Introduction: Wooden Stair Rods for a Rug Runner

Secure your stair runner carpet with a simple wooded "Stair Rod"

I added a stair runner carpet and wanted to secure it in place with decorative metal stair rods. I quickly found that metal stair rods come in two classes; cheap and cheap looking or expensive, as much as $50 a step. During my research (Google images) I found a couple of examples of wooden stair rods and decided to make my own. For the fasteners I wanted a classic look without exposed screw heads so I distressed lag bolts to create an old world effect.

Step 1: ​Materials / Tools

There is and even easier way to build these stair rods by using molding for all the wood parts and brass screws as fasteners. It turns out that 1" oak outside corner molding and 3/4" inside corner molding fit together perfectly and you could stain the two parts light and dark to achieve a similar effect to what I created. Make sure you use only hard wood to get the strength needed for this application. I wanted to use some scrap walnut that I had as an offset color to the oak end pieces and oak floor.


  • 1"x1" Oak outside corner molding
  • 3/4" hardwood stock (I used Walnut)
  • wood stain (I used natural)
  • 1.5 x 1/4" lag bolts
  • Black paint


  • Table Saw
  • Chop Saw
  • Grinder (for bolts)
  • Sander
  • Drill or drill press
  • Adjustable wrench

Step 2: Cutting

Set up the table saw for a 45º cut (sorry no pics) and run the stock through. Flip the board and make a triangle that fits to the inside of the corner molding.

My carpet is 28" wide so I cut the long walnut to 34" and the oak end caps to 3".

Step 3: Drilling and Finishing

I made a simple jig to hold the stock by cutting a V channel in a scrap 1" x 4". The drill press table is set up with a back fence and a stop block to drill a hole 2.5" from the end. A 2" spacer block is added for the second hole at .5" from the end.

These are drilled big enough to just allow the bolt threads to slide through.

After sanding, I applied a natural stain.

Man, I need to take more pics for my next instructable.

Step 4: Making the Bolts

I really didn't want exposed screw heads but couldn't find bolts that looked right for this project. So I made my own.

Starting with 1/4" x 1.5" lag bolts I put the bolt heads to the grinder to square them and create a hammered or look. I finished them black spray paint and was very happy with the result.

Step 5: Installation

Put the stair rods in place and drill pilot holes through the holes in the rods.

Use an adjustable wrench to tighten bolts. (they are all slightly different)