New Front Stoop Railings - Part 2: Preparation

Lots and Lots of Prep

In Part I of this series, I related a little about the history of the front stoop here at 173.  While searching through the blog, I noticed that there has been a few posts about the stoop over the years, including the door being painted, the new house numbers, and adding "a little pop", all back in '13.  There was also a post as part of the punch list from the front porch outside remodel, one about painting the steps in July, 2016.  All of which just goes to show there really is no master plan happening here at 173!

  This is where we left off last week:

Behind the Scenes

Well, considerable progress has been made this week, but I'm not quite ready for the reveal of the new railings.  But I did want to share some pictures about the prep work that went into this project.  It all started with buying the lumber, and prepping it.  The first stage of the prep was to let all the wood sit in the basement for weeks so the dehumidifier could help remove some of the moisture from the pressure-treated wood.  I chiseled out the bigger knots in the wood and used Dap Plastic Wood
to fill them: 

From there, I used my table saw to rip 1x4s to the width I needed, and also chamfered the other rails (which will make sense in the reveal). 

 I know the old table saw of death couldn't have done this:

Then the re-sawn 1x4s were run through the 'ol router (cheap but effective router table below): what would become the top of the top rail a bit of a profile:

And, while we're talking about routers - here's a shot of the router bit box I built of scrap wood 16 or 17 years ago:

 After that, the workshop and basement became a painting assembly-line:

Experimenting with Pre-Sizing

I decided to cut the pieces of railing to size and pre-prime and pre-paint, and while I can see the merits of such an approach - it was a long, slow, tedious process!  Here are a couple more shots of the assembly line:

Sheetrock Screws - Rookie Mistake

Okay, and one final shot for today.  Way back when the front stoop was first built, I didn't really realize sheetrock screws couldn't be used in pressure-treated lumber.  Also, I wanted to make sure the post that had to be flush-mounted was fastened well and very stable.  So what does one do?  Use lots of screws!!  Here's how they looked when I took apart the old railings/posts:

So, that's where we are.  With any luck, when next we meet....
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