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Build a Post for Climbing Vines

A sturdy post with vine-friendly dowels acts as a trellis to give vigorous climbing plants like roses, mandevilla and clematis a leg up. A gothic-style post cap and bright blue paint make it pop in a garden.

Climbing Vine Post

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Tape measure
  • Angle square or combination square
  • Portable circular saw with straightedge guide
  • Table saw
  • Drill press or hand drill
  • Sanding block with medium-grit abrasive
  • Wooden or rubber mallet
  • Paintbrush
  • Sledgehammer
  • Socket wrench


  • 1 (8-foot) 4x4 Top Choice treated (#201596)
  • 7 (1x36-inch) Oak dowel (#019425)
  • 1-inch Forstner Bit (#306158)
  • 1 Speedbor Drill Bit (#170983)
  • Gothic post top (#7977)
  • Valspar exterior primer (#165218)
  • Valspar exterior paint (#019908; Splish Splash CI257)
  • 2-1/2-inch 8d ST Patio/Deck Finishing Nails (#69923)
  • 1 Speedpost (#184939)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Step 1

Cut 4x4x8-foot post to 6 feet in length. Mark a centerline down the length of one side of the post. Make a mark on the centerline four inches from one end. Continue following the centerline, making marks every 6 inches for the length of the post. This will leave 10 marks showing where to drill.

Good to Know

If you don't have a drill press you can use a hand held drill and a 1-inch spade bit to make your holes. You will have to pay extra attention to keeping the drill as perpendicular as possible to the post so that all the holes are as level as possible. That way once you've inserted the dowels they will be parallel to each other and look the best. Before you drill make sure to place the scrap piece of wood under the post to minimize tear out.

Step 2

Using a drill press, drill the holes making sure that all holes are true and square to the post. Level the post under a drill press and proceed to drill holes at marks using a 1-inch Forstner bit. To minimize tear out, place a scrap piece of wood under the post where the bit will exit. Drill all 10 holes as deep as the press will allow. If the bit doesn't go all the way through the 4x4, adjust the drill press table and continue drilling the holes.

Step 3

Cut each 36-inch dowel to 20 inches. Cut the remaining pieces to 10 inches. The ends of the dowels may need to be sanded lightly to get them started in the holes. Use a rubber mallet to drive the 20-inch dowels through the post until they protrude an equal distance from either side. Drive the remaining 10-inch dowels into holes from either side until they meet in the middle of the 4x4.

Step 4

Drill starter holes and tap 2-1/2-inch nails into the back of the 4x4 and through the 20-inch dowels to secure them in place. Drill additional holes and tap the 2-1/2-inch nails into the 10-inch dowels to hold in place.

Step 5

Drill a pilot hole in the top center of the 4x4 and attach the finial.

Step 6


Prime and paint the post.

Step 7

Call your utility company at least two days ahead to locate and mark underground utility lines before installing the Speedpost. Using a sledgehammer, tap the Speedpost into the ground until the underside of the Speedpost meets the ground. Insert the wood post into the Speedpost. Drill starter holes and using a socket wrench, secure the post with galvanized screws (supplied with the Speedpost).