Step 3: Measure the Length

using a tape measure to measure the length of a baluster on a stairway
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Custom balusters are made long so that they can be trimmed to fit. First, measure the upstairs side of an existing baluster, from the tread up to where it touches the handrail. Hook the tape measure on the bottom edge of the new baluster—not on the tenon—and transfer that measurement to its upstairs side.
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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
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    • nailset
      Nailset

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