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Repaing Railings on Vh600

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My daughter & I are newbies rehabbing a vh600 Victorian & I’m a little stumped on how to repair the porch railings. Some are perfectly glued in place, some are just missing a few spindles and others are completely in pieces! Fortunately, I have all the pieces. I understand how to rebuild the pieces, but what is the best way to glue in a missing spindle? How do you get glue into such a tiny space without disturbing the neighboring spindles? And how do you hold something so delicate together while it dries?

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3 hours ago, PerkinsPixies said:

How do you get glue into such a tiny space without disturbing the neighboring spindles? And how do you hold something so delicate together while it dries?

For repair work like this, where the pieces are painted, I'd use Aileene's Tacky Glue or, if raw wood is exposed, a good wood glue.  Try picking up a tiny dot of glue on the end of a toothpick. I'd use a tiny piece of blue painters' tape to hold the piece in place.

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If there are other spindles firmly in place along the railing I would run a strip of tape along the row and glue in the missing spindles as Kathie suggests, pressing them against the tape to hold them until dry; give them several days for the glue to dry thoroughly before removing the tape.

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Thank you for the help! The pieces are painted, but there is raw wood where they were glued previously. Some spindles are firmly in place, so adding the missing spindles is what seems tricky because they don’t seem tall enough to stay in well.  Do I make a tiny shim? There are sections where several spindles are missing & it’s no longer attached to the house at all. My husband says to take that section totally apart & rebuild it, since I can lay it flat. I guess sometimes you have to disassemble in order to properly reassemble?

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This does sound like a case where taking it apart to put it back together is the best option. Spindles can be tricky, especially if they're slightly too short. To add stability, you can add a cut-down pin to the bottom of the spindles that are too short and stick the pin into the lower rail. Here are some pictures to show what I mean (scroll halfway down the post to see them): http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=13459

Another option is to take it apart and then use a different railing that's all one piece, rather than trying to fix what you have. Check out Heritage Laserworks for some options: http://heritagelaserworks.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2_44

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Thank you Emily! I appreciate the cut-down pin tip! Your railings look great & sturdy! These spindles have been the one thing always needing repair since my Mom built this house! She upgraded the spindles from what was in the kit. They look nice, but are very delicate! I’m amazed none were lost! Spending the extra time & effort now seems worth it so I don’t have to keep repairing broken spindles in the future.

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5 hours ago, PerkinsPixies said:

...take that section totally apart & rebuild it, since I can lay it flat. I guess sometimes you have to disassemble in order to properly reassemble?

Absolutely!  You won't be happy with it if it's slap-dash.

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