As you can see by the photo, the balustrades have a rectangular pin at their bottom, so I would need to make a rectangular hole in the floor to accommodate them. I thought I could accomplish this task by drilling two holes side-by-side and then using a wood gouge to create the rectangular shape. I then need to mark the point on the columns where the railing hits and drill holes to inset the railing. I think it is important to do inset the railings into the pillars because I see them snapping out if I just butt-jointed them against the columns. Right?
Here's where it gets tricky: After drilling corresponding holes in the underside of the railing (where the tops of the balustrades fit), I was planning to unscrew the columns, and then glue each column one at a time, reset each screw, glue the balustrades in their pre-made holes, sliding the railings into the column holes as I went along. Repeat with each column.
Sounds like a plan.
Only, I didn't even get past dry setting the columns.
I bought new 3/4" wood screws for the job, and a new drill bit for pilot holes. I had a hard time drilling the pilot holes --the pillars are made of some kind of resin and the heat from the friction melts the resin and gums up the bit. I found that by making short passes with the drill, waiting a few seconds between passes, kept the bit from getting stuck. I took me about forty-five minutes to un-stick my drill bit and get one hole --one hole!-- drilled!
That Labor of Hercules accomplished, I then tried screwing the first column to the floor and ceiling. You would think that this wouldn't be too difficult, wouldn't you? Oh, how wrong you are! Even with the pilot holes, the column still snapped off at the top! I was, as they say, "a clean break" and I was able to glue the pieces together with little effort. Catastrophe diverted!
But how do I continue? I strongly feel that merely gluing the columns in place will not be sufficiently strong enough --but perhaps I am mistaken? Is there some kind of glue strong enough to hold them in pace without the added back-up of a screw? I just think that when the center component is lifted out it is only going to be natural to grab onto the columns and start yanking. And you just know that someone is going to end up with a broken-off column in their hand.
Speaking of "clean breaks":
To make matters worse, my beloved Glen just slipped on the icy sidewalk, broke his ankle (in two places) and will be laid up for several weeks. Bye-bye, trip to Captiva, next week!
Did I mention I hate Winter?