Need flat area on round fluted column

Trying to add railings to my front porch. I have 7" round fluted AFCO columns and want to mount PVC railings. I need a flat surface on the column to attach the mounting flange. I think I would have to make a mounting block that will fit into the fluted area of the column. However I don't want to spend a lot of time in the shop if there is an easier way. Thanks in advance
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On 2/6/2012 12:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@hughes.net wrote:

Clamp a flat base to the column and use router to create the flat in the column.
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On 2/6/2012 11:46 AM, dpb wrote:

look in sailing marine store catalogs. they make wooden pads to go under winches. one side is curved to fit the curve of a boat, and the other side is flat.
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Sun light and PVC Railings is a Killer.... For 2 to 3 year the PVC will need to be replace, because of Sun light is bad on it you would have too, have PVC Porch Posts and railings with Steel Core...
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On Mon, 06 Feb 2012 12:42:20 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@hughes.net wrote:

I would not remove the flutes from the post. Someday you may want to change the railing. Get some treated lumber and a router. Router the wood to fit the post and screw it on. Or trace the post on cardboard and have a local machine shop make a steel or aluminum pad. The will likely cost more than the wood.
Maybe there is something made for this too? Contact the manufacturer of the railing and ask, plus look for railings on the web.
If all else fails, screw a piece of treated 2x4 across the flutes. That wont look as nice but should work. Omce it's painted it should not be too noticable, and will allow rain to run behind it.
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On Mon, 06 Feb 2012 22:16:32 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Very good point.

They make something with a bunch of 4" pins side by side that is useful for transferring unusual shapes. There's a way to do this without any special tool also.
Or trace the post on cardboard

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wrote:

Ya know, I have one of those tools. It's just a bunch of wires that slide in a sleeve. I used it in the past for installing flooring around door moldings. I'm not sure where it even is, but it's around here somewhere. I know it worked well, and was not expensive.
There's likely a picture of them online, but what the f... are they called?
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On Feb 7, 11:17am, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

"contour gauge" is one name
nate
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On Mon, 06 Feb 2012 22:16:32 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Thanks for all of the great ideas, I just forgot one important spec on the column, sorry. it is round fluted aluminum. I think the best idea is the contour device that has the pins in it try and find a block of plastic and transfer the shape of the column using the contour tool.
Many thanks
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On Monday, February 6, 2012 at 1:42:20 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@hughes.net wrote :

I've been examining ways to do the same thing with my fluted aluminum colum ns too. I have even thought about taking them out and replacing with wooden posts then I finally found an adapter for them. They come in various sizes for about $20. The flutes may not line up exactly from column to column, b ut if that happens just jack the beam they are under slightly and rotate th em just enough to line-up. Hope this helps. Here is the link to the site I found. http://www.fratta.com/6-Round-Fluted-Aluminum-Column-Bracket-Adaptors-p/afc o_06.htm
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