Post Caps are not only decorative, they provide protection for your post. Without post caps your post could continuously swell and contract causing the post to split. Premature rotting can be caused by the top being exposed to the elements and from bird droppings and invasive insects. Madison Iron and Wood Post caps are made to fit tight on the post which helps "bind" the post to keep if from swelling to much so when the post dries out, it will limit cracking or distorting the post.
When ordering post caps you need to understand that most 4x4 wood post are not 4"x4" actual size. 4x4 is the "nominal" size of the post before it is treated. After a post is treated and dried, the actual post size is 3-1/2" on each side. That being said, there are true 4"x4" post on the market after they have been treated. You need to confirm what post size you actually have before ordering your post caps.
There are two methods to attaching post caps to your wood post:
1. The first, and my personal favorite, is to adhere the post cap to the post with construction grade adhesive. This provides a nice look on the outside of the post cap with not screws, it keeps the post cap secured to the post with a nice water-tight seal. To accomplish this, Just get some construction grade adhesive that you can purchase from your local hardware store (just ask any clerk they will know). Squeeze a bead of adhesive in the inside corners of the cap that will contact the top of the post, and then just push the cap onto the top of the post. That is it, no more messing around with it, Just let it dry for about a day or so (see specific adhesive drying times for more accurate cure times) and you have a great looking post cap.
Be aware that metal post caps have a slight radius on the inside corner of the post caps, so if you have very straight post you will need to sand or shave the corners down slightly with a chisel, sandpaper, knife, or if you have a lot to do I would suggest a power belt sander. Also, because Madison Iron and Wood caps are meant to fit tight, if your post are already swelled or slightly "water logged" you may need to let the post dry out a little so the swelling goes down or sand them down slightly. Only sand down just enough for the post cap to go on, remember a tight fit is preferred.
2. The second method is not to use construction grade adhesive and to screw the post caps onto the post. With Madison Iron and Wood Post caps this is simply done by drilling the side of the post cap with a 1/4" drill bit and installing whatever screw is desired. Some people would prefer to do this if they plan on taking the post cap off in the future, or they want a little bit more security from thieves.
No matter how you secure your post caps, you won't be disappointed with the look of Madison Iron and Wood wrought iron post caps. Because our post caps are made of time tested wrought iron and steel along with a super tough and environmentally friendly powder coat finish, these post caps will long outlast your post.
Copper post caps fade and discolor quickly. Wood post caps come apart and need constant repainting and attention. Plastic post caps discolor quickly and are not tough at all. If you're thinking of LED post caps, while I admit they are pretty when they are new, they do not last long and that expensive project you just did, you will be doing again in a couple of years. LED post cap lights tend to go bad quickly when all of the solar panels are hazed over, batteries are dead, internal electronic components are corroded, or the lights just fail.
Don't just get any post cap, get a forever post cap from Madison Iron and Wood. If you haven't already, you can visit Madison Iron and Wood at www.madisonironandwood.com or by visiting www.ironpostcaps.com email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org