What is the best way to fix this wooden light post?

I was thinking clamps and glue.

Or maybe a nail?

[![enter image description here][1]][1]

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/3S3lF.jpg![enter image description here](https://i.stack.imgur.com/m20hY.jpg)enter image description here

  • Canyou close the gap by pinching the two pieces together? – Alaska Man Aug 25 '20 at 0:49
  • It looks like that sort of failure is inherent in the design. – Jasen Aug 25 '20 at 9:43

You'll have to do a little checking to determine if you can clamp that seam back together. It might have been a poor fit to begin with in which case you won't be able to clamp it back. Try getting a hold of a clamp similar to the one pictured below and see if you can close the gap. If you can, get some good exterior wood glue and have at it. If you can't close the gap, get some quality wood filler that's paintable and fill the gap. Then paint. A quick and easy fix would be to just caulk it but it looks like a nice light so do it right.

Picture from amazon.com

enter image description here

  • 3
    wow what a tool. I may never use it but may buy it. Very good answer. However I would get on a ladder and take a good look at the insides of that. If there is something "broken"/rusted/pushing/whatever and this wood was moved out of place because of something else, the clamp will fix it temporarily but then another side may become dislodged. Another issue could be because of the paint wear off on the top and water sitting there... Sometimes there is a reason things crack, sometimes it just happens. – DMoore Aug 25 '20 at 5:36
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    @JACK - You should provide a link to the where you got the picture in order to provide proper attribution. – Michael Karas Aug 25 '20 at 5:46
  • I was able to the order the clamp on Amazon amazon.com/dp/B07PLV5LX8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_fmprFbXKQ3CVX – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 11:17

Jack has great answer and wow that clamp.

I don't have time to wait for that thing to come in the mail though - amazon has been taking 5 days for their 2 day shipping.

Get the drill out, at about 2 inches on either side drill a 45 degree pilot hole to the other side - needs to be straight obviously... take your time on this. After that get a wide bit and punch a hole right over that so your screw head fits inside.

You will need a 3.5"+ wood screw. Don't over tighten and don't go overboard on screw size. This should take 10 mins max.

Cover your small hole with some Durham's wood putty. With 2 mins of sanding and light touch up paint it can be 100%.

  • Thanks for the help amazon.com/dp/B079Y9D9NL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_eiprFb9BYPRJ0 is this the correct wood screw? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 11:13
  • @Jefferson If you use those screws you'll have to drill a slightly larger hole through the first side so the screws draw the two pieces together. You'd be better getting screws with a smooth shank to the head. – JACK Aug 25 '20 at 14:29
  • Thanks @JACK not sure what type of screws you mean do you have a link? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 14:34
  • @Jefferson Something like this. images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/… – JACK Aug 25 '20 at 14:44
  • I uploaded a new picture is that the correct location to drill the hole? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 21:55

It is rather clear when looking at a closeup of the photo that the corner was not originally a nice tight miter joint. You can see that some type of wood filler material was used to fill the gap which was much larger out at the tip than it was down closer to the post.

I am on board with DMoore's idea of using a couple of large screws to try to pull that back together but it may be a good idea to clean out the old filler first and then after screwing it a bit back to the original gap and then refill with new filler. For outdoor use it may be applicable to use bondo to fill the gap but some sanding will be required depending upon how much care is taken to smooth out the bondo filler. Of course after the filler is applied let it cure and then repaint the whole thing when the whole post is nice and dry.

enter image description here

Picture Source

  • Thanks is there anyway it shrunk? I tried to push the Wood together but it will not move ? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 10:29
  • Do you mean car bondo? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 11:22
  • @Jefferson, sure, wood shrinks, but not in any appreciable amount along its length, but across its width. Unless there's end-grain sticking out, directly away from the center of the post (which would be a very weird way of making this decorative bit), it's not likely that the wood has shrunk away from the joint. What may have happened was that the wood was still a bit too wet when this was made, then the joint opened up as one piece shrunk more than the other. – FreeMan Aug 25 '20 at 14:02
  • Thanks @freeman so the best thing to do is add a screw? would I clap it and then drive the screw in? – Jefferson Aug 25 '20 at 14:19
  • @Jefferson - Clamping is useful before installing a screw if the joint can indeed be squeezed together as it keeps the screw from having to draw the gap closed as it tightens. Two screws would be preferable, one from each side. Keep in mind that the screws would need clearance holes and pilot holes on the mating piece for best success. For best success with the screws you would want the screws to be enter the sides at a 45 degree angle so that they are perpendicular to the actual miter cut. The reason for this is that it allows for the screw threads to have some (continued) – Michael Karas Aug 25 '20 at 14:54

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