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How to Install a Wood Railing with Posts
How to Notch a Handrail Post
When building your own notched 4"x4" handrail posts, it is most efficient to perform each task on all posts before advancing to the next step.
Step 1: Cut 4"x4" Post to Length
From an 8 ft. 4"x4" post, cut a 47" piece to length. Two posts can be cut from each 8' length.
Step 2: Draw the Notch
Using a speed square and a pencil, draw a line 7" from the end of each 4"x4" post (line 1 in pictures). From each end of the line, draw a line 1 1/2" down both sides of the 4"x4" post (line 2 in pictures). Then extend this line back towards the bottom end of the 4"x4" post on both sides (line 3).
Step 3: Top Cut
Set the circular saw blade to a depth of 1 1/2". Using a speed square as a guide, make a cut along the top of the post, following line (1).
Step 4: Side Cuts
Adjust the circular saw blade to its maximum depth. Turn the 4"x4" post on its side. Make a cut along the 7" line (3) up to the existing cut in the post. Stop the saw and remove the blade after it stops turning. Turn the post over and repeat this cut on the opposite side.
Step 5: Remove Waste
Due to the curve of the blade, there will be a small amount of material remaining. Use a hand saw to remove the remaining material.