Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Carpentry question about Porch Columns
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MissInformed
Carpentry question about Porch Columns

I have 1 of 4 large wooden front porch posts that has started to rot at the bottom. I do not want to replace all 4 columns just because the lower 1/3 of one column is bad.

Can someone with carpentry skills do a partial replace on the square lower part of a column? Is there a way to take off the rot and join the old upper portion to a newer bottom portion?

The rot has NOT gotten up into the turned part of the post yet. My other option would be to buy one single replacement column but I don't have any retailers locally that are selling them this large any more. Are there any ****** resources for matching up old column sytles? We have a 1988 Ranch Style house so it seems like someone somewhere would still be offering the older larger posts.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

It's very possible to patch the post with a dutchman. It would be preferable to put in a temporary support so the work could be done on a bench, but a decent repair should be possible _in situ_.
You would need to specify a decent exterior wood such as Spanish Cedar to make the labor for this repair worth it; use a big-box store lumber and the repair may not last very long. Prime all ends; use an epoxy glue for the dutchman.
Casey

MLBSF
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

most decent cabinet shops can replicate a portion of your column and a good finish carpenter or contractor should be able to take the column out, make the necessary repairs and reinstall the column

Gizmo
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

Are the post load bearing or for decoration?

Can you post a pic

MissInformed
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

Yes the post is load bearing. It is one of the corner posts of the porch. I'm not worried about the installation, but rather the repair of the post. We've done an installation before on another house using brand new posts.

I'm sort of worried that the post will be hollow inside and not solid wood. Guess there is only one way to find out.

Looking for a photo....

dj1
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

If you're worried about the post being hollow, why bother with repairing a badly damaged post? A new post may end up costing less, if cost is a factor.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns

It's typical that the posts will be hollow. That's the way they have done millwork for decades. The possibility of getting a finished post or column from one solid timber is not realistic or practical. Everything is glued up before milling. And it's not a bad thing. You are avoiding checks that run the whole length of a post. Look at a solid 6x6 deck support that has dried checked and twisted; that's what happens to solid timbers.
The hollowness will not be an impediment to repair.
Casey

MissInformed
Re: Carpentry question about Porch Columns
dj1 wrote:

If you're worried about the post being hollow, why bother with repairing a badly damaged post? A new post may end up costing less, if cost is a factor.

If I could find a replacement post that matched I'd lay down the money. Welcoming ANY suggestions that can help us match up our 1988 circa posts with new old stock. I don't want to replace all the columns because the new ones offered in our area are all much smaller(slimmer). They might support the patio roof, but they'll look out of proportion with the rest of the house.

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