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Q.I'm in the process of renovating a home with traditional louvered shutters. Some of them need to have the tilt rod replaced, but I'm not sure how best to reattach the staples that connect the individual louvers to the rod. Is there a special tool that can be used to squeeze the staples in place?

A.Patrick Martin of Martin Shutters in Atlanta responds: When my company builds a replacement tilt rod, we use specially modified production equipment to bore a series of holes in the tilt rod that are at the correct depth, angle, and location to receive staples.

Then it's simply a matter of using a pair of needle-nose pliers to push the staples into the holes.

Of course, you don't need expensive machinery or specialized tools to do this; the key is to make the holes with a small-diameter drill bit sized slightly smaller than the staples' wire gauge; this will help guide the staples easily into place. The staples we use measure either 3/16 inch or 1/4 inch wide and between 1/2 inch and 7/8 inch in length.