Stair railing/banister/spindle disassembly?

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by hmcneill, Jan 21, 2020.

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  1. Jan 21, 2020 #1

    hmcneill

    hmcneill

    hmcneill

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    Hi, I'm in the process of renovating a condo and have never really dealt with a staircase r 5282214957783782595.jpg -1552594090319294163.jpg ailing/banister. I see where the railings affix to the main posts and had no trouble unscrewing those but cannot seem to full understand how the spindles are embedded. It appears the rails act as a cap and have spacers that are inserted and possibly the spindles are glued but do not want to destroy the railing trying to get this thing apart. Does anyone know how to properly remove the spindles? Images attached. Thanks!
     
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  2. Jan 22, 2020 #2

    sthole

    sthole

    sthole

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    high chance of dowels/4 or 3p nails, toe nailed. see if you can see/find nail spots/putty filled dimples. maybe using a drift pin/constant diameter and small diameter to match a 3 or 4p nail, you can drive the nail thru.
     
  3. Jan 22, 2020 #3

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    There is likely a dowel at either or even both ends of the balusters.

    Sometimes everything is put together all at once, and the balusters are all captive.
    Then they might get glue or a pin nail at one or both ends, so they won’t spin.

    There is possibly a plug in the opposite side of the newel post, that is hiding a big screw that holds the top rail to the post.

    The bottom of the newel post might have been screwed down first, with a double ended lag screw. The whole post can just spin to get tightened or removed.
    Sometimes they are toe-screwed at the bottom, and the holes are plugged, or puttied and finished over.

    Then the lower rail and everything else was added.

    Meanwhile, you have not explained why this needs taking apart.
    What are you trying to do?

    Stair building and handrail building is often very complicated, look for videos on Youtube about making repairs.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2020 #4

    hmcneill

    hmcneill

    hmcneill

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    Thanks for the reply. I am taking it apart because I want to replace those with straight spindles(4 even sides) and strip and repaint everything. I am afraid I am going to destroy things trying to get it to come apart.
     
  5. Jan 22, 2020 #5

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    If you don’t want to save the old balusters/spindles, just neatly saw through one, down between the turnings at the bottom.

    So it’s easy to fix and replace if you change your mind.

    Once you cut one, you will be able to wiggle the pieces and see how it is held in.

    When I have had to pop in a new or repaired spindle or two into an existing handrail, I have used a fairly short and loose dowel on top, with plenty of glue in the holes.

    Then I put a dowel or even a threaded rod in the bottom, and drill the baluster to be able to let the dowel or rod slide up inside.
    Drill a somewhat big hole in the bottom rail, and the dowel or threaded rod can slide down and lock into the hole, with plenty of glue.
    Then a tiny finish nail or two, or not.

    I suppose you could put in a small spring before the dowel, but I never have needed to.

    If you can find screws to loosen the rail on top of the balusters, everything will be much easier.
     
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  6. Jan 22, 2020 #6

    hmcneill

    hmcneill

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    Thanks!!! I'll give it another go.
     
  7. Jan 22, 2020 #7

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Anyone else with better tricks than mine, please add your tips here.
     

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