Hola! In this post I am going to share some instructions, tips and tricks for making your own concrete balusters. I have done this project myself and it is not difficult at all. You can make your own balusters for a variety of purposes such as table legs, or a bird bath pedestal. The most popular use for concrete balusters is railing systems.
Baluster railings add a touch of old world architecture and class to the right property. This rich old world style is becoming increasingly popular these days. You may be reading this article with plans to build a concrete baluster railing system for yourself, or for a client. Either way I can assure you that in my four years of experience providing instructions for a wide variety of History Stones customers.. I can help you too :). Here are some instructions and tips. I have also included a link to PDF instructions for using these molds and creating a full railing system. HERE!
Railing Mold Supplies
Baluster Mold: Be sure to choose the proper height for your project. If you are working on a commercial building or installing a railing for a second story, you might need to check building codes in your area. Some states will require a 42″ tall railing (from top to bottom). Here are two different styles and height options for baluster molds.
Still wondering what other parts you will need to make your railing? Here’s a few questions to help you determine that.
- Does your project require a curved railing at any point?
- What about corners?
- Will you use a newel post for corners, every 9’ft, or not at all?
- Do you have a deadline for your project? (concrete needs time to dry folks, this part is important)
Got curves? Lets talk about it… You will need to know what the radius of your curve is. The inside radius for the History Stones curved railing is 72″. The outside radius is 84″.
If your curve is tighter than a 72″ radius you will need to cut the pieces to accommodate a tighter curve. This requires cutting concrete and you will need a saw that is capable of doing that such as a diamond blade saw. Do you have a wider radius? If so these molds just wont do it. In the case that you are not able to find a mold that will fit the curve you need it to, you might have to build your own. This can be done with melamine and pieces of wood on the sides to support the sides of the “mold”. I will be doing a post on how to make a mold like that next.
What about corners?
How to make white balusters?
You can of course use regular concrete. If you want to achieve a white smooth finish the best mixture is Portland Cement and white sand.
2 parts white sand
1 part Portland cement
Note- In some areas it is difficult to find white sand. Using an off white or tan colored sand will leave a line of that pigment down the side or at the bottom of your pour. The sand is heavy so it tends to settle in the bottom of the mold, or along the seams if you are using a vibrating table.
Speaking of using a Vibrating Table.. This is one key trick to eliminating air bubbles and speeding up your drying process. If you do not already own a vibrating table I recommend building your own. Here is a link to my blog post on how to build your own vibrating table.
Planning Your Project
Now that you already have an idea of what pieces you will need to complete your project. It is time to understand how many, and what set will work best for you.
- It will take 24hrs of drying time between each pour. So if you have a deadline, be realistic about how many days you will have to complete the project. This will help you determine how many molds you need.
- Know how many feet of railing you will need.
Once you know how many days you have to finish your project and how many feet of railing you plan to install. It gets simple!
Think of your project in 3 ft sections
for every 3′ of railing you will have…
- 5 balusters (spaced 1″ apart)
- 2 railing pieces with the rebar chanel ( the piece that looks like a kit kat bar)
- 1 railing cap.
The piece that looks like a kit kat bar is used twice. Once on the bottom facing the balusters and once on the top, also facing the balusters. The cap piece simply adds a finished architectural element to the top of your railing. I have included a photo below of a 3′ finished section of baluster railing, using History Stones baluster molds.
I hope this introduction to using molds to create a baluster railing is helpful! Again, here are the detailed instructions. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact History Stones at firstname.lastname@example.org.