Step 11: Bore the Dowel Holes

boring the dowel holes
Photo: Kolin Smith
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To strengthen the joint between the post and the lantern arm—and to lend the piece a handcrafted look—install two hardwood dowels. Use a combination square to draw a 45-degree line where the post intersects the arm. Make two marks along the line, 2½ inches in from each corner. Slip a scrap board underneath the joint, then use a drill and -inch-diameter spade bit to bore two holes at the marks; go completely through to the other side.
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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)