Step 4: Find the Top Angle

using a T-bevel to measure the top angle of the railing on a stairway
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Hold a sliding T-bevel against the upstairs side of an existing baluster, pivot its blade against the underside of the handrail, and tighten its nut to lock the blade. To transfer this angle to the new baluster, hold the T-bevel against the new baluster so that the blade is beside the mark made in Step 3; use the blade's edge to mark the cutline.
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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