Monday, December 5, 2016

Lantern Post

So one day while browsing through Pintrest I found these cool lantern posts seen above.  

As it so happens around that time I painted up some black metal lanterns I had to be white, and sanded each to look rustic.  

I placed them on my fireplace mantle until I could figure out something good to do with them.

After a few weeks I wanted to build those lantern posts and place the painted lantern on them.  As always I try to do things on the cheap, so I gathered what wood I had left in my workshop.

I only have a few 2x4s left to make one lantern post.

So with 2 lanterns, I decided to make a post that held both of them, somewhat similar to the picture below (also found on Pinterest).

I gathered my glue and clamps in preparation to gluing up the 2x4s.

Then I added glue...

...and spread it around using my silicone glue brush.

Then I stacked the assorted-length 2x4s...

...and clamped them together.

At the time I was doing this it was the first of December, and it had become cold in Arizona.  So the glue-up was taking longer to dry than I would have liked.  So while I waited I routed a leftover 2x4 piece and drilled some holes with a fostner bit.

Instant, decorative tealight candle holder!

Anyway, once the glue up was dry I removed the clamps...

...and put them back on my clamp rack.  

Since I never removed the existing finish from the 2x4s (that's me being impatient - shame on me!), I decided to reinforce the glue-up with some screws (glue doesn't stick super well when existing finish is present).  

Then I brought the post to the miter saw and squared both ends.

Next I brought the post to the table saw and cut all sides to be the same width - around 3".

Once those cuts were done I clamped the post to one of my carpenter benches and began sanding the whole thing to be level.

Then I used my mouse sander with fine sand paper and smoothed the whole post.  I also sanded the edges to make them slightly rounded.

With the post done I now needed a bottom.  I used a leftover drawer front for this.  I marked the center of the board...

...and then attached it to the bottom of the post with several screws.

It stands nicely, but because of the screw heads in the hardwood drawer front, the whole thing doesn't sit flush on the ground.

So I found some leftover round plastic closet pole brackets that I had.

I pre-drilled and screwed the brackets to the bottom.  This allows the whole lantern post to sit flush on the ground.

Then I began cutting some angled pieces of leftover 1x3 wood... made a decorative base.

I repeated that process for the top.

Next I began cutting a piece of leftover plywood for the very top of the post.

I rounded and smoothed all the edges on the belt sander...

...and attached it with glue and nails.

And it's looking good so far.  Now it's time for the top and brackets.

For these parts I actually needed to go to the store and buy stuff.  I bought 2 different wood furniture feet to use as the decorative top of the post.

And 2 black metal plant-hanging brackets.

I pre-drilled holes and screwed the brackets to the sides.

Each of the feet have a screw on their bottoms, so I drilled a hole on the square foot...

...and the top of the post.

I then glued and screwed the rounded foot to the square foot...

...and then both of the feet to the top of the post.

And what an awesome lantern post so far!

I brought the 2 lanterns in the workshop and placed them on the brackets.

Then I put the whole thing in front of my house, in between 2 large posts in the front of my house.

Both my girlfriend and I love how it looked!  So after staring at it for a while, I brought it inside again.

Since it's the end of my work day, I removed the brackets and lanterns and cleaned up the shop.  The next day I applied some stain.

Since the bottom of the post was made from an already finished drawer front, stain would not stick to it.  So I used some matte spray paint to cover the area.

Then I left the lantern post to dry for several hours.  Once again, it's a bit cold so this took a while.
While I had the stain out, I decided to stain my honey comb wall shelves that I had made earlier in the year.

I had originally used Danish oil on these - which looked nice - but didn't quite match the rest of my furniture.

These too took several hours to dry.  But when the stain was finally dry on everything I gave it all a few layers of clear coat (at these temperatures Polyurethane would have taken forever to dry).

Once again I waited hours for everything to fully dry.  Once dry I reattached the braces.

Then I drove a screw towards the bottom/back of the post.

This screw will hold the battery pack to some Christmas lights. 

I twirled the lights around the post...

...and then put the lanterns on to finish this project!


I took the above pictures with the garage door closed and all the lights turned out, since it was still daylight out.

  I then turned off everything while I waited for nightfall to come so I could place the lantern post outside, While I waited, I took those honey comb shelves and hung them up in my guest bedroom since I had newer wall shelves in the living room.

Since we have so many candle chachkis, I decided to place them in the honey combs instead of being in a box in the closet.

As evening arrived, I placed the lantern post outside.

The lantern looks good all lit up next to our other Christmas decor.

And when nightfall finally arrived it looked even better!

Passer-bys can easily see the lantern as well as the lit Christmas tree behind it.

Whats even better - I can use this lantern post even after the holidays.  I'll probably take off the string lights and it can remain a nice piece of decor for the front of the house year-round!

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