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14 months later, the banister is back up. It only took a LOT of blood, sweat, tears, and swearing to get it in, but it is. Now we won’t have to worry about an errant step and a painful fall down the stairs. I still have to do a little tweaking because the two hand rail profiles are slightly different, the shorter piece being one I bought several years ago. And with two coats of shellac on the rail, the project will be done.  If one looks really hard, one can see the new balusters, but they blend in quite well. (The camera does odd things with the colors; everything doesn’t look quite so weird.)

For the morbidly curious, here is how the space looked when I started: https://benningtoncolonial.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/another-before-and-after/ and here: https://benningtoncolonial.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/on-the-road-again/.

Also included here are some photos of my shellacking production line. I put a screw in the end of each baluster for the purposes of mounting it in the jig and hanging them to dry. I love getting crap like this out of basement storage…