Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails
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Allan C
How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails

I am contemplating initially gluing and end-nailing hemlock Mission-style 1 5/8" square balusters to fillet strips and then fitting and fastening this sub-assembly into the ploughs of the hand and shoe rails. This seems a much easier and stronger assembly method than nailing baluster ends into the rails and then back filling gaps with short lengths of fillet strip. Are any problems envisioned with this apparently unconventional approach?

Most of the project will be construction of horizontal balustrades for a loft. The shoe rail will be hung between the newel posts and spaced off the finish floor by approximately 3 1/2 inches. Spans between newel posts will be no more than 5 feet.

Any suggestions will be very much appreciated!

dj1
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails

Nails and glue should work.

Mastercarpentry
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails

I like them a little closer to the floor so stuff can't get inadvertently kicked underneath- or advertantly if you've got with small toys :rolleyes: Otherwise you're doing it the way I would; easy, accurate, and effective. One hint: Set the bottom rail, then the picket assembly, then press the top down tightly onto it and secure- makes it easier to keep things tight.

Phil

Allan C
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails
Mastercarpentry wrote:

I like them a little closer to the floor so stuff can't get inadvertently kicked underneath- or advertantly if you've got with small toys :rolleyes: Otherwise you're doing it the way I would; easy, accurate, and effective. One hint: Set the bottom rail, then the picket assembly, then press the top down tightly onto it and secure- makes it easier to keep things tight.

Phil

Thank you for your comments ... glad you see no problems with the proposed assembly method. Will take your advice regarding sequence of final assembly to "keep things tight". May drop the shoe rail a bit although no kids here.

Allan C
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails
dj1 wrote:

Nails and glue should work.

Thanks for your advice. I had first contemplated fastening the baluster ends to the fillet with screws and glue but will be much easier to keep things aligned and avoid need to pre-drill and csk the fillet if I just shoot one or two finish nails--along with using some glue.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails

After gluing and pinning, add screws to several of them to keep the assembly tight. Each end balluster and one or two in the middle of a 5ft run would be great. The added strength is amazing. It would do to check it for square before the glue dries. Or install it while it can still be racked to fit (the floor may not be level, etc.)
Casey

Allan C
Re: How to assemble balusters to hand and shoe rails
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

After gluing and pinning, add screws to several of them to keep the assembly tight. Each end balluster and one or two in the middle of a 5ft run would be great. The added strength is amazing. It would do to check it for square before the glue dries. Or install it while it can still be racked to fit (the floor may not be level, etc.)
Casey

Thanks for the tip about adding some screws ... will do!

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