When I discovered the original porch post under layers of old siding I was ecstatic. I’ve watched enough HGTV shows to know it could be replicated, but I didn’t have a clue on how to make that happen in Cincinnati, so I turned first to Gene Wiggs, a person I met that is a fabulous woodworker and member of the Cincinnati Woodworking Club. He said I needed to find a wood turner, but he didn’t know any that could turn such a long piece. Armed with the correct terminology I turned to Google where I found several options in the United States and Canada, but none in Cincinnati. One company in Canada actually offered my exact post. Shipping cost made them not an option, so I turned to Huber Hardware that stocks porch post. They only offered two styles and many of the houses on the street and even Henshaw where I live had them.
They would cost about $325/post, but I wanted my unique original design, so I kept looking. I found Art Woodworking and Manufacturing located in the Northside, so I gave them a call. They didn’t do that type of work, but they suggested I call Custom Woodturning located in Saylor Park and the search was over. I spoke with owner Dan Hogan, shared measurements and pictures and within a few days I received a quote to duplicate my exact post. Well not exact. The bottom, squared, section will be extended to accommodate modern code for railings, if I elect to add them. Due to height of porch, they are not required. The cost only $90 more per post, well worth it in my opinion.
I strapped the one, damaged post I had to the top of my Ford Escape (like I was towing my kayak) and found my way to his unassuming shop. If I would have been allowed and had the time to do it I would have gone to his shop everyday he worked on them just to watch his artistry live. Instead Ben was kind enough to share pictures through the various stages.
I actually have not seen the post in person and I can’t wait. Ben has been kind enough to store them for me as I continue to deal with mounting setbacks of unexpected discoveries at the house. This aspect of the project has exceeded my expectations.
Additional comment: The owner of the house next to mine is elevating its exterior, which should bode well for my resell value. Like with the front of mine there was extensive rot, so he will be tearing off the porch and rebuilding. His contractor brought his porch post to the site today, purchased from Huber Lumber and I captured this picture of the ends of them……hollow. Validation I made the right decision shelling out a few $100s more extra money well spent.