Before we owned the whole house and we rented the upstairs apartment,
I was in love with the banister.
Granted, we didn't really see much of it since it was in the landlady's portion of the house
behind a makeshft wall,
but when I would go down to help her out I would admire it.
So imagine how disappointing it was to discover
that when the house was converted into apartments,
the contractor hacked off the end of the railing
and 2 spindles were missing.
Big E screwed a scrap piece of wood to the ends of the railing
to keep it together, but it wasn't an appealing look.
We spoke to someone about repairing it,
but the cost was going to start at around $450 just to remake the end.
I found one of the missing spindles in the attic,
and I hoped I might find the missing banister there too.
Big E thought the chances were slim to none, closer to none.
But while poking around a stack of old doors and windows,
I found it.
You can read about it here
Fast forward a bit to present day.
I had a thought that the old piece of railing could be attached
by using wood biscuits.
(I'm always full of thoughts and great ideas).
So Big E called in a friend who likes to do woodworking projects,
and he said he thought he was up for the job.
The idea was to reinforce the entire section of railing,
not just the missing piece.
(I'm glad I didn't have to witness these steps,
I would most likely have panicked silently)
There were also a few loose spindles
that were reinforced with dowels
Everything was also screwed together with finishing screws.
When I arrived on scene,
they were putting the missing corner piece back on.
Biscuits weren't possible because they spilt the one piece into 3 pieces.
Apparently being over 100 years old and sitting in an attic for 40+ years
makes one brittle.
All in all, the finished product is fantastic.
Next step is to strip the paint off the wood.
I'm pretty sure the wood is walnut, and I'd rather have a stained wood railing
than a painted one.
Then we'll need to fill some gaps, slightly smooth down some rough spots,
paint the spindles
(rip up the ugly carpet, clean up the wood floor, strip the steps....)
and finally it will really shine.