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
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
post cut at 45 degrees.
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.
the cleat aligned with the post drill four 9/64" pilot holes in a
staggered pattern through the cleat...
screw the cleat to the post.
the post over and repeat the process to place the second cleat on
the other side.
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"
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
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.
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.)
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
Setting an EZ-CLEAN
Post hole digger
One bag concrete mix (sakrete -
Shovel (square nose - best)
Bucket of water - 2 gallons is more
Starting to dig
Dig a hole slightly
larger than the post hole digger (about 7" to 8" in diameter) and
two feet deep.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.