Custom Poplar Newel Post and Balusters


A homeowner reached out to us to create a custom newel post and balusters for a home that was originally built in 1926. The task was to capture and recreate the beauty of the existing staircase’s newel and balusters.


The owner of the home had a vision of maintaining the authenticity of the original design. Once they determined that H. Arnold Wood Turning, Inc. was the perfect fit for their project, they connected us with their general contractor who would be overseeing the restoration. This meant we would be collaborating closely with both the homeowner and the contractor to recreate the perfect staircase that captured the original traditional elements for the newel post and balusters for this project.


The very first step of the project was to connect with the contractor and gather all the details on the existing staircase in the home. Specifically, we would need the quantity and dimensional requirements of the components for this project.

Initially, we requested a photo of both the current balusters and newel and the quantity requirements of both. Shown below is a photo of what the contractor presented to us.

Customer sample of existing newel and balusters.

Since the lengths of each part would differ from the original parts, we then asked the contractor to send us dimensional information. For the balusters, this meant the width of the square and the overall length for 3 different pieces. For the newels, we needed the largest diameter and the overall length.

In the end, we added 5” to the center section of each of the three baluster lengths and the one newel. Any additional length to achieve the desired overall length was added to the very top of each baluster or newel.

Lastly, we added a tenon (not included in the overall length) to each baluster. This tenon would be used for installation purposes and was designed to fit into a 7/8” hole in the bottom rail.

The Newel Post and Balusters

The order included a total of 202 poplar wood balusters and one poplar wood newel. Poplar wood was selected for this project due to its workability, price point, and ability to paint well. These are all important components to keep in mind when working with staircases.

A variety of wood species are available to choose from for crafting balusters. Poplar, maple, and oak are commonly used for interior balusters. Cypress, mahogany, cedar, and pine are often used for exterior projects.

Before production began, we created and sent a detailed drawing (see below) of all parts for the customer’s approval. Only after the drawings were approved and signed off on was the production of all parts approved and set in motion.

Custom poplar wood balusters and newel drawing prepared for a customer.

The Final Product

Each baluster and newel was designed with the originals in mind and precisely crafted to fit seamlessly in the updated staircase. Once completed, the contractor installed the newel post and balusters. Our customer was thrilled with the final result of the staircase and unsolicited, sent us these final photos of the restoration.

Ready To Begin?

Click here to explore our Architectural Wood Products Gallery to see some of what we can craft for you.

If you are interested in creating custom wood pieces for a new staircase or renovating an existing one, please reach out to us for a free, no-obligation estimate.

At H. Arnold Wood Turning, we take pride in creating wood products that meet our customers’ needs and crafting custom wooden pieces that tell a story. We bring your ideas to life at competitive prices while making life easy.