First off I needed to pencil the height of the completed rail on the wall and then mount the handrail brakets that the railing will sit on when installed. We purchased some nice vintage reproduction brackets from Lee Valley.
One of the rail brackets. I find them really beautiful, but as is the lot of a rail bracket, it is mostly hidden from view behind the railing itself
With the brackets installed I then built up the rail pieces themselves. I had planned to continue the railing detail around the opening on the second floor down, but Nancy said it was way too big. I then sized the whole assembly down and it is much better now--easier to grasp and a gentler profile all around.
The junction of the two runs of rail where they meet at the landing
This is where the (newly extended) section of stair opening railing meets the rail that goes downstairs. I'm still not sure how these two are going to connect
That is the next step: work out the connections between the two runs of rail and then sort out how I want to finish it where it enters out into the living room on the first floor. Should it be simple and unadorned and just end at the opening? End in a decorative curl atop a post? Hmm... I enjoy visualizing this kind of thing.