If you are like me, you would want something that has more style and is a bit more substantial, in appearance, than a 4″ x 4″ porch post. Too often, I see a porch post that is a simple 4×4 that looks like a toothpick compared to the structure that it is supporting. Rather than going to the expense of a store bought column wrap product, you can build your own in a few hours.
I built this simple model using Google Sketchup. This design will give you a quick view (from any angle) of the layout. Here are the basic construction steps:
- Wrap your 4 x 4 post with 1x stock lumber. If this is going to be painted, pine is fine.
- Rip your corner pieces (stiles). You can glue and assemble prior to attaching to your post, or assemble (nail) once each piece is in place.
- Size and attach your lower and upper dividing pieces (rails) to the framework.
- Once every thing is in place, sand pieces to knock down any high spots and take out any saw marks
- Optional: Route a nice detail on the inset panel and on the outer edge of the column. If you nailed the pieces off… look out for nails.
- Fill, caulk, and paint.
I’ll have add some column design project photos to this article shortly. For now, here is the complete 3d design plan in Google Sketchup.
Full 3d Sketchup model of a panel design for a 4×4 column