I posted about a week ago for help on material selection for this
bannister. Now I am posting for help on how to install it. I am
trying to match the existing rail on the right side with a new one on
the left side. The balusters are just straight 2x2 stock, the rail is
a 2x4 with a 1" diameter roundover on the edges and has a 1/4" deep by
1.5" wide groove to admit the top of the baluster.
I have a book on stairs, and it seems to say that the proper way to
install balusters is:
(1) First, install the railing between top and bottom posts.
(2) Then, drill dowel holes in the treads and in the base of the
balusters, install a 2" dowel so approximately 1" sticks out of the
(3) Then glue the baluster into the dowel hole and toenail with finish
nails into the groove in the rail.
The geometry of this operation is not working in my head. To get a
tight fit with a dowel, you need to insert it vertically. It is not
possible to insert the balusters vertically if the rail is already in
place. It is possible, given the miter at the top of the baluster
that inserting into the dowel hole on an angle from up the stairs
might work, but then you'd need a loose fitting dowel.
The other possibility I can think of is to take the rail off, insert
all the balusters, then put the rail back. Probably some final
adjustment of the balusters would be required, and it doesn't seem
possible to do that without working extremely fast so the glue has not
started to dry when the railing goes back on.
I am obviously missing something. I hope somebody knows what it is.