Step 2: Trim Balusters to Length

Trim Balusters to Length To Build a Decorative Driveway Marker
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Lay out eight rough-cut balusters on your work surface, using spacers to set the distance between them—1½ inches in our case. Line up the angled ends against a board. At the other ends, measure and mark the outside edge of the tall baluster at 20 inches and the short one at 14 inches. Use a straightedge to connect the points, and mark a cutline across each baluster, as shown. Reset your miter saw to 90 degrees and cut each piece. Now you have eight balusters of declining length, each with an angle on top that lines up perfectly with its neighbor. Use the first set of balusters to trace cutlines on the second set, and cut them to match. Set all 16 aside.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter Saw
    • combination square
      Combination Square
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • Rafter Square
      Rafter Square
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • hand saw
      Handsaw
    • spade bit
      Drill/driver
    • hammer
      ¾-inch Spade Bit
    • chisel
      Hammer
    • mallet
      Chisel
    • mallet
      Mallet
    • 2-and-a-half-inch paintbrush
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1x3 for the balusters Get four 6-footers.

    6x6 post Get one at least 3 feet long.

    4x4 post Get one at least 3 feet long.

    1x4 for the rails Get two 8-footers.1¼-inch deck screws

    ½-inch threaded galvanized-steel rod

    primer and paint