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Last additions - New Railings (2004)
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Completed rails after finishingThe view from the entry foyer. Here, you can also see the new oak railing leading downstairs. Since this picture was taken, we have replaced the carpeting you see here with new as well.Mar 30, 2008
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Completed rails after finishingAnother view from the top, looking at the other top railing.
Mar 30, 2008
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Completed rails before finishingAnother view of the completed railing. If you look carefully to the left of this picture, you will see the almond wrought-iron railing leading downstairs. This railing was also replaced, but not at the time this picture was taken.Mar 30, 2008
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Completed rails after finishingThe finished view, from the top! We used a Minwax stain finish, which matched the color of our floors and related trim. Then we installed three coats of Minwax rub-on polyurethane. This was the first time we used rub-on poly, and we loved it. It was a joy to work with, especially with so many hard-to-reach surfaces to cover.Mar 30, 2008
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Completed rails before finishingThe completed railing system! This picture was taken right before the stain went on (hence the masking tape in the picture).
Mar 30, 2008
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Gluing BallustersEach baluster was glued, then brad-nailed with a pneumatic nailer. Mar 30, 2008
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Angled BallustersHere Tim installs some of the balusters on the angled railing. Each baluster needed to be carefully miter-cut to the proper angle. As with the railings above, careful math and codes dictated the spacing between baluster spindles.
Mar 30, 2008
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Angled handrail in placeHere's a view from the entryway of the installed upper railing. We were quite relieved to have this piece installed properly!
Mar 30, 2008
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Installing the upper railing proved to be tricky. Getting the length and miter cuts just right required a lot of careful measuring. We practiced with a 2x4 stud and thought we had the technique down. However, we messed up, cutting one of the miters the wrong direction. Since this rail is $6.60/linear foot, we thought this was going to be an expensive mistake. Fortunately, Home Depot gave us credit for the remaining length, so we were only out one foot, and did it correctly with the replacement rail.Mar 30, 2008
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Work on Main RailingNext work began on the angled railing. First, the bottom newel post was cut to length and installed with lag screws into the framing of the stairway. Next, a new oak board was ripped to proper width, and mitered to fit over the top of the stairway framing. Finally, the bottom shoe rail was installed on top of this board. Mar 30, 2008
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Upper rail completeThe next step was to remove the other wrought-iron railing. This railing was one large piece, making up the straight upper section, and the angled section down the stairs (see the "before" pictures above). We also removed the trim board underneath the railing, so it could be replaced with a new oak board finished to match the new railing. We used the same procedure as above to install the small upper railing at the top of the stairs.
Mar 30, 2008
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Small side rail completedThe completed small railing, sans finishing. To get to this point, we cut each baluster to the proper length, glued it into position, and tacked it into place with a pneumatic brad nailer. Then, small "fillet" strips are cut to length and fit in the upper and lower rails, giving it a finished look. Rail spacing is carefully governed by code: a 4" sphere must not pass between any point on the finished railing. This required a bit of math and careful calculations, since the spindles are tapered.Mar 30, 2008
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