/Linear Foot + Shipping

Product Info

Description

Stylish curves add allure to all spaces! Mountain Laurel Handrails add a whole new dimension. Once your posts are installed, you can provide measurements from post to post along with standoff measurements approx every foot. See below sample drawing.

A standard section is a top and bottom board with the branches woven in between. For curved railings, we use cedar 1×4 since it is bendable. We typically do not provide the additional 1×4 and 2×6 to complete the installation as shown in the product guide. For curved sections, we DO provide the additional 1x4s since we bend them here. You provide the top cap since it will need to be cut on site anyhow.

Specifications

Reviews

Scott ElliottScott Elliott
16:18 25 May 24
James was great to deal with! Will be a long term customer in future
Buzz CorenBuzz Coren
18:06 24 May 24
In addition to amazing design and craftsmanship James is generous with educating about his work and responsive with inquiries. Highly recommended!
Dorene HortonDorene Horton
22:35 13 May 24
Beautiful railings. James was great to work with. He was honest and does great work! I am ordering more for the inside of the house. I will send photos when the house is complete. Thank you!!
Adam ShaneAdam Shane
02:48 08 May 24
Looks great and holding up well after 10 years. Great products
Geneva YatesGeneva Yates
20:42 07 May 24
Love my rails. Everybody comments on them.
Jonathon DunfordJonathon Dunford
19:47 07 May 24
Great railing builder who really cares about his product and clients. Beautiful for any log cabin or rustic house. Highly recommend
Aimee HollandAimee Holland
15:00 06 May 24
The remarkable craftsmanship of the handrails took our beautiful mountain home in the treetops to a new level! The highlight of our home!
John WrightJohn Wright
19:46 05 May 24
It was a pleasure working with James to custom build some rails for a staircase. They are absolutely beautiful. James promptly returned all calls and emails and was more than willing to discuss our DIY project and gave us pointers for installation. The way business should be conducted. Thanks.
Jim SJim S
19:36 02 May 24
Another great rail installed. Love the look and the character of the wood!
Samuel EvansSamuel Evans
15:47 15 Apr 24
We love the railings and get many complements on them. Thanks for a quality product.
Howard PlemmonsHoward Plemmons
21:04 09 Apr 24
This is the second order made to mountain laurel handrail. I can’t say enough good things about James and the folks at mountain laurel. They produce a stunning product and their customer service is exceptional.
Jean WattJean Watt
00:06 20 Feb 24
We just started putting up our new handrail and I LOVE it! Friends are amazed at the design and cant wait to see it finished. Will definitely add Pictures when its done! Thank you MLH!
Battle WallBattle Wall
00:51 17 Feb 24
James did our western cedar wood and Laures deck rails about 15 years ago. The Laurels are like new, naturally aged. Everyone that seem them is impressed. We are so happy with them.
ScottScott
20:06 09 Feb 24
Laurel hardwood handrails add such a unique “look” to any project. James and his team do a great job with this unique product. I added laurel handrails on my treehouse deck and stairway and they always get rave comments when people see them for the first time. I highly recommend them.
Mary Ann FairMary Ann Fair
12:51 08 Feb 24
Excellent craftsmanship and precision of dimensions for rhododendron rail system for this build. James is a delight to work with. Looking forward to our next opportunity of working together!
Brian WestBrian West
23:49 06 Feb 24
Our Landscape design firm, Aristotle Design Group designed and built a tree house using Mountain Laurel Handrails for the front porch. James’ offerings were a unique option that perfectly matched our clients’ aesthetics and blended perfectly into the wooded surroundings.
Joseph SachterJoseph Sachter
14:13 25 Jan 24
Great product, great experience. Note that we hired a carpenter to install the rail, so I can’t speak to that part of it.
NotRed RobNotRed Rob
21:54 23 Jan 24
Amazing company! We purchased just the mountain laurel material because we wanted to incorporate the existing top and bottom logs on our River Cabin in 2013. Fast forward to 2022 and the logs we saved were now rotten but the mountain laurels were good as new, so we re-used them in the new railings. Absolutely love them!!
Peter YoungPeter Young
21:21 19 Jan 24
James took my measurements and created panels that dramatically upgraded the appearance of our cabin and made it infinitely safer for our grandkids.
Michael BradyMichael Brady
21:51 11 Jan 24
Has been able to supply me with all I have needed to do my railings on three structures at our lake house. We always get the question”where did you get the material?” And I always tell them about James and his company’s work.
Gus KatsigiannisGus Katsigiannis
01:37 14 Dec 23
Excellent service, timely delivery and gorgeous handrails what else is there to desire?
Ed HutterEd Hutter
22:36 21 Nov 23
Great Product and knowledgeable company.
Jim BryanJim Bryan
18:10 17 Nov 23
Many compliments on our porch railing at Mountain cabin. Hard to believe it has been almost 10 years.
BC MBC M
15:09 17 Nov 23
I submitted a CAD drawing with dimensions and angles. The railings were built to the specs. We love the way they look in our cabin.
Bernadette MastermanBernadette Masterman
17:49 23 Oct 23
Mountain Laurel Handrails are gorgeous and beautifully constructed. The whole process to order was was super easy. Delivery on site and installation was user friendly. Highly recommend
Michael FolksMichael Folks
22:37 06 Oct 23
I enjoyed working with James. He was very helpful and super responsive to all my questions as we went through the process. The quality, beauty, and true uniqueness of the laurel railings he built for my rock stairs in the back of my NC mountain cabin exceeded my expectations.
Lee CarpenterLee Carpenter
10:36 04 Oct 23
Truly beautiful product and James is great to work with!
Amy DeckerAmy Decker
19:46 24 Aug 23
I had an amazing experience working with Mountain Laurel Handrails. They turned out beautifully.
Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander
00:23 15 Aug 23
Received rails that were well packaged. Took a little planning to figure how to cut and mount, especially the corners with a 45 degree angle. All turned out well and am pleased with the final product.
Dannie McLaughlinDannie McLaughlin
15:15 07 Aug 23
I can't say enough good things about Mountain Laurel Handrails and James Pader. Not only are the handrails beautiful and exactly what we wanted, the customer service was also superlative. James was very responsive when I had questions about measurements and installation instructions. One of the rails was damaged in shipping and James immediately sent a replacement. The handrails definitely add the perfect final touch to our tree house.
Julie YoungJulie Young
21:52 03 Aug 23
These handrails really set off the rustic look in our cabin. I shopped around and although there are other companies that make a similar product, they were out of our price range. I was so happy to find these.
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How to Measure for Curved Handrails

