I am slowly getting the columns done. So far I have 4 of the 8 1/2 columns that I took down re-installed.
I'm making one change to the columns as I put them back up. The cap where the top and bottom parts of the colum meet is a weak spot. The cap is nailed to the bottom part of the column then the top part is toe-nailed to the cap.
I know it sat that way for over 100 years without a problem but I feel better adding a little structural staility to this area.
What I'm doing is taking a small 4x4 piece and screwing it to the base with 3" deck screws. I then screw a 3/4" piece of flooring to the 4x4. This makes 4 1/4", the size of the opening in the top part of the column.
I then take the top part of the column and slide it over the 4x4 and secure it into place with more 3" deck screws. This also has the added benefit of repairing the caps, most of which are split in half as you can see from the picture above.
I got a little bit ahead of myself and started installing them before primering. Hopefully I can finish all the columns by this weekend. That may be a bit of a challenge though, the double column by the steps has rot at the base, and the capital is rotted on the single column across from it.