johnny

Centering Handrails etc

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I see there is an offset option for the newel-posts but not for the rail?  Do I need to come back and draw the rail sections in individually, or is there a way to offset the rail like the newels?  

 

I've done a search on this topic in google and couldnt find an answer but seems odd we wouldn't be able to move the rail like the newel (to keep them aligned).  I didnt bother with the plan since i'm just looking for a feature/setting not so much help with plan.

 

Thanks in advance.

post-75-0-02157300-1460411070_thumb.jpg

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Adjusting the wall thickness to the post thickness will allow you to center the railing.

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Johnny,

 

So..... what you really want to do is offset the whole railing, posts, etc, from the edge of the deck?

If I read you correctly.

If so...

Leave the Newels/Posts offset at zero.

Create a new railing definition with an additional wall layer on the inside with Opening (No Material) and the thickness you want to offset the railing.

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Chief's deck railing tools are something that I believe could be greatly improved.  Using Johnny's image as an example to demonstrate what's involved to get a proper appearance in plan follows.

 

Here's the specifications for the deck and railing I am using:

 

1.  3.5" wide x 1.5" deep top and bottom rails.

2.  1.5" square balusters.

3.  8" x 8" newels with outside edge flush to outside edge of deck (deck has "0" overhang in this example.

 

What would I prefer to see for the deck railing in plan views:

 

1.  newel placement

2.  baluster placement

3.  railing placement

4.  outer edge of the deck.

 

What work is involved to get this look:

 

1.  create a new deck railing wall type that gives me a 4.5" offset.  Here's an image of that wall type:

 

post-191-0-50147800-1460563341_thumb.jpg

 

2.  because Chief likes to draw railings the full width of the railing wall components in the wall type defn., if you want to see the railings at actual width (3.5" in this example) in a cross section, then you have to go to the dbx and uncheck automatic width as shown below:

 

post-191-0-83814200-1460563953_thumb.jpg

 

3.  unfortunately, for plan views, Chief will not allow us to show the railings at actual width, so you have to do that manually with lines or CAD boxes.  I used a CAD box with a transparent hatch fill (moved to back) as shown below.  First you have to zero out (invisible line type) Chief's railing (8" wide .... 3.5" + 4.5" offset) as the inner line matches up with the inner side of the 8" x 8" newels which I don't want/like to see .... I want to see where the actual railing is positioned.

 

post-191-0-16212800-1460564522_thumb.jpg

 

4.  for the outer edge of the deck, because I made the railing lines invisible, I had to manually draw a CAD line in that location.

 

Depending on what you want to show on the plans, I think the present options we have for railings just doesn't adequately do the job for me without some extra work.  To just say add an extra no-material layer to the railing wall defn or to make the railing width (thickness) the same as the newels doesn't totally solve the problem as far as I am concerned. 

 

I appreciate the fact that there has been constant improvement in many of the tools Chief has given us.  For me, I just wish we could get more flexibility with the railing tools.  I would love to be able to select the newels in plan or section and move them around as is often needed.  I would love to be able to have total control over which lines can be displayed in plan views.  Someday, I am sure we'll get those added functionalities ...  I am hoping sooner than later.  There's probably a better/easier way that I am totally oblivious to ... maybe someone will slap me on the side of the head so I can see it.  Just my 2 cents worth for now.

 

 

 

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Curt,

 

If you are using X8, you are probably doing a lot more work then you need to.

 

1.  To align your 8" newel post with the outside of the deck, you just need to use an 8" thick wall.  There is no need for any special wall layers.

2.  You will need to turn off "automatic width" for your rail widths unless you want an 8" wide rail.

3.  Unless you really need to see the balusters in plan view, all you need to do is turn on display of rails and newels in the railing dialog and you won't have to draw any cad lines.

 

See simple deck plan that I attached.

post-26-0-54443800-1460570040_thumb.png

simple deck.plan

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Dermot:

 

Thank you.  For general purposes where I don't have to alter the newel spacing, that seems to work just fine.  Now I've got a headache ... you slap too hard! 

