Mac - For the handrail, it would appear to the other respondents that I offered enough information. The actual dimensions of the stairs are irrelevant to the plugins. They need a shape to model and a path to do it over. The twist is what was creating problems with the native tools. When you rotate the face, SU changes the modeled shape’s initial dimensions.
To be fair, this isn’t for a handrail. I put that in so that others searching for a solution might be able to find this thread. It was also an easier way to describe what I need to model than “twist with curvature with rise”.
@Cotty - Unfortunately, follow me and rotate won’t work. It’s a great plugin but relies on the segmentation of the curve to create surfaces. Even at the crazy level of 180 segments with a 1 deg twist, the faces were visible. It would also be a nightmare to render later on. Thanks for the suggestion!
@Jeff - Fredo showed up after two hard reboots of my Mac. Go figure. I do already have ShapeBender As you generously demonstrated, the solution requires them to play nice. Thank you!
@Cotty - I’ll be looking into Curviloft too.