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Once the lights downstairs were finished, I could add the flooring to the staircase hall. Now, I can go on to putting in the railings and posts of the staircase.

Just a note: I advise getting out wood sheet 27 with all the staircase posts and rails and the schematic drawing for sheet 27 and staring at both until you figure out what is what. It helps to take a pencil and label the pieces on the sheet so you’re familiar with them, and you know what they are when you punch them out.

Notice that there are a bunch of pieces marked “staircase posts.” Those are used in most places, except at bottom of the first floor, bottom of the second floor, and the end of one end of the shorter second-floor bannister railing. I mention it, because my instructions weren’t that clear. I’ll note in bold where those are.

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The instructions start you off prepping the banisters that will go around the staircase openings. I opted to do the second floor only and do the third floor once I have the flooring in up there.

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The three pieces where they will go.

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Pre-gluing the shortest banister and longest at right angles.

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Next I painted to go with the rest. Posts and top rails will be stained.

For sealing the wood, I’ve started to use Dura Clear Ultra Matte from Folk Art. I paint a coat of white (or whatever color) then a coat of Ultra Matte, then a second coat of paint, the finish with gloss varnish (also Dura Clear). Find Dura Clear in Michaels or other craft stores.

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Posts are glued flat on the ends of the railings. The instructions were a little unclear, and it took me a while to figure out that the flat side is glued to the flat part of the railings. I thought they went on the ends, but no.

NOTE: One end of this railing section is narrower than the other (on the left hand side in my photo). The right side here gets a regular “staircase post”, the other gets the “Second floor narrow post trim.”

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Here are the railing sections with the posts glued on and the top and bottom rails glued on. The top and bottom rails actually do go on the edges.

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Putting the railing sections aside, we start adding posts and rails to the staircase itself. This first one, at the bottom of B is the “First floor long post trim.”

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Now I add the corner post between A&B  (This is Piece A & B Corner trim). The notch goes over the railing section. The short top rail goes on piece B.

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“Pieces A&F corner trim” goes on the outside of F like this (one end has an angle that follows the angle of the staircase, and a notch to go over upper railing section). The top rail A goes on top of the railing.

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The posts at the top of the stairs–again, they go flat against the railing sections, not on the ends. (These are some of the ones labeled “staircase posts.”)

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Railings, of course, go on top of the railing sections.

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Last, I put in the prepared railing sections that go around the staircase on the second floor.

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At the bottom of the second staircase is the “Second floor long post trim.” Rail goes up the stairs on top of the long railing section. A notch in this rail helps fit it against the opening to the third floor.

I’m stopping there–I’ll do the third floor later. Plus there are “Post Caps” that go on the top of the posts.

I’m not sure I like the unfinished look of the staircase posts, as though someone bought 2x4s at the hardware store and made a staircase. But I’ll probably trim them later, or I’ll see what kind of trimming the instructions has us do.

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Now I can at last put on the tower front. I had to do some slot trimming, plus I had a bit of warpage, but painters tape is helpful to hold things in place while the glue dries.

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The tower all in place from the inside.

Next I’ll continue decoration and move up to the third floor and start on the roof.

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