||05-15-2010 10:14 AM
If you are not replacing the handrail, it may be tricky. The hole in the bottom of the rail are either going to be 5/8" or 3/4" depending on which baluster you have. The tops of the iron balusters are always 1/2". so you will need to find a way to fit them tight. They do sell special shoes that are made to pitch that you can use on bottom side of the rail and attach with a set screw. they also regular shoes on the bottom. The tread should have 3/4" holes drill in them. You will be able to use these hole again as long as you dont use any scroll style balusters. the scroll balusters might screw up the spacing and you will not be able to re use the holes.
Start by cutting out old balusters. Take a iron baluster and place the top part in the hole. Mark the bottom at the top of tread. Add 1/2" to the bottom of the baluster and then cut. i cut with a metal chop saw but i have also used a jigsaw with metal cutting blades, that works fine too. Fill hole with epoxy, gorrila glue, or pl400, slide shoes on first then slide in the baluster. drill the tread hole as deep as you can so you can put baluster in the hole, move into position and then slide it up all the way till it stops. Then tighten the set screw on the shoe.