Step 2: Miter the Post End

cutting the bottom end of a lamppost with a compound miter saw
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Set the miter-saw blade to its sharpest angle (some go to 55 degrees) and trim the bottom end of the center post. The resulting sharp point will allow you to later pound the post into the ground with a sledgehammer.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      sliding-compound miter saw
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • circular saw
      circular saw to cut wiring channel
    • cold chisel
      ¾-inch chisel to clear waste wood from wiring channel
    • hammer
      hammer
    • combination square
      combination square
    • caulk gun
      caulking gun
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      pneumatic finishing nailer
    • flush-cut handsaw
      flush-cutting handsaw to trim dowel rods
    • sledge hammer
      3-pound sledgehammer to set lamppost
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • random orbit sander
      random-orbit sander

    Shopping List

    24 common cedar board. Get one 8-footer to make the center post and lantern arm.

    16 clear cedar boards. Get two 8-foot lengths to clad the post.

    210 clear cedar board. Get one 6-footer to wrap the base of the post.

    construction adhesive

    2- and 2½-inch-long finishing nails for a pneumatic nailer

    -inch hardwood dowel

    -inch-diameter spade bit waterproof carpenter's glue to glue dowel rods in place

    polyurethane glue for mitered joints on the decorative base

    100-grit disks for the random-orbit sander

    1-inch screw hook for hanging the lantern or light fixture

    copper candle lantern

    low-voltage land-scape light fixture (optional)

    transformer (optional)

    12-volt cable (optional)

    cable staples (optional)