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Old 06-26-2020, 03:55 PM   #1
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Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


Hi-

I need to finish up this railing project I started 9 months ago and I have been dreading it. If I had a plan 9 months ago I completely forgot what it was.

I have my oak railing stained and cut to fit the opening and I predrilled pocket holes for long wood screws, I custom made rosettes for each end and have them nicely painted white, I filled and sanded the old banisters, and I painted the end walls where everything with be installed. I will paint the banisters at the end before I put the oak fillets on the underside of the railing i think.

My wife is going to have to help me get this thing put back together. I was thinking I have her hold the railing in place as best as she can while I mark exactly where I need the rosettes. I am not sure if I should secure them with a nail gun in the area where the railing will cover so there are no visible nail holes o do I need to nail each corner? Once I have those in place I guess I will put a giant wood screw into each pocket hole to secure the railing itself to the walls.

If I do it this way will I have enough room to slide each banister into place? There is a little groove under the railing for the banisters to fit which needs to be filled with little fillets at the very end. I am afraid to split the banisters with my nail gun. I have a 16 gage, 18 gauge and a pin nailer--would the 18 gauge be the most appropriate for securing the banisters and if so what length? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

thx
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


Depends how far apart your balusters are.
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Old 06-27-2020, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


All your ballusters should be the same length if your wall cap is the same angle as your stairs are. I would determine your horizontal spacing then mark that out on your wall cap, then start installing with the top one and put 2 brad nails into the wall cap on each one. The banister can be held up with temporary supports and a couple clamps can take your wife's place.

Then once you get to the bottom, start installing your fillet pieces from the bottom up. Fillet piece in front to hold the balluster plumb, then a brad nail through the balluster into the banister to push it tight against the fillet piece. Then another fillet piece and so on, until you reach the top... checking for plumb as you go in case your fillet pieces would have an incremental error in their length.
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


The old paint marks are 4 3/4" apart.

What brad nail length and gauge would you recommend to secure the balusters to the baseboard?

I guess if I mess this up I can just redo it, scared for some reason though. I just don't want to mess up the railing itself because it took me a long time to get it cut properly, stained and clear coated.

I just got the main handrail up and it looks good, but I'm still stressing about this one. I also need to do a L shaped one for the landing.

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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
All your ballusters should be the same length if your wall cap is the same angle as your stairs are. I would determine your horizontal spacing then mark that out on your wall cap, then start installing with the top one and put 2 brad nails into the wall cap on each one. The banister can be held up with temporary supports and a couple clamps can take your wife's place.

Then once you get to the bottom, start installing your fillet pieces from the bottom up. Fillet piece in front to hold the balluster plumb, then a brad nail through the balluster into the banister to push it tight against the fillet piece. Then another fillet piece and so on, until you reach the top... checking for plumb as you go in case your fillet pieces would have an incremental error in their length.
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


I installed all the Ash balusters and railing with hammer driven finish nails and nail set after boring a hole for each about half the diameter of the nail. It may seem like it would take longer but if other methods cause split and or misdirected fasteners it actually saves time and a whole bunch of frustration.


A tip- If using a twist drill bit in hard woods, back it out frequently to clear chips and cool.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


Well, code on ballusters is "no 4" sphere may pass", so I won't comment on Senior Sitizens photo. Lets say he was grandfathered in back during the good 'ol days.

If your spacing measures 4 3/4" diagonally that should be pretty close to 4" between ballusters once you install them plumb. (Actually 3.8" if your stairs are 37 degrees which is pretty typical)

The term "brad nails" is only used with reference to 18 gauge nails. So yes, use the 18 gauge brad nailer. The length of brad nail depends on how high you toenail it. 1 1/2" would be plenty long IMO. The 16 gauge gun shoots finish nails. You could use it if you dont mind the size of the hole it leaves. A 23 gauge is a pin nailer that shoots headless wire nails (or pins.) Likely too small and short to do much good. But you could use it for your fillets assuming your pin nailer shoots the right length of nail.

Nowadays handrails must be mitered to return to the walls on the end by code. Fortunately you arent being inspected and are just redoing what was there before. Dont lose any sleep over it. The code is there because people can catch their clothes on a handrail like that.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:39 PM   #7
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


The nails in the ballusters are unimportant. The fillets are what does the holding. Make suer prior to installing that rosette that there is framing behind the drywall there.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:56 AM   #8
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


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The code is there because people can catch their clothes on a handrail like that.
I've ruined at least two nice leather jackets doing same or similar.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Installing sloped oak railing with banisters


That wall mounted railing should have also continued down to the end of the stairs.
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