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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, Anybody make ladder box railings lately? 2x4 top and bottom with 2x2 spindles in between. I usually attach with a dab of triple poly sealant to spindles from twisting and screws. Set in between cedar 4x4 and capped off with 5/4 x 6 mahogany. All clear cedar. Nice simple and strong. I have the few decks lined up with these. I was wondering if there better way? I’m actually Actually considering using the domino to make these. Any thought picts input etc. This is not a battle of plastic vrs wood just thinking about a different way to make or even another style. Thanks, City.
 

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I did a large deck like that in the Poconos, but I used PT Pine, no adhesive, just screws. Never had an issue. That was in the late 90's and the railing still looks great for PT. I capped it off with a 2x6, though.
 

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Talking Head
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I haven't made any wood railings in a while but I like to bevel the top of the bottom 2x4 a bit and cut a bird's mouth in the bottom of the baluster. This lets the water shed off the horizontal member and keeps the bottoms of the balusters from absorbing as much water. It also stops the twisting.

It's slower than just making a template and screwing them on but I think it makes for a better product that looks a bit more sophisticated. I never used adhesive for flat rail designs, I would just put a 2" finish nail off center of the baluster(next to the screw) to stop the spin.

You can gang cut the bird's mouths on a tablesaw with a sled or clamp a bunch together and use a track saw. It even works for pitched railing sections.
 

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Done a hundred feet last year and I used cedar. PT could twist. But if I would use PT I would purchase month in advance and let it dry out.
 

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I'm assuming "best" doesn't include esthetics, but you want to keep fasteners hidden.

I haven't used glue, I use a finish nail to prevent spinning. If I used glue, I'd try a full glue joint and nothing but finish nails.

I don't worry about water pooling on the bottom rail, but I do put drip grooves in the underside of the cap rail to keep water from getting between the cap rail and the top ladder rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where are all the pictures guys?
Hey Big Red is back.

Yes to hdavis, the screws are hidden from top plate and bottom which you can't see. i have many of these just wondering if there's a better way then the way I do them. Still might have time to use the domino. Just love that thing.
 

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Talking Head
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Where are all the pictures guys?
I'm embarrassed to say that I spent 10 minutes looking for pictures of the last project I did like this and there aren't any. I've become really bad about taking finished pics. I'll have to head over to the porch and get a couple. It was a Victorian porch so the details were a little more than Yanni is needs but the birdsmouth is there.

The porch was kit project to match the existing(crap) that was rotting out after 6 years. I was pretty happy with the supplier and didn't have to cull any straight pieces and only about 4-5 balusters. Here's a diagram of some of their 5 piece rails. http://www.vintagewoodworks.com/p2railsets.html For a straight up ladder rail I'd use a shallower angle on the bottom rail to leave a thicker edge profile.
 

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I haven't made any wood railings in a while but I like to bevel the top of the bottom 2x4 a bit and cut a bird's mouth in the bottom of the baluster. This lets the water shed off the horizontal member and keeps the bottoms of the balusters from absorbing as much water. It also stops the twisting.

It's slower than just making a template and screwing them on but I think it makes for a better product that looks a bit more sophisticated. I never used adhesive for flat rail designs, I would just put a 2" finish nail off center of the baluster(next to the screw) to stop the spin.

You can gang cut the bird's mouths on a tablesaw with a sled or clamp a bunch together and use a track saw. It even works for pitched railing sections.
Sounds like a great idea Ethan, sucks we can't see the pics
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, I haven't used wood balusters for sometime, but we would screw between the top and bottom rails and then add a finish nail to keep them from spinning.
Same here. Thanks Buddy. I'll post some picts soon as i'm wrapped up should tomorrow maybe friday I'm shorthanded. tomorrow. Small 2-level spiral glass floor panels over sky lights and really nice lay out with ipe. A lot of details with out the busy..
 
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