Child-proofing the staircase

Protective bars between high stair steps
Author: Tobias, Oberurnen, Switzerland
Online since: 27/05/2014, Number of visits: 319145

Stairs as accident hazard

We have stairs with massive oak steps in our house. The gaps between the steps are so high that our little kids are inclined to crawl through them. As long that they are that little, we need protective bars between the steps. I didn't want to deform the stairs too much through drilling into the wood steps or steel sides. Then, I came up with the following solution:
In between each step we now have a wooden bar into which I screwed a GTN-32: Pot magnet with threaded stem Ø 32 mm on the left and right. The bar is placed between the steel sides and when in position, the magnets can be unscrewed a little bit and adjusted to sit flush with the steel sides. This way the bars are mounted mechanically and magnetically. Each magnet has an adhesive force of 39kg!
You can see in the video how well the bars are fastened - no child can move them.

Precise implementation

The detailed construction looks like this:
Drill into bars on both sides. Watch out! Both drill axes have to be EXACTLY parallel! (Consult carpenter!)
Screw right-handed threaded sleeves into the drill holes. In Switzerland, threaded sleeves are available at Jumbo or in the Hasler Proficenter.
Then, screw the pot magnets into the threaded sleeves.
The wood bar with the pot magnets on the left and right has to fit tightly between the steel sides. My experience (I had 26 steps!): The distance between the steel plates varies. Therefore, I sometimes had to shorten the wood bars up to 4 mm and unscrew the pot magnets about 1-2 mm.

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