Friday, August 15, 2014

How To Replace A Broken Stair Baluster

Broken stair balusters look shabby and pose a safety danger. Both children and adults can become trapped in the open space; splinters, cuts and impalement can result from broken pieces of wood. Replacing a broken baluster is not a difficult task for a person with moderate woodworking skills.

If the baluster can be repaired, perform these adjustments and allow the work to dry completely before attempting to replace it. Construction adhesive, finishing nails or screws, wood filler or other items can be used to restore the baluster’s functionality.

If it cannot be repaired, remove the broken baluster and take it to the lumber yard to find a replacement or find an matching baluster online. Do not worry about lengths. If it is broken in pieces, remove a nearby baluster for this purpose. If no suitable replacement can be found, contact master woodworkers to commission a custom made replacement. This is often the case with vintage and antique balusters. Be sure to use the same wood species as the rest of the existing balusters for continuity.

Once the new baluster is acquired, prepare the stair and rail to receive it. Remove all putty, paint, nails and other debris. Measure the distance from the stair to the handrail and mark the baluster. Use a T bevel to acquire the angle at the top and carefully transfer the marks to the top of the baluster. Cut the angle and install the baluster in place, bottom first. Sand and stain or prime and paint to match the surrounding wood. The baluster can also be sanded and primed before installation.


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