Clamping Jig

No-Mar Clamping Jig: This is about as basic as it gets — a scrap of plywood with a small triangular block attached that allows me to clamp the rail against the noses of the treads while I test-fit easings and locate newels.

A 1 1/2-inch hole bored through the block accommodates the short bar clamp that holds the rail snug. The jig is held in place at the back with a simple expandable compression clamp made from two 5/8-inch-diameter bolts joined by a threaded rod coupler; a quick-release bar clamp holds down the front.

The same technique is used to secure the rail jack.

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