This was a challenging and fun project at the home of Helena and Carsten. The idea was to replace some old deck posts with new ones and scribe the post bottoms to small boulders. This technique was historically used in Japanese building and, aside from being visually stunning, serves to protect and secure post bottoms. We used hemlock posts which were milled on-site from trees we felled on the property.
The Post is braced plumb above the stone to which it will be scribed.
Dividers are used to trace the profile of the stone onto the post bottom. Selection of the proper stone is key, as you want a surface that is relatively easy to scribe, but peaked enough to shed water and secure the post from lateral movement. A gentle peak, as if you flattened the tip of an egg, is best.
After the stone’s profile is scribed to the sides of the post, the post is removed and two templates (not shown) are scribed across the top of the stone to help determine the shape of the recess to be carved out. Carving can be done with a combination of tools including chainsaw, ax, gouges, and special grinder wheels.