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Discussion Starter #1
I'm guessing the wrought iron spindles are at least half the dia as the wood where it mounts to rail and base. I've never done this but would like to help my friend update his handrails.

My main question is; plug holes, sand, and refinishor trash the handrail and baseplate and start over?? What would you do??
 

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Time versus money. Would be faster to replace the base and rail, but that costs money. If the base and rail are painted, then plugging and refinishing is an option. If they are stained, it would be really hard to hide the plugs.
 

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also be aware that if the metal spindles are thinner that the spacing between the spindles may not meet code esp if the ones there now are at maximum allowed distance apart - 4 inches or less between the spindles at the widest spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry I didn't respond. My email notification never seems to work or I miss it or something. Thank you for the responses.

Re. plugging the holes. I forgot to mention that many holes are at an angle. Would that make it much harder to plug. Another use for the multi tool. Would you buy oak dowel and taper with belt sander, cut, taper...? I'm conservative so I would probably opt for plugging the holes. However, I imagine on the base plate the opposing grain from the plugs would stand out significantly. Would probably have to make a sample to see results. I this why you say if they are stained it would be more difficult instead if they were painted?

What is the spacing? 4" on centers?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
image-2346514736.jpg

Maybe the "base" piece at the bottom of the spindle will help hide the old hole? However, the chances of all the spindles landing in the same spot is probably slim, especially if the spacing changes.

Question: with wood spindles narrow at the top and wider at the bottom, where does the code spacing apply? Top or bottom?
 

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As far as matching the grain, you can buy plugs in various species of wood that have cross grain (runs horizontally) instead of end grain. Or you can get a plug cutter of the right diameter and make your own. Might not matter on the bottom side of the hand rail if it is not visible. The code here is 4" between balusters at the widest point. 4" on center would be closer than the code requires, which is fine.
 

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Post a link----I suggest you start fresh---unless the handrails and base plate are something very special the work of trying to plug all of the old holes and make the tired old wood look good is wasted energy--
 

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Anyone familiar with the transformer system for easily replacing balusters with wrought iron?
I have no idea what the transformer system is but I got an idea while on the throne. That's usually where my better ideas originate.

If you will leave the wood and install a wrought between each, that will be nearly 2 X better than code and will satisfy any decor trends that may change at least 5 times in 10 years. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Fairview said:
I have no idea what the transformer system is but I got an idea while on the throne. That's usually where my better ideas originate.

If you will leave the wood and install a wrought between each, that will be nearly 2 X better than code and will satisfy any decor trends that may change at least 5 times in 10 years. :thumbsup:
Yes very true.
They (http://thetransformersystem.com/) advertise that all the balusters can be changed in one day. Has anyone discovered any mechanical bugs in this system?
 
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