This was one of those projects I didn't want to do in the first place.......I ended up really dragging my feet on it.
My dad needed new stairway handrails for the main entrance for his business (funeral home). When we built it, he put in polished brass handrails and supports. Thats nice stuff, but it comes with a price, you have to keep it polished or it looks like ****. Well, nobody ever did that, it did look like ****, so it had to go.
I started on this last summer....the posts got to be a real topic of conversation to friends that came into my shop. "HEY ED, nice fenceposts your making there!" you want to make me a couple? It got kinda ugly several times....a few people got told just what they could kiss.
Everything is solid Oak, Early American stain, finished with Minwax satin wipe-on poly.The easy side is just screwed into the studs. On, the pita side the fenceposts are 3 3/4 square, length varied by location. They go thru the steps and are bolted to the floor joists for support. It doesn't move or even wiggle when you pull on it. The board that ties the posts together is a 1 1/2 x 4 1/2 glue up, inset into the fenceposts. Handrails were purchased.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.