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How To Scribe Wood To Stone

February 27, 2017

An organic post base connection that sheds water and looks like a million bucks

To make the base for deck posts more beautiful and to better tie the structure to the Earth, Samurai Carpenter decided to use large rocks atop the flared plastic footing form.

The rock is drilled so that a length of threaded rod (with the help of some epoxy) can tie the post to the rock and the rock to the footing.

The first six and a half minutes cover this process, but we're going to pick up the information at the tricky part: scribing square posts to naturally contoured stones.

How to scribe a post to an irregular rock:

  • Plumb the post in both directions.
  • Scribe the bottom of the post. Samurai uses a Veritas log building scribe. This scribe has two bubbles to indicate level in both directions.
  • Set scribe to the largest gap, and position the scribe level (both bubbles centered).
  • Scribe around the post keeping the bubbles within their margins.
  • Cut along the scribe line with a utility knife to reduce tearout.
  • Begin cutting with a circular saw with the blade set at a bevel. Cur close to the scribe line and leave more wood in the center of the post.
  • Switch to an angle grinder outfitted with an AbrborTech carving blade and remove wood free-hand, nibbling up to the line.

Defining the edge is the easy part, the tricky part is finding the contour of the rock underneath.

Because the post is structural, the whole underside of it should fit the contour of the rock, otherwise the crisp edges will 'fold' under the weight over time.

  • To mark the rock, Samurai places the post back on the rock and 'bumps' it up and down a few times to reveal the high spots of the rock.
  • Next, he sets the post, plumbs it, and whacks the top with a timber framer's mallet, to get a more precise reading of the underlying rock.
  • TIP: Use chalk on the rock to transfer to the underside of the post.

After putting the post on and removing it about a half dozen times, the results are beginning to really speak for themselves.

With the post set, use a laser or builder's level to shoot grade, transfer down to the post height, mark the post, and cut it to length.

Mission accomplished.

The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel

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