Stair dilemma

We are working in a new home that has a round stairway with a couple of bent rails. The handrail is an over the post type with a volute at the bottom and an up easing at the top connecting to another bent rail which makes up the balcony area. Basically, looking at the print, the stair opening looks like a big oval with the stairs going down curving in one direction and an open balcony over looking the stairs turning in the opposite direction. The rail going down is about 17' long bent at a 13' radius and connects to the volute at the bottom and the up easing at the top. We are using some decorative iron balusters (round at the top and bottom) that will drill up into the rail and down into the oak treads. The balusters are powder coated and 1/2" diameter at the top and bottom and we get a little 1"x1" decorative foot at the bottom. The foot has a set screw to tighten against the baluster but does not screw to the tread. Here is the dilemma... since the balusters add no strength to the rail, how do we connect the metal to the wood so the rail doesn't get up and down movement out in the middle of a 17' run? We can get the balusters to fit tight (lengthwise) with the set screw in the foot. This would prevent the rail from having any movement downward (which might be enough) but we still think you could grab the middle of the rail and pull upward very easily. BTW, both the architect and the builder agree that this may be a problem.....
One suggestion is to use epoxy in the holes or maybe even silicone sealant. Since the rail has to be assembled all at once, gravity is working against us (on the rail) and trying to keep either substance off of the raw oak might present a problem. This may be the ultimate solution but since we're running out of ideas and time, I thought I'd ask the wreck for suggestions. Any ideas would be welcome and are bound to be of more use than any offered by the architect.....had he offered any.;-)
Mike O.
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http://www.stairwarehouse.com/howtoinmebag.html
Regards, Tom.
Thos. J. Watson - Cabinetmaker http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 / tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet
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wrote:

I should have known that the epoxy had to be "super".
If it's thick enough to need that little gun, it must be thick.
Thanks for the link Tom.
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