Baluster repair

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Project by PASs posted 02-07-2013 06:11 PM 1303 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This is another baluster I got for repair/replacement a LONG time ago.
I decided to repair vice replace because I’m terrible at freehand copying/production turning.
The spindle had about 6 coats of paint on it so I first scraped the paint off the top and bottom square portions to get a smooth and true surface.
Next I sanded the broken ends to square them up as much as possible without affecting the overall length.
I planned on drilling both sections and them gluing them back together with a dowel in the middle.
I drilled the shorter section on my floor model drill press, but the longer section was too long to fit so I broke out the 1947 Shopsmith and set up for horizontal boring.
I used 5 minute epoxy to set the dowel and then clamped the pieces to a bar clamp to keep them aligned while the epoxy cured. Since it was about 45 degrees in the shop I pointed a thrift store heat gun (hair dryer) at the glue joint to speed up the cure.
After about 30 minutes I checked the cure and popped the clamps…perfectly aligned (whew.)
I decided to scrape the rest of the old paint off on the lathe.
I used a couple of scrapers with no toolrest, just hooking my thumb over the spindle while running the lathe as slow as possible. The first few layers had not adhered well so they chipped off quickly.
After I got as much paint off as I felt I could without endangering the wood I switched to 120 and 180 grit sandpaper.
Since the piece was to be painted I didn’t remove all the old paint, just enough to smooth things out.
I put a coat of 2# shellac on the turned portion, wiped off while wet with an old t-shirt.
Then to the belt sander to take the paint off the square ends, followed by 2# shellac.
Then out to the yard for a primer coat of Kilz.

Total time was about 5 hours, but much time lost to playing with the Shopsmith, lunch, and side projects.

Glad to finish this looong overdue work…which the customer will get for free.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

1 comment so far

View Roger's profile


21021 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 02-09-2013 03:32 AM

I think you can replace terrible, with terrific…

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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