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loose stair railing

Our house is 150 years old the staiway railing is loose but not broken.On dismantling one spindle I found a little dovetail joint at the bottom,tucked into the tread.It was neither glued nor nailed.Several of these spindles are loose making the railing wobbly.The spindles are tapered to a soft point and fit into the bottom of the handrail.I do not want to nail into the little dove tails.Is gluing the only remedy?Thank you_Jack:)

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