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Talking Head
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When I've done balusters, which isn't frequently, I have always used either a dowel bottomed baluster or the the double ended dowel screws. There is no fill after either except a finish nail hole to keep them from spinning. For a repair, I could see the Kreg being a good option.
 

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Lots of stairs & railing trimming houses -

Extra gyrations, big holes to plug, sand (even with Kreg Plugs). more handling of pieces - no substantial gain over nails- all times 30-50 balusters. Adds up fast.

Plowed Shoe rail on hand rails - 4 Pins or dowels for tread fastening.
 

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Eater of sins.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lots of stairs & railing trimming houses -

Extra gyrations, big holes to plug, sand (even with Kreg Plugs). more handling of pieces - no substantial gain over nails- all times 30-50 balusters. Adds up fast.

Plowed Shoe rail on hand rails - 4 Pins or dowels for tread fastening.

Thanks Texas Wax, just one question though...


WHAT? :confused1:


Andy.
 

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Good idea, bad idea?

Will be for the base to tread connection.

Painted balusters like in picture. Actually exactly as in picture. I am designing the loft that will connect to this staircase.

Andy.
I have both indoor and out. You have to make sure the screws are 2.5" or 3" other then that maybe a lil glue if you want to fuss over it. :thumbsup: Keep in mind the interior was for repairs and replacement the out door was for what's attached. Angled railings didn't work so I made it.
 

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Everytime Keith posts the whole forum goes... Ooooh...ahhhh... :) old school at its finest. Reminds me of talking to Jed Dixon at JLC live one year...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Really very nice idea with the dove-tails Kieth, I am thinking it would be too much for this particular job though.
Now a mortise and tenon connection, that might be doable.
I am going to show three possibilities on the design for this then.
Mortise and tenon, pocket screws and two ended dowel screws as Ethan suggested.

Andy.
 

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Thanks for the kind comments. I've used the double dowel screws many times and they work pretty well. I've used the mortise & Tenon, I.E. A Domino and would never do that again. The difference in how stiff the rail is when dovetailed in is quite remarkable. It does take more time and planning, no question about that, but the time difference is hours not days. Now hand stringing holly and ebony balusters does take days....
 

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Talking Head
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To be clear, I only use mortise and tenon if I can buy the balusters with the tenon already cut on the bottom. It is then just a matter of drilling holes with a Forstner bit to receive them. You will still need a pin to keep them from spinning.
 

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Thanks Texas Wax, just one question though...


WHAT? :confused1:


Andy.
Sorry

Extra gyrations,Have to handle the pieces more times, It's additional grief holding balusters in a kreig jig or building a jig, then there is the pocket screw hop (as i call it) if you don't oversize the pilot hole. Screw is turning down while getting a bite of the material being screwed to. Push up and typically a little suck-movement in the direction of the screw. The balusters will "dance" if not held very tight when being fastened. Gyrations=Additional work not always needed and with grief PITA factor


big holes to plug, sand (even with Kreg Plugs). Gluing and setting the krieg plugs is not hard but you have to take some care and time to minimize how much sanding and filling after the fact. The after the fact will eat your lunch money and lunch time. even with fancy green tools LOL


more handling of pieces -How many times do you have to touch, work on and move a piece - this adds and effectively doubles the touches-time over a more conventional method.


no substantial gain over nails- Balusters are thin and all nails/screws exit within the center 50% of the meat. Krieg, gun and hand nails. Acting closer to a pivot and tearout is more likely over time. Vs Doweling or shoe rail methods



all times 30-50 balusters. Adds up fast.
An extra minute to 5 minutes adds up.


Plowed Shoe rail on hand rails - 4 Pins or dowels for tread fastening.

Shoe Rail Is best for non/stair railings, on many levels. Doweling is #2, in my mind, and 4 nails (air gun nails 23ga - we call pins) are within industry norms.

Making the assumption here that you are designing and this will be a fairly typical subcontracted out kind of gig... and giving you that mindset as part of my response.

Now if I could sell the additional dove tailing like Kieths work, hell yes. LOL that would ensure at least a week in the field for me, which is enjoyable.

Once again if it was me and you still wanted a very clean look at the handrail to edge of 2nd story floor .... I'd make nosing oversized in width and plow it. Then use fillet that was 1/8-1/4 taller than the plowed depth. Same look as your picture, give or take, ... very fast to assemble and much stronger than 'fasteners'. 1.5-2 hrs shop time for the custom milling - away we go :clap:

Less confused?
 

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Keith how to you cut the 45 for the bullnose return. I have a job coming up that may require me to do this and i cant think of a way to do it with any of my tools i have.
I'm sure Keith will answer you soon enough, but I would just cut with miter box from the bottom side. Set up a saw with the table shimmed up so the cutting portion of blade is near vertical. I used to do some with a circular saw with a clamped on guide the same way (max cut depth on blade), but miter saw is much easier. The hard part is not to overcut the top side. I usually ended up finishing cut with a hand saw from the top side.

Just practise cuts 1st!
 
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