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Gluing Ballusters1204 viewsEach baluster was glued, then brad-nailed with a pneumatic nailer.
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488 viewsInstalling 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.
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Completed rails before finishing484 viewsThe completed railing system! This picture was taken right before the stain went on (hence the masking tape in the picture).
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Angled handrail in place481 viewsHere's a view from the entryway of the installed upper railing. We were quite relieved to have this piece installed properly!
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Work on Main Railing445 viewsNext 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.
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Completed rails before finishing389 viewsAnother 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.
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Upper rail complete384 viewsThe 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.
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Angled Ballusters364 viewsHere 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.
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Upper and Lower Rails339 viewsThis picture shows the upper and lower rails in place. Cathy is countersinking some nails which hold the lower rail in place (the nails were toenailed with a pneumatic finish nailer).
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Small side rail completed312 viewsThe 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.
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First post goes up295 viewsOur first task was to remove the small straight railing separating the stairway from the upper level. We then installed the newel post and half-newel which supports the new oak railing. To the left, you can see the newel post in place-- the yellow device is a post level.
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Completed rails after finishing242 viewsThe 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.
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