The next component in the Victorian porch are the balusters and railings. These are the vertical supports that form the inner structure of the railings that typically surrounded the porch. Like the porch posts, these balusters or spindles were typically turned although they were sometimes cut from flat-stock wood using a pattern. The “cut” balusters were referred to as “sawn” balusters.
The word baluster comes from from balaustra, “pomegranate flower” (from a resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open flower) and when multiplied as would be used to support a handrail on a porch they form a balustrade. The balusters on a porch were typically 32″ to 36″ in height and were al well most likely painted. Today’s technology allows for this component to be manufactured in non-wood materials for ease of maintenance-free enjoyment.
The first picture shows three types of ballusters manufactured by a wood shop in Canada. From left to right they would be a “turned” style baluster, a straight style baluster, and a aptly named a “pregnant” style or “pot belly” baluster.
Photo: Courtesy of Hoffmeyers Mill
The second photo is an example of a sawn style baluster on a Victorian porch.
Photo: Courtesy of American Eagle Construction