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Tilting Post



1 - 10' X 4" X 4" pressure treated post
1 - 4' X 2" X 4" pressure treated
2 - 3/8" X 8" hot dipped galvanized carriage bolts
2 - 3/8" hot dipped galvanized washers
4 - 3/8" nuts
8 - 2 1/2" galvanized or rust resistant deck screws
Measure 78" from what will be the top of the 4" X 4" post, mark and cut the post on a 45 degree diagonal running toward the top of post. Cut the 4' X 2" X 4" in half also on a 45 degree angle. Cut the two square ends of the 2" X 4" on a 45 degree angle to make two cleats that are elongated trapezoids. The photos below should make this clear.
The post cut at 45 degrees.
Place one of the cleats on the 45 degree end of the bottom (shorter) piece of the 4" X 4" post - measure 10 1/2" from the bottom of the cleat to the lower end of the 45 degree cut to center the cleat.

Keeping the cleat aligned with the post drill four 9/64" pilot holes in a staggered pattern through the cleat...
and screw the cleat to the post.
Turn the post over and repeat the process to place the second cleat on the other side.
Align the two pieces of the post between the cleats so that there is a 1/16" gap at the 45 degree cut. You might want to support the ends of the post with scrap 2" X 4"

Being careful to keep the holes centered and straight, drill two 7/16" holes 3" and 9" from the upper end of the cleat. We supported the post with wood scraps to keep the drill from hitting the ground.
Put the lower carriage bolt through the post and cleats. It shouldn't be necessary to drive it through but if needed, a light tap with a hammer is OK.

Put the upper bolt through the post, turn the assembled post over and put a washer and two nuts on the lower bolt. (Use the second nut to lock the first one.)

Take the top bolt out of the post and check the operation to see how EZ the post tilts (it won't be as stiff with one end in the ground) If you plan on painting or staining your post now is a good time to do so.

Setting an EZ-CLEAN Birdhouse Post

Materials List

  • Post base
  • Post hole digger
  • One bag concrete mix (sakrete - quickcrete)
  • Shovel (square nose - best)
  • Bucket of water - 2 gallons is more than enough
  • level
  • hammer

The Details

Starting to dig
Dig a hole slightly larger than the post hole digger (about 7" to 8" in diameter) and two feet deep.
Digging the hole

Checking vertical level
Check with your level to be sure the hole is straight enough for the post to be perfectly vertical. Check on two adjacent sides. Also be sure to place the high side of the sloped end of the post facing the direction you want the post to tilt.
checking vertical level

pour dry concrete
Pour the dry concrete mix into the hole around the post. Check the post with your level to see that the post is vertical. You may not need the entire bag of concrete mix.
pour dry concrete

Smooth the dry concrete with the shovel. If there is an excess, shovel it up and dispose of it.
Smooth dry concrete

releveling before wetting
Check the vertical level of the post. Use a hammer to tap the post, helping the dry concrete mix settle. Again be sure to check two adjacent sides of the post for vertical level.
releveling before wetting

Slowly pour water on to the cocncrete mix going all the way around the post. Wetting the ground around the concrete is OK. Tap the post gently near the concrete to "puddle" the mix (remove air), then recheck the level to see that the post is still vertical.

dress the area
If concrete looks wet but not soupy, use your shovel to fill over the concrete and around the post to smooth the area. If concrete looks soupy just wait ten minutes or so and usually the ground will absorb the excess water. As long as the post doesn't move with a gentle push its safe to fill in the earth and smooth the area.

GOOD JOB - give yourself an "attaboy" for a job well done. Wait at least two or three days for the concrete to set before erecting the rest of the post and birdhouse.

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