How to replace broken stair spindles (closed string staircase)

Whilst its the details that make a staircase, the newels post and the spindles as long as the newel post and the handrail are in position and secure then one or two broken spindles can, more often than not, be removed without causing any problems.It is important that you replace any missing spindles as soon as possible as a gap in a staircase is a hazard and an accident waiting to happen.



Tools you will need:

  • Hammer, not a massive one this is a delicate job not a demolition.
  • Sharp Chisel
  • Pliers
  • Possibly a saw
  • Possibly a digital angle rule or adjustable bevel

Please note: this should only be carried out by someone who has woodworking experience as the tools you will be using are sharp

Step one, this could turn out to be a messy job, hopefully not, but it’s always best to cover any surfaces to protect them from other damage and while you are at it, protect yourself.

Step Two A, depending on how your spindles are fixed, often the you will need to remove the small piece of infill that is positioned between the spindles, this maybe glued and pinned, so with need carefully chopping out with the chisel.

Step Two B, If for some reason you are unable to remover the infill between the spindles then you may have to cut the spindle out first, this is when you would need the saw, be careful, cutting a spindle in-situ is tricky and should only be attempted but someone who has woodworking experience.

Your spindle should now be free, it may be pinned also and this may need to be chopped out.

Step Three, Make sure you remove the infill from the top handrail as well, clean up any loose material with the chisel.

Step Four, if you have already purchased a replacement spindle and infill then great you should be ready to refit, if not then you may need to send us the removed spindle for us to copy for you, give us a call if you need a replacement. 01787 475456 of send us and email 

Step Four, Once you have your replacement spindle and infill, you will need to cut it at the same angle and length as the removed spindle, you can normally just copy that one. If you don’t have the original then you will need to need to use a digital angle rule or adjustable bevel to copy the angles on one of the other spindles to transfer onto your replacement.

Step Five, Once you have cut you spindle, it should slot back into place, make sure it is butted up to the existing remaining infill and the spindle is parallel to existing spindles, before cutting and refitting the replacement infill, into the handrail and baserail.

There we go, job done, you will need to finish the replacement items the same as existing and clean up but that’s it.