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Old 01-11-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


I have a dock. The supports are round pilings (think telephone pole). I want to mount low voltage surface lights of the type seen in this link: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
on the side of each piling to provide subdued lighting on the dock surface. I want them to be surface mounted so they will stick out as little as possible and will not impede activity near the pilings.

The lights in the link are made to be mounted on a flat surface (e.g. a square post). What is the best way to create a flat surface on the side of a round dock piling? I have thought of using a hole saw, but that will only define the circle. I would then have to chisel out the needed flat surface, which would be very time consuming.

Is there a tool that will let me do this more efficiently? In my mind I picture a circular sander of the proper diameter that you hold against the side of the piling until you get a flattened circle, but my impression is that might also be quite time consuming.

As an alternative, does anyone know of low voltage surface mounted lights that are designed to be mounted on the side of a rounded pole?

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


"square the corners"
(frame something that a wall material can be attached to)

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


just use a circular saw, set at 3/4 depth or whatever you need? run it on top and bottom, then knock it off with a wood chisel.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


power planer, belt sander.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Nothing will be less time consuming than a saw and a chisel (or, better yet, a slick), provided the chisel is sharp.

Our forum router enthusiasts would find preferable to build a custom jig and routering out the notch (while deafening themselves and eating sawdust) than sharpening a chisel, but that's them.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Bear in mind that if this light beam comes out the bottom of the fixture, you may create a two or three foot shadow around the base of the pole by insetting the fixture into a "notched" round pole.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


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Bear in mind that if this light beam comes out the bottom of the fixture, you may create a two or three foot shadow around the base of the pole by insetting the fixture into a "notched" round pole.
It could be accomplished successfully by tapering the coping our gradually toward the dock surface. That will take much more chiseling and sanding though...

Have you considered lagging a piece of 2x or something similar to the pole? Make it round to match the light and recess the lags so the light fixture covers it? You could notch the pole face to recess the 2x so the light fixture is flush with the pole and the 2x allows for a flat mounting place
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Personally, I'd square around the corners. That should give you a pretty flat surface for that circuit board.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Better solution....bolt a couple of stainless steel L pieces to it.

Get two pieces of stainless L stock....say 2x2x1/8" and what ever the width of the box is.

Use a circular saw to cut a notch in the post where the metal could slip in.

Drill a hole through the L into the post....I would use a 1/4" lag bolt 4" long....make sure it's galvanized.

Bolt the box to the brackets.

This way your not making a lot of changes to the post which may be a blessing later.

You could use regular steel...but I would primer and paint....but be prepaired for rust in a few years.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:02 AM   #10
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Quote:
Is there a tool that will let me do this more efficiently? In my mind I picture a circular sander of the proper diameter that you hold against the side of the piling until you get a flattened circle, but my impression is that might also be quite time consuming.
Ayuh,.... A Chainsaw,....

You can quickly, 'n easily carve a flat spot in a round wood pole...
And, cope off the bottom lip...
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Hole saw bit of equal or similar size and a chisel/hammer would make this a quick issue. I would drill the hole to recess them into, use the chisel to break out the round chunk of wood. Then chip a small groove in the side edge sloping slightly upward so any water doesnt drain into the hole by following the cord. Maybe a small grove in the bottom so if any moisture does end up in your hole it wont cause rot, splitting,swelling, etc.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


The easy way..... three pieces of plywood. No problem with the wiring either. No place to retain water. Easily replaceable. Won't ruin the pole for later if you want to take the lights off. Mounts with a few simple screws in the side pieces.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #13
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


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The easy way..... three pieces of plywood. No problem with the wiring either. No place to retain water. Easily replaceable. Won't ruin the pole for later if you want to take the lights off. Mounts with a few simple screws in the side pieces.
Even easier is just the one piece of plywood...really no need for the side pieces...
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #14
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Well, shoot.... just screw the fixture to the pole.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #15
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How to create flat surface on side of round pole


Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a 4 foot piece of piling (scrap) and will try out all of the suggestions over the next couple of days and will post the method I settled on.

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