Before You Start
Step 1: Mark the End of the Support Arm
Step 2: Cut the Curved End
Step 3: Shape the Post Top
Step 4: Cut the Arm Recess
Step 5: Add the Bracket and Finial
Paint the post, post arm, bracket and finial with two coats of high-quality exterior paint before starting the project. You'll need to touch up a few spots after it's been installed.
Using the center of the support arm as a reference, trace around the bottom of a paint can to make the inward and outward curves. Repeat on opposite side.
Use a jigsaw with a long blade to make a series of relief cuts perpendicular to the S-shape curve, then cut along the curved line from both sides. Hand sand or power sand the curve to smooth the contour.
Use a hand plane, belt sander or saw to taper the top corners of the support post. Drill a hole in the center of the top to accommodate the mounting dowel of the post's finial.
Mark a 3 1/2-in. wide space on the support post, then use a circular saw set at a depth of 1 1/2-in. to make a series of relief cuts. Use a hammer and chisel to create the notch, then slide the arm into the notch and secure with 4-in. long screws.
Install the decorative support bracket and finial. Use paint to touch up the tapered post top and other areas, then install the post.
To install the post, dig a 24-in. deep hole, insert the post, then fill the hole with rapid-set concrete. Make sure the arm is at the correct height and that the post is plumb. Slope the top of the concrete so water will run away from the post.
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