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Old 08-03-2017, 08:18 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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Default Handrail for Blind Folks

I'm making a handrail for my mother-in-law to use when taking the steps up and down to the front door. It's a brick walkway with 4 steps over a 10 foot distance. I got the size of tube and height dimensions for meeting code here in California, but her vision is extremely bad, even with glasses. So I'm picking brains to see if anyone has ideas on some sort of cue for when she's stepping to a lower level, like bumps on the top rail. I'm not sure if just having bumps is good enough though, and color on the bricks is something my wife doesn't want. The walkway is well-lighted at night, but the level change is a problem for her nonetheless, especially going down. Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:40 PM
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If it was for my mother in law I'd use barbed-wire, but I guess thats not an option for you!

Ask her what she think would be a good indicator, but I believe you were on the right track with a raised section, indicating a step.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:40 PM
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If you are using pipe, you could use a round ball slightly bigger than the pipe and cut it into the pipe at each transition, and if designed right, could add to the design of the rail.


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Old 08-03-2017, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimpyrobb View Post
if it was for my mother in law i'd use barbed-wire, but i guess thats not an option for you!

Ask her what she think would be a good indicator, but i believe you were on the right track with a raised section, indicating a step.
lmao!!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:09 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimpyrobb View Post
If it was for my mother in law I'd use barbed-wire, but I guess thats not an option for you!

Ask her what she think would be a good indicator, but I believe you were on the right track with a raised section, indicating a step.
She's a sweetheart, I'm quite fortunate, in this. I've met some real shrews occupying the in-law position!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:16 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
If you are using pipe, you could use a round ball slightly bigger than the pipe and cut it into the pipe at each transition, and if designed right, could add to the design of the rail.


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Hmm, maybe the local metal supplier (25 miles away) has balls with a 1-5/16" hole through them. That would make a nice feature. I have only a hobby acetylene rig, so I don't want to cut the pipe and weld in a solid ball. I'm using 1" black iron pipe that's available locally. Probably overkill, but I want to be sure if she falls sideways into it, that's the end of the fall. It's going to be simple- three posts set into the walkway, and the hand rail welded on. I'm supposed to have some sort of return. The minute I said that, the wife said not to use pipe caps! Of course, not, that would be ugly as sin. Maybe just a ball on the ends, too. The bumps I was thinking of would just be a little hemisphere like schools and other facilities use on their handrails to keep the sidewalk surfers from "grinding" on them. I'm think of using a resilient skin like "Plasti-Dip" as a finish coating. I think something like that is made in a spray? It gets hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk here- it was 105F in the shade, yesterday. Can't have her getting 1st degree burns trying to avoid a fall. She did take a fall on those steps, but only got bruised. She's 90 years old. Tough old gal! I think that I should have had the hand rail sooner, but it seems like old age creeps up slowly enough that we don't see possibilities for injury in those close to us until they happen.

Last edited by Steeveedee; 08-03-2017 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:37 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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I wouldn't get too large on the indicators. you want them to be easily grasped when using the hand rail just a slight increase will suffice. I use some wraps of electrical tape on my back steps handrail to let me know where the next step is when I'm going out at night.

I dont want to scare the vermin off so I leave the light off.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:55 PM
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Would carriage bolts work
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:25 AM
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I know being a ass. Handrails should be 1 1/2 in dia for American Handicap Act. Set through a program when it 1st came out and disappeared when they told us were were now registered inspectors for it.That way I did not get the ID.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:00 AM
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If you don't like the look of threaded pipe caps, check out the weld on caps. Weldon caps have a rounded profile that would be less of an issue to finish. Most I've been around come with a weld bevel prep on the joint end.

It would be your choice to leave the weld or flush grind after assembly.

I know they are widely available in 2 & 3". Not sure about smaller sizes.
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