Log Railings

Log Railing Systems

Starts at $200/LF + Shipping

Product Info

Description

These are some examples of different styles of log and branch railings that have been hand-crafted and delivered directly to the job site by Mountain Laurel Handrails. All projects are custom built to your measurements and, of course, log handrails require more design attention from the beginning of the project.

Contact me for more information on how to purchase.

Specifications

  • Typical Section Height: varies; approx 35″
  • Section Length: You provide post to post measurement
  • Wood species include: locust, white pine, cedar, mountain laurel, hickory
  • Paint or stain on lumber included typ.
  • No space bigger than a 4″ sphere
  • Branch species: Mountain laurel: Kalmia latifolia
  • Branch diameter: approx 0.5″ to 1.5″
  • Installation instructions
  • Product Guide
  • Paint or stain available for sticks 
  • Made in the USA

Reviews

Baileys CabinBaileys Cabin
14:13 15 Jun 24
The decision to add branch railing added more rustic charm to our rental cabin, Bailey’s Cabin On The Creek, in Bryson City, North Carolina. Even though James with Mountain Laurel Handrail makes handrails to install, we decided to take on the project ourselves. When we picked up the branches, Pete and Cam shared their tips and tricks on creating these unique railings over the years. Now, we have beautiful handrails at our cabin for all to enjoy. Thanks guys!
Shanda CornettShanda Cornett
12:36 04 Jun 24
Wonderful Company and Beautiful products!!
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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Log Railing Systems

Locust Mountain Laurel Handrail
Locust Mountain Laurel Handrail

Locust Log Railing

This is such a great choice for log cabin railings!

Locust and Laurel Stair Railing
Locust and Laurel Stair Railing
Log and Branch Handrail
Log and Branch Handrail

The above pictures show peeled black locust rounds for the top and bottom rails, with mountain laurel branches 1.5″ to 2.5″ in diameter woven between. The top and bottom locust rails are different diameters, with the top rail at three to four inches diameter and the bottom at four to five inches diameter.

Locust Mountain Laurel Railing
Locust Mountain Laurel Railing
Log and Branch Railing
Log and Branch Railing

Made from locust logs for the top and bottom pieces with the mountain laurel branches carefully fitting the curve of the log, these railings require master carpentry skills. Locust logs are available with the bark peeled off and the logs sanded smooth (pictured above), or with the bark intact (pictured below).

Curved Locust And Laurel Fine Woodwork
Curved Locust And Laurel Fine Woodwork
Bark On Locust Railing
Unpeeled Locust

In the forest, the trees and branches grow into wondrous shapes. With an artistic eye, master craftsmen from the Smoky Mountains select each log and twig to make the best-looking log railing around!

Locust Logs With Bark For Railing And Posts
Locust Logs With Bark For Railing And Posts

Each section is one-of-a-kind.

This is because of the natural variation between each of the logs, as well as that of the branches. These materials arrive at the workshop in their organic form ready to be processed. No railing design is more unique than this one that incorporates rustic deck balusters made of mountain laurel branches.

Pictures of Locust Logs with Bark and with Bark Peeled

Locust is a great lumber choice for a log railing. It is a hard, durable wood that is commonly used where durability is a primary concern. This includes split rail fences, posts for decks, and mud sills for buildings. It also makes a great looking railing. We just got in some black locust for a project so now’s a good time to share some pictures. One picture is locust with the bark on, and the other is with the bark off or peeled. There are various diameters of locust shown in each picture.

Locust with Bark
Locust with Bark

The bark is removed by a process called hand-hewing. Hewing is where a carpenter uses a tool to manually correct the surface of a piece of lumber. In this case, the carpenter uses a drawknife to remove bark from the logs.

Locust Peeled
Locust Peeled

White Pine Log Railing with Log Newel Posts

The preassembled sections in these log railing kits arrive at the job site ready to install.

White Pine Log Railing
White Pine Log Railing
Pine Log Handrail
Pine Log Handrail

White pine log and branch railings from Mountain Laurel Handrails are an excellent choice for the interior of a home, especially a home with a white pine timber frame or one that uses white pine tongue in groove boards on the ceilings. For this project, we also sent the white pine newel posts that were installed by the on-site finish carpenters.

Log Railing
Log Railing
Painted Pine Log Railings
Turned Pine

Some work is required to install this log railing kit, but as one carpenter I worked with as an apprentice said, “If it’s wood, I can fix it.”

 
You provide your actual post to post measurements, and we work together to determine the appropriate amount to add on to the actual measurement to allow for on-site joinery.

Stained Cedar Log Railing

A log and branch railing from Mountain Laurel Handrails is the most unique looking railing available for your log cabin decor! Since each stick comes with its own unique contours, you’ll find no boring deck balusters on these railings. The carpenters try to use the longest sticks possible to really add character to each section.