 

Not sure why I was seeing the railing line on the inboard side of the newels .... I am pretty sure I had the auto width unchecked when I was testing.  I will have to go back and check that.

 

Edit:  I had "Draw Rails" unchecked ... that's why I was getting the full width railing lines.  Thanks again.

 

I really would love to have control of the newels in plan or section and be able to pull dimensions to them for precise placement.  Please don't tell me we can do that already!!

 

If I inset (offset) the newels, the railings should follow (or I should be able to have the ability in the dbx to offset them similarily) and stay centered on the newels IMO.  Is there an easy way to do that I have missed?

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I really would love to have control of the newels in plan or section and be able to pull dimensions to them for precise placement.  Please don't tell me we can do that already!!

 

 

Unfortunately, no and I agree that this would be a nice addition.   You do have some control over newel placement by just adding breaks to your railing walls.  Not precise but it helps.

 

 

If I inset (offset) the newels, the railings should follow (or I should be able to have the ability in the dbx to offset them similarily) and stay centered on the newels IMO.  Is there an easy way to do that I have missed?

 

 

If you want to keep the railings centered on the newel, then do not offset the newel.  The best way to control the newel/rail position is through the wall width.  Not ideal but it should work in most cases.

 

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I really would love to have control of the newels in plan or section and be able to pull dimensions to them for precise placement.  Please don't tell me we can do that already!!

 

 

 

Amen to this! You can have some control by adding CAD lines and snapping your wall breaks to these, but two major problems-

 

1. The walls constantly "healing" themselves if you want to edit them and having to place your breaks over and over again.

 

2. Any change of ceiling or floor level on a porch or deck causes all kinds of doubling of posts and other anomalies.

 

Would love to see some improvements in this area.

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Amen to this! You can have some control by adding CAD lines and snapping your wall breaks to these, but two major problems-

 

1. The walls constantly "healing" themselves if you want to edit them and having to place your breaks over and over again...

 

You can pretty easily address this issue by creating a copy of your wall type and alternating wall types so that no 2 sections of the same type are touching each other.  They will not "heal" this way.

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Dermot:

 

I am aware of the wall breaks method but honestly haven't used it in awhile.  Seems like I had some trouble doing it and had some segments joining back up (losing the breaks). 

 

Michael:

 

That's an interesting method I have not tried.  Is that foolproof ... does Chief really see them as being totally different wall types even though it is in name only?

 

Another thing that I wish we could easily do is extend newels between floors.  For example, where I have steel columns extending from a basement walkout level up through a deck and supporting a roof.  One continuous column supporting the deck and the roof above the upper (main) level.  Is there an easy way to do this  .... [maybe copying a railing wall from one level to another ... haven't tried that yet]?

 

Sometimes I think it would be nice if large posts/columns (newels) behaved like individual wall segments.  In other words, have large columns that sections of railings but into and when they do, they would act as continuations of the railing wall and not disrupt room definition for a porch or deck.  This would help keep baluster spacing looking correct rather than just plunging the railing wall through the posts/columns and just accept the fact that the builder will do it correctly.  I just like to have everything look right on the plans although doing so takes extra time.

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...

Michael:

 

That's an interesting method I have not tried.  Is that foolproof ... does Chief really see them as being totally different wall types even though it is in name only?

...

 

Yes, as far as "healing" is concerned I have found the method to be foolproof. 

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Michael,

 

I have found that the same thing can be done by using the same wall def and just "Reverse Layers" for the alternating rail sections.

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Thanks for the tip Glenn. I like that method better. Wouldn't work for exterior walls or interior walls with different layers on each side, but for standard railings and standard interior walls I'd definitely say it's superior to the wall type copy technique. You get a gold star.

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Good tips, thanks.  But, just one more crazy secret handshake to remember.  Maybe a "don't heal" checkbox in the wall dbx would be simpler.  Being able to dimension newels even better.

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