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    How can I find out if my stairs have spindles on them ?

    Moved house & was wanting to know if the stairs have spindles in them without me damaging the horrible plaster board that's on them.

    Any idea how I can find out.

    An X-ray gun would have been good or those X-ray glasses that see naked people.

    I'm wanting something like in photo 3.

    (see 1st post)............

    28 Comments

    Original Poster

    My stairs in the first two photos.

    http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w88/tigerplank/IMG_0424_zpsdhbgs2l1.jpg

    http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w88/tigerplank/IMG_0423_zps2yjcfmh0.jpg

    http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w88/tigerplank/stairs_zpseybmd9dr.jpg

    I can see a head on a spike in pic 2

    Original Poster

    airfix

    I can see a head on a spike in pic 2


    Ahh that's my wee boy Callum

    WheresMeNuts

    Ahh that's my wee boy Callum


    Hope he's ok

    Anyway why not get a sharp screwdriver and stab the plasterboard a few times in different places? Easy to fill the holes.

    A stud detector might work ,if not small holes in discrete places that you could fill over without ruining the plaster board finish !

    You can't tell without removing the plaster board, and it is that horrible that you won't mind! There probably is spindles underneath but there is a chance that the previous owners smashed them out before 'updating' it with plasterboard. Usually though they did just board them over. I would have had it ripped off within 30seconds of getting the keys.

    Original Poster

    Screwdriver is my last option,but maybe my only option.

    A stud detector won't work as you'll nail that board on in almost the same spots you would with spindles (I think) oO

    I agree, it is horrid & I would guess previous owners would have had someone just stick that board up.

    I feel I'm back in 1991 lol.

    jmcderm1

    A stud detector might work ,if not small holes in discrete places that … A stud detector might work ,if not small holes in discrete places that you could fill over without ruining the plaster board finish !



    +1

    A Stud detector will work.


    Take care ripping it off as some early artex does contain asbestos.
    Edited by: "Chiptivo" 16th Oct 2016

    Original Poster

    Chiptivo

    +1 A Stud detector will work.


    I can't see how it will work if the person who put that plasterboard on would be also adding screws to almost the very same holes left by the spindles.

    Even with a magnet I can find screws/nails,but not sure if that was for plasterboard or spindles.

    Screwdriver looks the only answer for now.

    Stud detectors don't only search for metal, they should find the wooden spindle in the same way they'd find a wooden stud, they don't look for the metal screw

    Given that the cover up looks 'unprofessional' I would guess that they have not removed the spindles.

    Original Poster

    Mark2111

    Given that the cover up looks 'unprofessional' I would guess that they … Given that the cover up looks 'unprofessional' I would guess that they have not removed the spindles.


    That's what I'm hoping for.
    Will cut in to it once my smallest is awake.

    WheresMeNuts

    I can't see how it will work if the person who put that plasterboard on … I can't see how it will work if the person who put that plasterboard on would be also adding screws to almost the very same holes left by the spindles.Even with a magnet I can find screws/nails,but not sure if that was for plasterboard or spindles.Screwdriver looks the only answer for now.




    It detects wood, so run the stud detector (On wood mode) up the centre of the plaster board from top to bottom, if it beeps every 3-4 inches, they are the spindles.

    Good luck either way.

    Will second the stud/wire detector . Simply swipe over the area and you will hear from the beep what is lurking under the surface.

    Your house looks haunted so I'd grab some rosary beads, blessed water and some jack daniels to steady the nerves oO
    Joking aside I'm not sure why people boarded them up, could be to hide damage or just cosmetic reasons.

    Have you thought of asking the neighbours?

    Original Poster

    tapi

    Have you thought of asking the neighbours?


    That was actually my next move, but having ant's in my pants I decided to force it open & found old fashion brown spindles

    I work for a joinery company. The spindles are easily replaced and not expensive in softwood. DON'T go to B & Q. They are a rip off. New softwood spindles are cheap. They need to be spaced at 140mm centres or positioned so the is no more than 100mm between. Replace the base rail at the same time and if you are really good at diy then the replace the handrail too. We do reclads of existing newel posts as well usually in oak. It can transform you stairs and make it look amazing.
    Edited by: "Smartguy1" 16th Oct 2016

    Yes you have spindles underneath. I can tell by the distance the board is out. I would also say it has hardboard not plasterboard on.

    I would have some wood filler ready for the nail holes and watch out as the paint on them could contain lead if it's an old house.

    Photo of rails with board removed please, just for closure.

    Photo of rails with board removed please, just for closure.

    Original Poster

    jmcderm1

    Photo of rails with board removed please, just for closure.


    I've only peeled a bit of the board away for a look & then nailed it back in as have rooms & other stuff that needs fixed first.If you can remind me in the next month or so I will post the photos.

    Smartguy1

    I work for a joinery company. The spindles are easily replaced and not … I work for a joinery company. The spindles are easily replaced and not expensive in softwood. DON'T go to B & Q. They are a rip off. New softwood spindles are cheap. They need to be spaced at 140mm centres or positioned so the is no more than 100mm between. Replace the base rail at the same time and if you are really good at diy then the replace the handrail too. We do reclads of existing newel posts as well usually in oak. It can transform you stairs and make it look amazing.



    You know your stuff. Where are you roughly located?

    WheresMeNuts

    I've only peeled a bit of the board away for a look & then nailed it back … I've only peeled a bit of the board away for a look & then nailed it back in as have rooms & other stuff that needs fixed first.If you can remind me in the next month or so I will post the photos.



    Photo of rails with board removed please, just for closure. Will do

    i too demand a photo of the rails with board removed for closure
    i give you 12 hours

    Original Poster

    lol In truth I would rip it down,but the wife is the Captain in this house & she feels we have bigger/better things needing sorted first.

    WheresMeNuts

    lol In truth I would rip it down,but the wife is the Captain in this … lol In truth I would rip it down,but the wife is the Captain in this house & she feels we have bigger/better things needing sorted first.


    did you tell her people off tinterweb were asking?
    Edited by: "brilly" 17th Oct 2016

    Chiptivo

    You know your stuff. Where are you roughly located?



    East Riding of Yorkshire. If you are not near Hull I can recommend someone else for stairparts. Unfortunately the company I work for doesn't offer a mail order service. It's local only. We make our own stairparts as well as being a stockist for one of the UK's largest manufacturer.
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