Stained Log Railing
Stained Log Railing
Railing with White Cedar Logs Stained Mahogany Flame
Railing with White Cedar Logs Stained Mahogany Flame

While viewing the picture above, you can imagine how this design would make a fabulous statement on your deck! These log sections are super strong and sturdy – the perfect fit for any log cabin.

Custom Log Railing with Metal Brackets
Custom Log Railing with Metal Brackets
Cedar Log Railing
Cedar Log Railing

These custom white cedar log railings were precisely crafted to fit metal brackets with attachment points. The logs are white cedar 4″ rounds stained with Cabot Australian Timber Oil in the Mahogany Flame color. The cedar logs take on a great look and nicely complement the mountain laurel branches.

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Log Railings Explained

What is log railing?

White Pine Log Railing
White Pine Log Railing

Log railing is a style of rustic guardrail where logs, or rounded pieces of wood, are used as structural elements. The main structural elements are the posts and the horizontal members that connect them. Log railings typically have larger diameter logs as the posts, with 6 and 8 inches being the most common sizes, although some log posts can exceed 12 inches depending on the application. Log stairs also use rounds for the structural elements like stringers and treads and will often feature a log handrail.

The infill is located in between the top and bottom horizontal logs that span from one post to the next. The typical residential handrail connects the top and bottom with vertical balusters or pickets, usually with pressure treated 2×2s. Log spindles are the norm, but there are many other options like branches, cable railing, glass panels, metal inserts, and much more, as we’ll see below.

Is my home right for log handrail?

Locust Log Handrail
Locust Log Handrail

A rustic log railing is an excellent way to set your home apart from the pack! They are at home on your deck, log cabin porch and patio, or any part of the exterior of your home, and are also perfect inside on your balcony, loft, or landings. While you could have a railing made from conventionally cut and smoothed boards of wood or constructed out of other materials such as iron or plastic, there is something truly special about a railing made out of a simple log. The log railing itself gives your deck a taste of nature that it couldn’t have otherwise.

The feel of real wood under your hand as you lean on you deck is utterly unmatched by any other building material. A real log also has a plethora of textures and visual accents ingrained before any work is done to it at all—true natural beauty incarnate. The form of the log itself—not quite precisely flat in any direction—will be different from every other log railing out there, ensuring a unique look for your deck.

If you have any kind of natural round wood in your home, it’s a strong point in favor of a similar look in your guard rail. Perhaps you have a timber frame great room showcasing a log staircase with peeled half rounds for the treads… A log stair railing is the natural choice!

What are some considerations for log handrails?

Stained Log Railing
Stained Log Railing

Choosing building materials is hard work.

Unlike going to the grocery store for a box of cereal, home building decisions are more expensive, and you have to live with them for a long time. Literally. That’s why it’s important to consider similar points when selecting any building material.

The most important aspect is that of architectural style. Maintaining strong motifs throughout all design elements is crucial to having a house you can call “home” versus a soulless McMansion. This is why it’s important to match the style of a railing to your broader architectural design goals.

Style and aesthetic will guide many design choices including material and pattern which we will look at examples of below. The material in this case refers to the species of wood selected, as well as if the bark is left on or peeled off to expose the wood underneath. Paint or stain selection will also be guided by the overall decor. For the most part, they are not painted or sealed from the conditions because it detracts from the natural look. One option is to source materials like cedar and mountain laurel that are naturally resistant to the elements. The pattern of the infill is variable and can generally be changed to match whatever the designer can dream!

Longevity is a good trait, and good handrails need to be strong to support actual use. Wood species is important for longevity outdoors, with the best choices being locust and mountain laurel. White pine should never be used outdoors for any structural application. Since most logs will have more meat in their wood than the average site-built handrail, it’s a safe bet that they will be stronger overall, as long as they are installed properly and securely fastened.

How to install log railing?

Log Railing
Log Railing

There are many ways to attach the railings to the posts. Regardless of the detail, either method is difficult as the railing sections must be installed concurrently with the posts. This means that you have to start installing at one end of the railing, usually up against the house.

First, install one post, then install one railing onto the post with temporary support under the loose end. Once the top and bottom piece of the first side is fit to the post, then start shaping the top and bottom of the other side as well as the post to fit neatly into place. Repeat this process all the way around.

The first joinery detail involves drilling a hole, or mortise, in the post. The end of the log railing is shaped into a tenon, which then fits tightly into this hole. Specialized log tenon cutters are required to complete this process, or it can be done by hand with other shaping tools. Screws are sometimes used to secure the joints.

Another route is to shape the ends of the railing log to match the curve of the log post in much the same manner as the mountain laurel sticks are to match the log top and bottom. This process of shaping the end of one piece of wood to match the curvature of another is called coping. Needless to say, there are many jokes about being on a job site and ones ability to cope… or not!

Laurel and Locust Railing
Laurel and Locust Railing
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