Step 5: Cut to Length

cutting the baluster to length using a miter saw
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Using the T-bevel, set the angle of the miter-saw blade, then cut the baluster just next to the cutline. Test-fit the new baluster; it should sit flat on the tread when the tenon is in the mortise and have equal spacing between it and the tops of the neighboring balusters. If they're not, shave the top with the miter saw or a swipe or two of a block plane.
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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