I bought several of these 4x4 Simpson EZ bases, but most of the 4"x4" pieces of wood don't fit. Some of them are a very tight fit, but most of them are a tad wide.

What tool can I use to easily shave off the additional millimeters from the lumber?

  • The answer probably depends on what you have on hand. I would avoid buying something just for this. What's in your toolbox?
    – isherwood
    Jun 7 '18 at 16:46

The best option in hand tooling is a wide rasp. However given the eye-popping price of quality hand tools and the wide availability of cheap power tools either an electric router or hand held belt sander make reasonable alternatives.

If you need to take off more than millimeters the time honored approach is to make a bunch of cross cuts with a circular saw set to a shallow depth, then knock off the resulting "fins" with a chisel.


I would use a belt sander with 80 grit paper. ( possible 40 grit but be careful ) Use a square to mark a line all the way around the post. Mark the line at distance up from the bottom of the post just a bit longer than the depth of the bracket. Clamp your post to a solid surface to keep it from moving around and use the sander perpendicular to the post to sand down just about a 1/4 of the overall amount you need to take off. Turn the post and do this for each side. Sneak up on it as they say, that is, do a little bit on each side and check the fit then do some more until you get it just right.

If you had a band saw or access to one, that would work quite nicely. you would make a depth cut all the way around with a hand saw or skillsaw and then use the bandsaw to cut from the bottom of the post up to the depth cut on all four sides. You could set up a fence on the saw's table to control the amount you take off.


enter image description here Rotary wood shaper might do the trick.



A straight up wood plane should do the job: enter image description here

If you want a more precise cut you could measure the exact width of the opening and use a table saw with a slight angle set on the guide and mark the base of the 4x4 for cutting.

  • A good wood chisel does a better job than the cheese grater rasp. Jun 6 '18 at 21:58
  • Probably true, @JimStewart, and the great thing about this site is - you can post your own answers, and the best one wins! Jun 7 '18 at 1:41
  • Oops - fixing now Jun 11 '18 at 16:46

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