Step 2: Construct the Jig

Construct the Jig for how to Build a Gingerbread Balustrade
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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Use a piece of plywood for the jig's base. Cut cleats and corner stops from the same ½ stock as your balusters, leaving space along each side to start the router bit. Drill pilot holes through the cleats, and snug them to the jig base with wood screws. Cut ½-inch-thick alignment stops that mount on top of the cleats to hold the template in the same spot each time. Use wood glue to secure the stops, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver and bits
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      combination countersink bit
    • hole saw
      2-inch hole saw
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • router
      router
    • router bits
      -by-2-inch straight router bit with -inch collar
    • random orbit sander
      palm sander and 180-grit sanding pads
    • 2½-inch angled sash brush

    Shopping List

    ½-inch plywood Get one 2-by-4-foot sheet for the template.

    ¾-inch plywood Get one 2-by-4-foot sheet for the jig base.

    ½x5 pine Get six 16-footers for the balusters.

    2x4 primed straight-grain Douglas fir bottom rail Get two 8-footers.

    2x4 primed and chamfered Douglas fir handrail Get two 8-footers.

    1x2 primed pine Get four 8-footers for the nailing strips.

    wood glue

    2-inch wood screws

    1½-inch stainless-steel screws

    2½-inch stainless-steel screws

    exterior latex primer

    exterior latex paint

    5/16-inch spacers