Putting a light on the post of an arbor

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  #1  
Old 11-15-06, 06:57 PM
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Putting a light on the post of an arbor

I have an arbor made of four 6x6 posts. I want to mount a light on two of them. The lights I have are designed to be wall mounted - but to attach to an electrical box.

For example, if you were putting it on the outside of a house, the box would be flush (or close to it) with the outside wall, and the light would mount to that box.

Well, on my 6x6s Im certainly not going to notch out a hole to insert boxes into, so how do I mount these properly.

I can drill a hole for the wire so it comes into the fixture from the back side of the post, and I can use wood screws (instead of electrical) to put the fixture directly onto wood, but then the connection would be between the fixture and the wood - it wouldnt be in a box. Im assuming that is NOT ok.

So what do I do?
 
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Old 11-15-06, 07:21 PM
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Take a 1x peice of pine (or what ever) cut 6' wide and how long you want, (finish as desired). Drill a 4"or 3" hole and mount a "pancake" box (these come 3-4" sizes) in it (the hole).
The box stores also have some nice decorative finished peices for this to.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 09:51 AM
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The point of using a box is so that the connections are safe - right?

Would it be ok to:

- take a piece of sheet metal and cut it to the outline of the part of the light that mounts.

- screw that to the post.

- mount the light over that and have the connections inside the light fixture, over the metal plate.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 10:07 AM
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No. You must install a box so that the wire will be properly connected.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 12:03 PM
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If you have or can borrow a router you could route out a recess for a "pancake" box. It could also be done with a chisel and utility knife.

If you use a router you could cut a hole in a scrap piece of wood 1/8" to 3/16" larger then you need and with a collar installed on the router use the board as a guide for cutting the recess.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 08:54 PM
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The router route sounds good.. Nice finish...BUT how are you going to run your line to the box thats mounted on the post? I'm presuming about 6-7' high on each arbor post.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 10:47 PM
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don't know if this suggestion is viable for you, but you could mount them to a weatherproof 4/0 box and paint it. Of course, this depends on what style of light you are using.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jatco
The router route sounds good.. Nice finish...BUT how are you going to run your line to the box thats mounted on the post?
I've seen it done by routing a 1/2" deep channel down the backside of the post, run the UF in the channel, and cover with a decorative plate (1x4 pine with routed edges or 1/2" ply with beveled edges). You could even put the same decorative plate on each side of the 6x6 to make it look finished all around.

Not sure if there's a code issue with running the cable "inside" the post, but I'm sure in practicality it's fine (just make sure you don't put a nail through it)
 
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Old 11-17-06, 05:13 PM
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Unless from scratch, most of these posts come pre-bored.
Hole saws are cheap, that saves you the routing time. Unless of course you have the access to one.
I would route out more than 1/2", perhaps3/4-1".
 
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Old 11-17-06, 05:25 PM
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The hole saw could be used in conjunction with the chisel method. Just go as deep as you want the recess with the hole saw then chisel out.

If no center hole in post I'd be tempted to rig something with threaded rod, rod connectors, and a spade bit to drill a hole down from the top to the bottom. Maybe one of those expensive flex bits would be able to do it but I'd worry about it going off course.

I like the idea of routing a groove as simpler. If it were deep enough you could put in a piece of EMT for protection. You could even make a lip to recess a cover strip of wood flush with the post surface.

Or just run surface race up the post.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 09:10 PM
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That's why I kinda raised the question....
Routing out, chiseling out or boring a hole for 6-7' is a lotta work..and a lot of drilling...
I havent seen pre-bored 6x6's but I guess anything is possible.
Running a chase up the back seems the easiest...!?!?
Good luck ...!
Id be interested to know what you've done!
 
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