How to fix a loose banister

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Old 08-20-19, 01:44 PM
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How to fix a loose banister

Ok carpenters, how do I fix this :-) See attached for a few pictures showing the banister and where the existing screw holes are located.

Attached are a few pictures of a wooden stairway banister that is loose. I can see where they used screws or bolts to install the banister post to the floor and to the wall. I'm assuming the problem is that those screws have finally come loose, and now the banister shakes from side to side.

Are these my options?

1. Make some new holes in the banister near the current ones, and use new (longer) screws to further secure the banister to both the floor and the wall? I'm assuming when the screws are going into the wall, they're hitting a stud?

2. Somehow remove the current screws and replace them with screws that are new and longer?

3. Any other tricks or options?

Thanks!
 
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Last edited by John Palatzo; 08-20-19 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Rewording
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Old 08-20-19, 01:51 PM
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I'm a painter not a carpenter but I've been on quite a few jobs while the carpenter was installing the handrail and newel posts. If I remember correctly they use lag bolts to secure the newel post. I don't know how hard it would be to remove those plugs, some glue them in and some just tap them in.
 
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Old 08-20-19, 02:40 PM
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You need to be a little more descriptive of the problem. You say it's "loose" which is pretty general.

Let's just take your top photo... does the top of that post wiggle left and right? Or is it pretty solid left to right and it wiggles more front to back?
 
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Old 08-20-19, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies. The looseness is from left to right for that newel. The newel moves left and right, perpendicular to how the newel and spindles make a line towards the wall. So if the newel and spindles are installed north and south, the looseness is east and west.
 
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Old 08-20-19, 03:07 PM
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I would drill 3 new holes on the side of the post that is facing you in the top photo. Holes could be on the left side, just to the left of the existing holes. Get a 3/8" or 1/2" plug cutter and some oak plugs to match the size of your bit. Don't drill very deep... just deep enough for the new plug to fit, which is maybe 3/8" deep.

Then predrill a 5/32" hole through the post only, don't drill into the framing behind. Then insert your screws, snug them up, glue your plugs in, the sand them until they are flush. Then stain and varnish.

You could add one screw by doing the same thing... in your 3rd photo, with a new hole to the right of the lowest screw you have circled.
 
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Old 08-20-19, 06:25 PM
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Awesome, thanks. What kind of screw do you recommend? Just a typical wood screw that's long enough to go through the whole post and then into the framing behind it? Carriage screw? And then in general, is there framing behind that whole post so I pretty much can't screw up and "miss" the framing?
 
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Old 08-20-19, 06:41 PM
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Well, there is a chance they did a stupid job of framing, which is why it's wiggling. There is no way to predict how they framed it, but I would think you have framing there. If you don't hit anything on the left, add new ones on the right.

As for the screws, I would probably use a GRK cabinet screw and 1/2" plugs. (I think the heads will fit I a 1/2" hole. And instead of the plug bits I linked to earlier you could also just get a 1/2" forstner bit. You will glue in the new plugs. Wipe off glue squeeze out with a wet rag or the wood won't take stain.
 
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