Intro: Deck Post Caps
Here is a shot of my almost finished ramp I've spend a few weeks working on.
Deck posts add a nice finishing touch to a porch, ramp, or deck. When working on our wheelchair ramp, I had first decided to go with flat top handrails, but changed to a through-the-rail design with post toppers.
When I browsed around, post toppers, or post caps, were a little pricey to me, running anywhere from $3.50 to $BIG..... So, I decided to stretch my creativity a little much.
DISCLAIMER: This Instructable requires using a table saw with the protection attachments removed. I encourage safety and accept no responsibility if YOU DECIDE to try this and a table saw blade cuts any flesh or appendages.
Step 1: Cut the Tops
I decided that I would trim a 2x6 from its actual dimensions of 1-1/2" by 5-1/2" to a 5 inch width.
I then went to the miter saw and cut 5 inch long blocks, netting me net 5x5" square blocks. These fit on a standard 3-1/2" square 4x4 with 3/4" overhang on each side for the cap. When set my 1/2" molding strip on, I was left with a neat 1/4" overhang over the top of the molding all the way around.
When I ripped the 1/2" off the 2x6 from above, I wound up with some pretty neat strips for what I used for post cap molding. I cut the strips to 3-1/2" long, mitering the corners to 45 degrees.
Step 2: Cut the Caps on the Table Saw.
I set my table saw blade to 15 degrees, but see no reason why you couldn't vary that to match whatever your tastes are.
I set the net depth to 1 inch, using a ruler.
I used my custom post cap jig to push through by the top, with a second stick to keep things stable at the bottom.
Of course two of the required four cuts will be cross cuts across the grain. I was slow to figure out how to minimize that "tougher" cut, but learned that if I did standard rip cuts at the top and bottom with the grain first and second, the crosscuts against the grain would make the final two cuts easier.
Once all four cuts are made, it's ready!
I used my air gun brad nailer to attach the molding strips first. I next drilled a hole through the middle of the cap and used a deck screw PLUS adhesive to attach the post cap.