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DIY Balustrade

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  1. #1
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    Default DIY Balustrade

    Any advice on this would be much appreciated fellas,

    I'm thinking about building my own balustrade (11m + 14 step stairs) using 25mm kwila dowel, rebated bottom rail and some dressed 138 x 40 hardwood for the top rail. I'm unsure of the following:

    -Do you drill out the holes balusters with a spade bit or make a grove with the router? -getting the angle of the holes right for the stairs rails would be tricky!

    -What method would you recommend for fixing the balusters to the rail -I've seen a single nail fixed at an angle through to the rails

    -Whats the best way to fix to the posts? I was thinking about using proprietary tenons.

    -is the max gap between balusters 100mm of 125?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4078004 View Post
    Any advice on this would be much appreciated fellas,

    I'm thinking about building my own balustrade (11m + 14 step stairs) using 25mm kwila dowel, rebated bottom rail and some dressed 138 x 40 hardwood for the top rail. I'm unsure of the following:

    -Do you drill out the holes balusters with a spade bit or make a grove with the router? -getting the angle of the holes right for the stairs rails would be tricky!

    -What method would you recommend for fixing the balusters to the rail -I've seen a single nail fixed at an angle through to the rails

    -Whats the best way to fix to the posts? I was thinking about using proprietary tenons.

    -is the max gap between balusters 100mm of 125?

    Cheers
    I have built many balustrades yet never with round balusters. I usually use 35x35 square and make a decorative groove on each side and router off the edges stopping 150mm short of the end in each case.
    You need a router table to do this.

    I make a groove with the router top and bottom rail because it is much easier to get the distance between the balusters and keeping everything vertical that way. I use one skew nail (small) because I also use spacers/infill between the balusters. A strip of wood that fills the groove exactly flat with the sides of the rail and doubles up as spacer. The nail is not even necessary. I however glue and nail the spacers. This is of course a bit laborious. If I had to do this with round balusters ... mm. Well I wouldn't but if you are set to use round stuff, 25 mm seems to me to be on the small side. You could still use the above method but would need to square off at least two sides of the dowel to allow for the spacers. This would make the stairs balustrade easier (not easy)

    To do it drilling the holes is in principle easier but in practice difficult because of the precision you need in the drilling and the unforgiving result if you have a dowel out of plumb or not exactly spaced. You could make a jig for it and also for the stairs balustrade, that includes a spacer and a guide for the spade drill. Actually perhaps a forstener bit would be a better choice. In my opinion ... forget it. Go for square balusters.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

  3. #3
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Stainless cable, forget the timber.

    Is it a genuine Qlder or workers cottage ? If so, timber dowel is the go if you want to keep it original. If not, don't bother with pastiche balustrade.

  4. #4
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Stainless cable, forget the timber.

    Is it a genuine Qlder or workers cottage ? If so, timber dowel is the go if you want to keep it original. If not, don't bother with pastiche balustrade.


    Stainless all the way

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