Repair of an Arch

May 15,2020
P. Michael Henderson

We have a decorative wooden arch in our yard, part of the walkway into our house.  The bottom of one of the post was rotten, perhaps because a sprinkler was keeping it wet.  With the CoVid-19 lockdown I decided it was time to repair it.  I didn't set out to document my repair so i don't have step-by-step pictures.  Here's the arch - actually taken after the repair.  The post repaired is on the left side of this photo.

The post had four decorative covers at the base, one on each side and I began by taking those off to examine the post, itself. It was pretty rotten at the bottom.  So I took two 2x4's, propped up the arch and cut out the rotted part.

Here's a closer view of the bottom of the post after I cut the rotted part off.  I also cut upwards to create a lap joint to join the repair to the post.  I used a chain saw to make the cuts. 

Here's the rotten part of the post that I cut off.  You can see how far gone it is.  This is upside down compared to the way it was at the bottom of the post.

I removed as much rust as I could from the steel bracket and painted it with metal primer.  Then I took redwood 2x6's and glued them into the gap with waterproof glue.  I put four threaded rods through the lap joint area to reinforce the glue.

There are two large bolts that fasten the post to the bracket and I had derusted them earlier.  The difficult part was drilling the holes through the post to put the bolts in.  I drilled from each side and the two holes had to meet in the center.  Eventually got it done.

Next, I painted it with primer.

I took a paint sample to Dunn Edwards and they matched the color exactly.  I painted over the primer with that paint.  Then I had to fabricate the four decorative covers that went around the post.  On two sides, I had to cut a relief where the cover went over the bracket and bolts.  I primed them and painted them with the color exterior paint.

I attached them to the post and used caulk to seal the gaps between the covers and the post.  Then I applied a final color coat to the covers and the post.

A friend took a couple of pictures of me working on the post. Here I'm cleaning the rust off of the bracket.

Another shot of the same thing.  You can see the wire brush I used to remove some of the rust.  The first piece of redwood is waiting to be put in place.



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