Step 1: Lay out the pieces

Lay out, poplar board, stilts
Photo: This Old House television
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Using a tape measure and straightedge, lay out the treads and supports on the poplar 1x8. You will need four support pieces and two treads. Along the middle of two of the support pieces, make one mark 1 inch from the top edge and another mark exactly 4 inches from the first one. Measure carefully—later you will drill holes here for the bolts that attach the supports to the poles.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      Circular saw or jigsaw
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with #6 countersink bit and 5/16-inch drill bit
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander
    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge

    Shopping List

    1. 12 feet of 1½-inch diameter pine handrail
    (round on one side, flat on the other)

    2. 3 feet of 1x8 poplar

    3. Wood glue

    4. 3d nails

    5. 2-inch deck screws6. 1¼-inch deck screws

    7. Four ¼ x 3½-inch carriage bolts
    with fender washers, lock washers and wingnuts

    8. 120-grit sandpaper

    9. One pair of 1½-inch rubber feet (sometimes used for furniture or canes)