This image shows how to measure. Find a straight line that connects the points on the posts where the boards will land. Find the center of this line. Measure and mark one foot increments from center. Measure the distance in inches from the straight line to the arc.

Drawing showing how to measure for curved railings sections
Measure For Curved Railings

How to Build Curved Railings

In this section, we will take an in-depth look at the steps in how to make a curved handrail.

how to build curved railing
How To Build Curved Railing

Make a Building Plan

We make systems and kits that are easy to install. Like any good building project, it starts with a set of plans. The plans are made in a CAD program and are used for setting up both the bending jig and the building jig.

Curved Railing Plans
Curved Railing Plans

Soak the Lumber

The cedar 1×4 lumber has to soak in a pool for a minimum of 48 full hours, preferably over the weekend. This is a temporary soaking pool made with a 2×4 framework and a piece of black plastic. Heating attempts proved futile. Your pool should measure a few inches larger than your lumber.

Soaking Pool for Lumber
Soaking Pool for Lumber

Steam the Lumber

People have asked how to curve wood, and the answer is simple: First, steam the boards and then bend them on a jig. This is how we built a steam chamber to curve wood. A steamer was constructed from a piece of 4″ PVC with a wallpaper steamer attached to a hole cut into the pipe. The hole is sealed with spray foam. For a gentle curve, it takes one tank, and strong curves take two.

Steamer for Curved Lumber
Steamer for Curved Lumber

The temperature in the steam chamber. The lumber gets pretty hot also. As the lumber cools, I’ve observed the lumber temperature drop below ambient temperature. I guess this is some kind of runaway reaction as the moisture evaporates into the atmosphere. Scientists, please leave comments explaining this phenomenon.

Temperature in Steamer
Temperature in Steamer

Build a Curved Wood Railing Bending Jig

This is the first jig for the bending. It didn’t work. The two jigs are too close together, and the spring clamps are garbage. Only bar clamps work.

First Jigs for Curved Railing
First Jigs for Curved Railing

This is the current system minus the spring clamps. They’re useless. Even for one arc, two jigs are set up for production.

Jig Curved Railing System
Jig Curved Railing System
Final Jigs for Curved Railing
Final Jigs for Curved Railing
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Bend the Lumber

This is a board that has been bent for a curved wood handrail system.

Curved Board for Railing System
Curved Board for Railing System
Broken Board from Bending
Broken Board from Bending

This is a board that has been broken. Breaking the boards by bending is not really predictable, not even by the knot locations, although they do break on the knots. We have not yet used any lumber except for the red cedar 1×4 s4s1e pictured here. Perhaps clear cedar would bend nicer???

Building the Curved Handrail

This is the building jig for the curved wood handrail. Lumber sits on the bending jig for 24 hours then goes to storage where it is still under pressure, usually from stacked concrete blocks and pieces of lumber. The building jigs go on the table, and the sticks help the railings hold their shape.

Curved Railing Construction Started
Curved Railing Construction Started

Construction on this section of curved wood railing has begun. From here, it’s just putting on sticks according to the 4″ sphere rule.

Curved Railing Construction Started
Curved Railing Construction Started

Admire Your Completed Work! :)

This is an overhead picture of a section that will be shipped directly to the job site. These sections are easy to install by cutting the ends of the lumber to fit the posts. With these instructions, it should be easy to know how to do it yourself although it does take some specialized equipment.

This is a long angle view of a single section of curved deck handrail. Each section is custom built to actual measurements and carefully packaged for shipment.

Lumber for Curved Railing System
Lumber for Curved Railing System

The lumber to complete the outside of the top and bottom of the sections is provided. The picture below shows two different arcs that have been bent for a curved deck. The top 2x that caps the railing is not provided and must be installed on site.

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Curved Balcony Railing

The Mountain Laurel Handrail crew took a ride down to Atlanta recently to install a small project with some curved railings on a balcony. This is a beautifully rebuilt home on the lake with quite a bit of history. The current owner’s father built a house on the property in the 1950s which had been outgrown and was in need of improvement. The contractor building the new home was just beginning his career as a carpenter and helped build the old house.

Here’s what the homeowner had to say:

People are oohing and ahhing over your handiwork. Thanks so much for sharing your skills with our family. My family is lucky enough to own this new lakehouse. All of the sub-contractors and craftsmen have incorporated their artistic skills and creativeness into what has turned out to be a most unique dwelling place. We adore our new house. The building process with our fantastic, “attention to every little detail” contractor, Dewane Pugh, has been a delightful experience.

These handrails match the graceful arc of the balcony in this home. There’s plenty of woodwork with timber rafters and tongue and groove paneling. The home also incorporates wood from the old home, with one room done completely in wormy chestnut paneling from the previous house. There’s also an incredible, real masonry fireplace which are increasingly rare due to the demand for those select few masons with the required education, knowledge and skills.

Hawaii deck rainbow
Hawaiian Rainbow
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