Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Everybody draws Handrails...don't they?

Handrails....A necessary evil, as the fun of drawing them soon diminishes.
Unless you are the type of draftsman that finds them relaxing,because it is the ultimate in blame free drafting: How can you possibly get them wrong?
Over the years I have come across many different styles of handrails. Once I created a very badly written lisp to automatethe process. It only drew the railings as a 50 x 50 square, to save on computing horsepower- it was in 3D.

With me getting Autocad Architecture, I was in hog heaven, because it had a very smart
system for drawing handrailing. You just decided on a style, and picked a few points and there it was.
Unfortunately, I am back in the mechanical world of vanilla Autocad,and there don't appear to be any such items on it's horizon any time soon. Not that I draw handrails very often, so when I do it is not a big deal.

My original plan was to get all the ducks in a row on this one, and present about 4 different types of handrails as "ways" of doing them.

So far I have only got this drawing:

Please excuse the image quality-I originally posted this as a jpg, but when saving it back I noticed that the text was unreadable. Hence the png file above, which might work better.

If not, I'll post it on my site: ....eventually!
It is for a food factory, so it is made from stainless steel. The good things about it are the lack of welding required and the ease of construction.The rails are just straight cut, and there is the theory that any sweeping to be done would just brushout through the 10mm gap in the kickplate.

The plan is you start sweeping at the top level and work your way down.
The bad thing is the little vee on the top of the stanchion, as this would snag sleeves and hands. It could be improved a lot by making the top rail continuous and not having the vee. This would mean that semicircular cuts would have to be made in the top of the stanchion, but with proper tooling, this might be a good thing.

I have a suspicion that this design has not been "engineered", so should not be trusted to conform to any standards.
This lack of "engineering" just highlights to me how bad a world standard is needed: We, as draftsmen or engineers, should never be choosing our own designs for such a mundane thing as a handrail. We could have a choice of very well engineered and thought out designs to choose from. For an engineer to be designing a handrail represents a waste of resources.
I hope to post further on this topic, with more designs and eventually putting on my website a series of drawings that could be used as a "semi-standard". I'm not an engineer, so these " semi-standards" would only be that.

Unless someone knows of a site that does?

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