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How to Build Custom Deck Railings

With the deck floor complete, build custom railings. The decks support posts serve as mounts for the new railing system.

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Step 1: Remove Excess From Support Posts

Based on the measurements for the height of the railings, remove the excess of the support posts using a reciprocating saw.

Step 2: Measure and Lay Out Railing Beams

Take measurements from the two end posts, and then begin laying out two railing beams. After clamping the two boards together, use the power drill in coordination with an aluminum jig, perfectly spacing holes to accept the railing balusters.

Step 3: Clamp Bottom Railing to Posts

Clamp the bottom rail to the posts using an underlying wood block for alignment and support.

Step 4: Attach Necessary Wood Spacers

Because the middle post is slightly offset, we attach two small wood spacers to compensate before setting the two railing beams.

Step 5: Drill Beams Into Posts

To attach the beams, simply drill them into the support posts.

Step 6: Insert Balusters

Insert steel powder-coated balusters into the hole of the attached bottom rail. Then introduce the upper rail — fitting each baluster into the holes (Image 1). The rail is set into position by hammering on a beater board (Image 2).

Step 7: Align Upper Rail and Attach to Support Posts

With the upper rail aligned, clamp it to the support posts, and then attach it using wood screws. Attach the other side using the same procedure.

Step 8: Craft the Top Rail

Finish the railing system by crafting a top rail. After making cuts on two 2 x 6's, use the miter saw to form two 45-degree mitered cuts (Image 1). The two boards come together to form a mitered joint on the corner of the railing (Image 2).

Step 9: Drill Top Rail in Place

With the top rail clamped in place, drill several screws through to the top of the support posts (Image 1). For added strength, set screws horizontally through the miter joint (Image 2).

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