Repairing a Banister

Learn a simple way to fix a loose banister. Follow these step-by-step instructions from Don't Sweat It host Steve Watson.
hdswt101_3a_banister_before

hdswt101_3a_banister_before

Install draw bolts to make tightening a loose banister easier.

Materials:

polyurethane glue
draw bolts

Tools:

brad gun
cordless drill
wrenches to fit draw bolts
hammer
screwdriver

Tip: Be careful when using pure polyurethane glues. They expand as they dry, which will tighten the bond. With this expansion, you risk separating your joint or glue bleed-out. It's worth the risk, because you'll get a much stronger bond.

Steps:

hdswt101_3b_removebullnose

hdswt101_3b_removebullnose

1. Remove all outer bullnose pieces (the rounded trim on the side of each step) with a hammer and screwdriver. Be sure to remove them evenly so they won't split. Number them so they go back in the right place.

2. Remove all loose spindles and the banister.

hdswt101_3c_removebanister2

hdswt101_3c_removebanister2

3. Drill new holes for draw bolts on the bottom side of the banister using the template provided by the manufacturer. Then, install draw bolts and glue banister back into place.

hdswt101_3d_drillhole

hdswt101_3d_drillhole

4. Tighten banister pieces together with draw bolts.

hdswt101_3e_slidebanisterinplace

hdswt101_3e_slidebanisterinplace

5. Tap spindles for one step into place, and then secure with polyurethane glue and brads. Continue until all spindles are secure.

hdswt101_3f_tightenspindles

hdswt101_3f_tightenspindles

6. Replace all bullnose pieces by gluing and screwing them into place.

hdswt101_3g_attachbullnose

hdswt101_3g_attachbullnose

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