• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to repair a baluster.


    1. Set one half of busted baluster in routing jig.
    2. Use plunge router to cut a 3/8-inch-diameter by 1 ½-inch-deep dowel hole into the broken end of the baluster.
    3. Remove first half of baluster from the jig, insert the second half and rout the mating dowel hole.
    4. Squeeze glue into the holes in the balusters.
    5. Insert the hardwood dowel halfway into one of the holes.
    6. Push the baluster halves tightly together, making sure the parts are properly aligned.
    7. Install baluster in staircase balustrade, and secure it with 8d finishing nails.
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    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Making the routing jig is the only challenging part.
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      Tools List

      • plunge router
        Plunge router
        with 3/8-inch-diameter straight bit and guide bushing
      • drill
      • hammer
      • nailset
        Nail set

      Shopping List

      1. Homemade routing jig,
      holds baluster parts in position for routing dowel holes

      2. Hardwood dowel,
      used to splice together the two baluster halves

      3. Polyurethane glue,
      for gluing dowel in routed holes

      4. 8d finishing nails,
      used to reattach repaired baluster to balustrade

      5. 2-inch drywall screws,
      used to assemble jig