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When the wall separating the upstairs and down was put in, the fir trim pieces on the newel post were removed/damaged and the balusters removed. Now that the space is open again, the damage needs to be undone. Using trim from my great-grandfather’s house and from the old window frames from my bay window remodel, I reproduced as best as I could the original trim. Hard to imagine that a whole afternoon was devoted to making five moulding pieces… The large piece doesn’t quite match the old, so I guess the old has to go and be entirely replaced. The purist in me is screaming in horror! (The perspective in the photos appears to be playing havoc with the angle at the top of the new bandings. They really do match in real life.)

“Why didn’t you have custom bandings made so they would match perfectly?” Easy. I’m a cheap so-and-so. For example, I inquired about having my missing base cap milled at a local shop. They were going to charge me about $90 for the knives, $20 for setup, and $3.75 per board foot just for labor. I was going to supply the stock! It would seem reasonable to assume that they would charge similarly for these band mouldings, so I figured that I could save a couple hundred bucks if I did the best that I could by myself. (By the way, the base cap is a whole other dilemma.)

With the new space, another newel post is in order. It was purchased from a local salvage yard and the paint removed some weeks ago. If I have my way, it will be carved to match the old. But the jury is still out on that one. The balusters are an interesting challenge. I have 13 salvaged from a home in Iowa and 11 that I bought this past weekend, but they don’t match. Maybe I can mix and match, but again, there is no verdict yet. Anyone have use for the banding from the purchased newel post? I don’t know what to do with them but I won’t be able to bring myself to throw them. That would mean that I will harbor them for the rest of my life and my kids can pitch them when I die.

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