Baluster Installation

The balusters came predrilled to accept wood pins that anchor them on the tread.

To ensure accurate layout, the author marked the baluster centerline, and drilled the 3/4-inch hole nearest the riser first.

Next, the location of the front hole was scribed using a pencil stub placed into the baluster pin hole to mark an arc across the centerline as the baluster assembly was rotated around the dry-fitted tread pin. No pins were used on the middle balusters.

After scribing and trimming to adjust the fit of the baluster against the tread, the author plumbed the assembly in position against the railing and marked the top ends where they intersected the bottom of the handrail. Before cutting them, 3/8 inch was added to allow for the plow in the underside of the railing. The location of the angled top cross-blocks was also marked to ensure alignment between balusters. With temporary spacers placed between balusters to keep them parallel, the end angles were cut on a chop saw. (Also see photo 21.)

The location of the angled cross-blocks was scribed, and after the pieces were cut, they were glued in place; screws and brads were used at the outer and inner connections, respectively. (Also see photo 23.)

With each three-piece baluster assembly tipped into position and fastened against the rail with brads, the fillet stock that ships with the railing was scribed, cut, and fastened between the end balusters to lock them in place. The final step was to fill any remaining countersinks by gluing in wood plugs, and sanding and painting them. (Also see photo 25.)

Newels at the landing and second floor are simple 4x4 posts with smaller custom caps.

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