Repairing a Loose Newel Post

This was originally part of my “10 Projects in 10 Days” post, but I decided it needed it’s own post.  On Monday after work I started fixing the newel post at the base of our main staircase.  It’s been loose for years & getting slowly worse.  Recently it’s started physically separating from the staircase:

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I wasn’t sure how to fix it.  Hubby suggested squirting wood glue into the gaps, slamming it back into place with a rubber mallet, and then adding support screws.  I didn’t think that was the best idea at first… it seemed rather barbaric.  But after watching YouTube videos and researching “loose newel post” it seems it’s every man for himself since each situation is so different.  I grabbed wood glue, deck screws, my drill, some clamps [which I didn’t end up using], and the rubber mallet.  And of course Bonkers walked by right when I took the picture:

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I squirted wood glue into the gaps, slammed the front about 15 times with the rubber mallet, drilled 2 pilot holes, & used the drill to secure the post with deck screws:

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As you can see, the slamming with the mallet step is where I should have slowed down and put a piece of scrap wood in between the mallet and post.  I didn’t think the rubber mallet would mark the wood, but it did.  Crabbit! The only saving grace is you totally can’t see it unless you’re really looking.  From a normal standing position it looks fine *phew*:

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On Tuesday after work I filled in the remaining gaps with wood filler:

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And today after work I primed & painted the wood filler – it looks awesome! And is rock solid – no wobble at all:

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