Adding 4" to 4x4 stair post

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Old 06-12-14, 11:08 AM
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Adding 4" to 4x4 stair post

I cut the 4x4 post for the handrail on my front steps too short, about 4" too short. What's the best way to add another 4" 4x4 piece to this post?

The post is already cemented into the ground, so I'm not looking to dig it out and plant another post.

Can I just use screws from the top? Or should I use a rabbet joint or something?

The post will have a cap and be painted, so any blemishes can be covered up.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 11:57 AM
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I suppose a dowel along with waterproof glue might work but it really needs to be one solid post. Wrapping the post with 1xs would probably make it strong again .... but I'm a painter, not a carpenter - they should be along later.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 02:22 PM
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4" is quite a bit. As Marksr said it should be a solid piece. If it is an inspection issue, check with the i spector to see if they will allow modification. I would use #10 biscuits on each flat facing each other on each piece with PL8x adhesive. Now for the tricky part. Screw two blocks about 12" below the seam you are making. Lay a 6" piece of 2x4 across the top and clamp the 2x4 down to your blocks. This will pull the joint tight. You won't have much luckwith screws as they would have to be 6 or 7" long, and would likely split your block.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 02:51 PM
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so I'm not looking to dig it out and plant another post.
Sorry to disagree with others, but this is the correct solution. Dollars to donuts you did not pull any kind of permit or you wouldn't be asking this question. However, the cross rails and the ballusters are eventually tied into this post which means it is load bearing. Load bearing and used for leverage and support for people using this portion of the handrail system. I can not support the use of glue to fix what should be a solid post.

You never should be lazy when it comes to safety. Do the right thing and dig the old out and set a new post.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 04:22 PM
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A permit was not needed.


The post I'm talking about is the end post at the bottom of the stairs, like in the photo above, except mine are 4x4.
The other end of the handrail is a full length 4x4 post, like the photo. So, I'm not sure how much "load bearing" is being done by the end post I'm extending.

I'm thinkg about drilling 1/4" holes thru the 4" addition and into the original post, then using four 1/4" dowels with exterior wood glue. The cap would cover up the holes. (I'd also use the clamping setup described by chandler)
 
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Old 06-12-14, 04:32 PM
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Well, I'm no Pro carpenter...but you could cut an approx 1" deep x 1" wide groove in the center of the existing post...with corresponding work on the additional piece. Then use poly glue and the clamping method like Chandler described. The joint would probably be stronger than the rest of the wood.

Since you will be sanding and painting, you'll never see the joint.

It would be easy to do with a table saw and circ saw and a chisel. Doesn't have to be perfect as poly glue expands. Huge amount of glueing surface as well.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 06:47 PM
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GUARD POST ATTACHMENTS Deck guard posts shall be a minimum 4x4 (nominal) with an adjusted bending design value not less than 1,100psi. Guard posts for guards which run parallel to the deck joists shall be attached to the outside joist per Figure 25. Guard posts for guards that run perpendicular to the deck joists shall be attached to the rim joist in accordance with Figure 26. Only hold down anchor models meeting these minimum requirements shall be used. Hold down anchors shall have a minimum allowable tension load of 1,800 pounds for a 36" maximum rail height and be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
That is code on railings. Your scab is in the functioning portion of the railing system and should conform to the requirements stated. The area highlighted is a part of the support portion of the down railing and can not be composed of a piece that does not meet structural standards.

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Old 06-12-14, 10:15 PM
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Pull the post, and install a new, longer one.

And in the future, remember--always measure twice, and cut once.
 
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