Using the Bore Buster to Drill Handrails

By | December 18, 2012

Drilling a stair handrail to accept dowel top wood or wrought iron balusters is a relatively simple concept that can be easily done by a skilled craftsman or using the correct tool.  Each baluster requires a hole drilled plumb into the handrail centered over the baluster itself.  The hole must be centered in the rail, correctly spaced and drilled to the correct depth and most importantly be drilled plumb.  While it is possible to drill the holes correctly simply using a drill and a good eye, by far the fastest and most accurate method available is using LJ Smith’s Bore Buster®.  This is because drilling one or more of the holes at a slight angle causes a number of issues.  First the miss drilled holes may cause the balusters to pull the handrail and the balusters out of plumb, they may cause the balusters to be very difficult or impossible to install or they holes may chip out under the pressure of trying to rectify the situation.
While our typical blogs do not address specific tools or products available on our site, LJ Smith’s Bore Buster® is so perfectly suited for its job that it warrants special attention.

This tool dramatically increases both the quality and speed of balustrade installation. It allows you to drill precise perpendicular or angled holes into straight or curved wood handrails.  It is lightweight and extremely tough and fits most handrail profiles.

The baluster holes are laid out on the bottom side of the handrail, Bore Buster® is attached to the handrail, adjusted to the correct pitch and then each hole can then be then drilled, automatically centered and to the correct pitch.  The unit is then moved to each subsequent layout mark in order to precisely drill that hole and so on and so on.  LJ Smith really has thought of everything with this tool, in addition to drilling for balusters, the Bore Buster® makes handrail end and rail bolt drilling fast and easy as well.

For customers with a large project, multiple projects or any stair builder, the Bore Buster is well worth the $500.00 price tag to purchase this.  It will definately save you money if you use it more than once or twice.  Still, we understand that for a single project $500 may simply be cost prohibitive.  In those cases, has a number of solutions to help our customers achieve the best final product with the greatest ease of installation.  We have two programs involving the Bore Buster®.  First to all customers with purchases over $500.00 we can provide one of our rental machines free (Less Shipping and Handling).  The second alternative is that we rent our Bore Buster® for $100.00 plus Shipping per 5 day week for anyone who wants the precision this tool provides but does not have the need to buy on of their own.  Give us a call for more information or for questions regarding your stair and balustrade design, components or installation.  Our Stair Specialists can be reached at 888-390-7245 or