Step 5: Set the Cable in the Groove

placing cable in the wiring channel
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Lay the low-voltage electrical cable in the groove, making sure to leave a few feet extra at the lantern arm. Fasten the cable in place with cable staples. Note that 12-gauge low-voltage cable is sufficient for most landscape lighting systems that total 200 watts or less.

Tip: Adjust your combination square to the distance between the edge of the post and the edge of the channel, and use that setting to avoid puncturing the cable in Steps 8 and 17.
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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)