Help installing Balusters and handrail

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Old 11-10-10, 07:07 AM
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Help installing Balusters and handrail

Hi,

I am about to tackle the staircase in my home but have a few questions for you guys and gals.

The stair case is somewhat narrow as it is a very old home. the original railing was removed well before I moved in and replaced with a wall that had a simple railing attached to it. I have removed the top of this wall and placed a 1x8 piece of Poplar to mount the balusters into as the treads are to narrow to mount.

I will obviously have to cut angles on each end of the baluster to attach them. What is the best way to secure them to this "shoe"?

Also, what spacing is required for each baluster? Is there a general guideline? I am not sure how many balusters to install.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 11-10-10, 07:35 AM
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There's code on baluster spacing - I think it's less than 4" open space between them but the pros here know that stuff off the top of their head
 
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Old 11-11-10, 05:13 PM
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4" space is correct. Some balusters come with a 45 degree angle already cut on one end.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 04:00 AM
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I've never installed a staircase but I've finished lots of them. If you can prefinish all the parts before installation it will save you a lot of time.
 
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Old 11-15-10, 12:38 PM
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thanks guys. 4" spacing...got it!

I realize that the bulk of the railing strength will come from the post but what is the best way to secure the balusters to the shoe?
 
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Old 11-15-10, 03:00 PM
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The balusters either use a dowel that connects them to the base or a double headed screw [screws both into the base and the bottom of the baluster]
 
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Old 11-16-10, 08:42 AM
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I would use a finish nail gun.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 12:05 PM
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I was thinking of using dowels and glue but it might be difficult ensuring that each spindle is drilled perfect.

I don't think just a few finish nails would suffice. Might be a little to wobbly...no?
 
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Old 11-16-10, 12:23 PM
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Check friends and neighbors' stairs, you'll be surprised how many loose balusters you find
 
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Old 11-16-10, 12:58 PM
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Balusters

Hi Mranieri,
My name is George and i work for a Chicago area Home Depot.Having said that you are using a 1x8 poplar on top of the wall i think that the easiest way to attach those balusters would be if you leave that poplar board lose and screw your balusters from the bottom of the board.Once you have all of your balusters in place and screwed to the board place that board back in place and attach your top rail and posts.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelToes View Post
Hi Mranieri,
My name is George and i work for a Chicago area Home Depot.Having said that you are using a 1x8 poplar on top of the wall i think that the easiest way to attach those balusters would be if you leave that poplar board lose and screw your balusters from the bottom of the board.Once you have all of your balusters in place and screwed to the board place that board back in place and attach your top rail and posts.
That's a good idea. I would add that you should drill countersunk holes and screw that poplar board down. With the railing and balusters being attached to that board, the nails will work themselves loose.
 
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Old 11-17-10, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SteelToes View Post
Hi Mranieri,
My name is George and i work for a Chicago area Home Depot.Having said that you are using a 1x8 poplar on top of the wall i think that the easiest way to attach those balusters would be if you leave that poplar board lose and screw your balusters from the bottom of the board.Once you have all of your balusters in place and screwed to the board place that board back in place and attach your top rail and posts.
Thanks George, that makes sense. I figure a 3" decking screw would do the trick with a little glue so the spindles don't spin. I appreciate all the advise.
 
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Old 11-17-10, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
That's a good idea. I would add that you should drill countersunk holes and screw that poplar board down. With the railing and balusters being attached to that board, the nails will work themselves loose.
I was planning on using screws countersunk and then filled to finish. The leverage of someone pulling on the handrail will definitely loosen up nails. Thanks
 
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