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      Tools List

      • 16-foot tape measure
        Measuring tape
      • hammer
      • elastic tape
        Elastic tape for spacing out the balusters. Get one roll.
      • speed square
        Triangular layout square
      • drill
      • miter saw
        Miter saw
      • 3/8-inch spade bit
        Paddle bits sized to your balusters. (Ours were inch and inch.)
      • mallet
      • two-foot level
        Level or straightedge
      • sandpaper
        220-grit sandpaper

      Shopping List

      Wood newel posts. Get two.

      Pin-top wood balusters. Get as many as you need to span the width of your headboard. Safety codes require that they be spaced no more than 4 inches apart, so do the math before you buy, and consider getting a few extra ones as insurance. (We used 14 for a queen-size headboard.) Make sure the balusters have round pins at the bottom for attaching to the bottom rail.

      Handrails. Get two—one for the top rail and one for the bottom rail. Pick a bottom rail that has a fillet, a thin, removable strip of wood that you'll use as a template for making holes in both rails.


      6-inch timber screws for adding the end posts. We used Headlok screws, which require a special drill bit (included).

      Wood glue

      Primer and paint (or stain and sealer)