Can you help me with connecting hand rail to the stair newel?

Hi everyone, Can you please guide me on how to approach this problem?

I am trying to connect the hand rail to the stair newel. The thing is that the stair newel is rotated and is giving me a hard time connecting the hand rail to it. I’ve tried using the follow-me tool but the object doesn’t come out nicely. I do appreciate your help!!!

SketchUp Pro 2020 file.
handrail - Thanks!.skp (256.9 KB)

I would use Fredo6’s Curviloft extension (from Sketchucation)

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How would the rail be made in reality? You might try Eneroth Upright Extruder instead of Follow Me. This is a first run using it but I’m not happy with the path. Knowing how the real one would be made would help with creating the right path.

Are the strair treads correctly modeled? Seems to me the hand rail should be parallel to a line drawn through the same points on the treads, i.e. the mid point on the top end edge. As drawn, your rail isn’t

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Hi Dave. Thank you so much for your response. I know my model is not even close to perfect it’s just me trying to create a 3d from a floor plan so there is really no specific requirement or anything.

The Eneroth Upright Extruder looks like it’s the right way to do it. Can you please tell me how did you successfully connected the handrail to the newel? I’ve tried using it but I am still not been able to do it nicely. I do appreciate your help!

I just backed the rail down with Push/Pull to give me room to work. Then I created a path that ran up from the center of the rail end through the center of the face on the newel post I created a triangle and rounded the corner with the 2-point Arc tool. Guidelines helped here.

Then I erased the third side of the triangle leaving the path for Eneroth Upright Extruder. I let the path run well past the post and used Intersect Faces and Eraser to remove the excess.
Screenshot - 3_20_2022 , 3_49_28 AM

I think there must be a better way to terminate the rail at the post. If the post was five-sided or even round this would be easier.


Thank you so much Dave. I am still having trouble getting a nice shape. Probably because of the arc I’m doing. I’ll keep playing with it until I get it close enough. I highly appreciate it!!!

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I’m sure it’s not what you’re looking for but I can’t help going for the easy solution.


Thank you for your reply. This is very nice. However, the post in my drawings is rotated and not in line with the handrail as you did. If it were on the same direction as the handrail, it will be a lot easier. This is almost what I am trying to do but still working to make it more nicer. Thank you!!

Understood. One thing that may help is thinking about the transition making two turns. First in the vertical plane and then in the horizontal. If you try some bending plugin like truebend, you could bend a simple placeholder in both directions to produce a path that could then be used with curviloft or upright extruder.
I might fiddle with it later this evening.


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Two additional ideas.

The ‘compound angle’ is something that stair builders do–see photo–but in your case it doesn’t look good. Note that the handrail profile will always be rotated where it intersects the post, which may not be desirable.

The ‘transition block’ is just a way to fill the gap between where the rail wants to go and where it has to go.

I worked within your coordinate system so you can ‘copy and paste in place’ any components you want to try out.

Compound Angle.skp (95.1 KB)

Transition Block.skp (86.3 KB)

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Hi Carolyn, Thank you so much for your response. These ideas are also really great! I think what I was to trying to do and explain is the compound angle. I will keep trying to use the Eneroth Upright Extruder to make a nice smooth shape because I’ll probably might need to use it in the future. But in my case it looks like that a transition block will be my best option here. Thank you so much for uploading the files.

Really can’t thank you all enough. This community is amazing. You are all awesome!! You all provided great solutions. I just wish I could mark more than 1 solution :frowning:

Thank you so much Shep. I’ll definitely try truebend and try to make it smoother. Thanks!!

I have done another where the transition block is shaped like the rail–but note that for all the seams to line up the dimensions of the flats are different for the two segments.

I happen to be looking at an offset newel post problem myself. I am trying to avoid dealing with bending stuff, so looking at linear solutions has been a good exercise for me and if it helps you out, that’s better yet.

Transition Block 2.skp (88.0 KB)

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Hi Carolyn, This is kinda looking cleaner also. Would you please share how you managed to modify the end of the handrail face to make it straight instead of the original position?
From this (original)
Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 12.15.03 AM

To this?
Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 12.15.13 AM

I do appreciate your help!

I like to use solid tools, although ‘intersect faces’ would work also.

My gif skills need work.

Basically, I create a vertical plane perpendicular to the axis of the railing, then push-pull the face and make a group. I subtract that group from the railing group, and that’s it.

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Thank you!!!

It should be noted that the method you show here will give you an end cut that is not the correct profile of the railing. So a horizontal extrusion from that face will be a different size piece of wood to the one used in the railing.

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I did mention that the dimensions of the flats will be different on the two segments of the railing if the edges are to line up. The heights of the two profiles obviously have to be different. It’s just something to span that awkward gap until a more graceful solution can be worked out.


I finally had a chance to toy with this railing. The curviloft method that usually works well for this was producing good results on the inboard side of the rail and fairly ugly distortions on the out board.
So, I tried some trial and error truebending alone and it came out pretty good. Two bends, the first 28 degrees and the second bend of 45 degrees.

I didn’t bother with intersecting or cleanup.

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I looked the the model when it was first uploaded and chose not to comment at the time due to lack of info. Was it just a case of showing how to get the end to finish hypothetically? or was it a case of solving for actual construction?
If the former it is a case of getting the correct bend as Dave has shown, if the latter it means redesigning the whole layout so the parts will meet correctly.
As an exercise in modelling it is an interesting quandary.
As an exercise in design it needs a rethink.