In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner by hand-carving a new rope baluster for their ornate Queen Anne home’s staircase.
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Ornate staircases—particularly those in older homes—can be difficult to repair. Their ornate and custom touches are difficult to replicate, and it often takes a true craftsperson to replicate balusters and moldings. General contractor Tom Silva is just the person for the job, helping one Queen Anne homeowner replace a baluster with a hand-carved replica.
Where to find it?
Tom helps a homeowner missing original spiral detailed spindles from their staircase by hand-turning
replicas on a lathe [https://amzn.to/3MwR3eK].
Then he traces the profile of the original baluster onto a manilla folder [https://amzn.to/3oubdhF] with a scribing compass [https://amzn.to/3WqqMUd]. Tom then cuts out the profile of the baluster with scissors [https://amzn.to/3Mtkz5a].
Tom measures and marks [https://amzn.to/42T5qBb] the center portion of the baluster in equal increments.
He uses the parting tool [https://amzn.to/3ODr347] for low points of the spindle details.
Then, Tom uses the spindle gouge [https://amzn.to/3ODr347] to carve into tighter areas.
He uses the skew chisel [https://amzn.to/3ODr347] to carve into the larger areas of the spindle and to round out the edges.
Tom uses a hand saw [https://amzn.to/3WB1K4Q] to cut slots in the spindle following the traced out lines from the string [https://amzn.to/3OAgpel].
He uses a rasp [https://amzn.to/3ODslMv] to file down the edges of the saw cuts until each section has a rounded edge.
Tom then applies a wax-free gel shellac [https://amzn.to/3WvNlqh] to the spindles to match the existing ones.
Looking for more step by step guidance on how to complete projects around the house? Join This Old House Insider to stream over 1,000 episodes commercial-free: https://bit.ly/2GPiYbH
Wood blank [https://amzn.to/43qjJgx]
Manila paper [https://amzn.to/3oubdhF]
Landscaping string [https://amzn.to/3OAgpel]
Wax-free shellac [https://amzn.to/3WvNlqh]
Gel stain [https://amzn.to/420ZXqS]
Tape measure [https://amzn.to/3MsEktz]
Assortment of turning chisels [https://amzn.to/3ODr347]
Coping saw [https://amzn.to/3ODkXke]
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How to Replicate Antique Staircase Balusters | Ask This Old House