What Does It Take?

Here is the question for the day.

What does it take to attach a flat plate to the bottom of a post on a handrail?

That may sound like an easy question…and an easier event to make happen.

But for some reason it is not.

The plate needs to be:

Square to the vertical post

Square to the sides of the post so the base is not rotated off center

And centered on the post so the cover will fit over it correctly.

Let me step back and add an explanation.

two pieces

I cover all the anchor bolts on all my handrails as a way of making it look more finished.  And this plate has the holes through which the lag bolts go to screw into the anchor point.

Well, I have delt with it in a number of ways, each with varied success.

So I decided to make a tool!

                 (My regular readers will not be surprised with that statement.)

So here is what I have been using for about 3 years now.  And it works great!photo 4

I started with one of those $3 Chinese knock offs of “vise grips”.  They are perfect for making tools like this job.  I took some pieces of angle iron and mounted them so the tool would grab the end of the post.

Then I determined what was level and square and added wings to steady the punched plate.

I then learned, there needed to be some way to hold the plate in place… so I added small lips to two sides.photo 3

That’s it.  Sounded easy as I typed it out… but nothing is as easy as it sounds.

But I have done all the figuring out.  All you have to do is copy it , and you are there.

tool side

In use, it is very simple:

Clamp it on the end of the post.

Hold the plate in position, and tack it on.

Remove the clamp and weld it up.photo 2

Trust me…it makes the job much easier.

Weld one up and let me know what you think of the design.


I would love to hear your feedback.

You can contact me using the comment form below,  or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com



I Repainted The Red Door

I repainted the red door last week. 

 Now, why that is a big deal is still confusing to me.

The first thing I did to my studio when I moved in was to paint the door bright red. 

My landlord, (now a good friend) was interested that I had painted the door.  I am not sure he understood why I picked red; I am not sure why I picked red.  But red it is.

Yep. The first thing I altered was the door.  Not the walls of the shop, not the lighting, not the spiders that had decided to make a home in all the corners, it was going to be the door.

The rest of the building was just gray block with large shop doors.  I did later repaint the rest of the building. But first the door, and did I say, it was red. 

I think it has something to do with the entrance to the place where I make art, the place where my creativity is allowed to run rampant.  And some times you just need to make a statement.  And the door was just such a move. 

Everyone who comes by comments on that door. 

People give directions to the studio, with the door as the last description. 

Well I repainted it last week. 

I still have about half a gallon of the paint left…

That door will be red for a long time.

If you want to see, come on over….

you can’t miss it,

 just look for the red door.