Step 1: Scope Out the Situation

a stairway missing a baluster
Photo: Kolin Smith
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On this stair, each baluster has a tenon on its lower end that fits into the tread. A cap nailed to the end of the tread holds the tenon in place. Finishing nails secure the baluster's top end to the handrail. (On other stairs, these details may vary.) Each baluster on a tread is a different length, so provide the company making the new balusters with a sample of each length.
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    Tools List

    • flat prybar
      Pry bar
    • nippers
      Nippers
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • sliding T-bevel
      Sliding T-bevel
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • block plane
      Block plane
    • drill
      Drill
    • 1/16-inch drill bit
      1/16-inch drill bit
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • nailset
      Nailset

    Shopping List

    80-grit sandpaper

    6d finishing nails

    Wood filler