Universal Forest Products

Frequently Asked Questions

Tiffany Glass Post Cap

Below are some frequently asked questions about our Maine Ornamental® products. Read on to learn more about our products' characteristics, installation, fasteners, warranty, and care and cleaning.

Product Characteristics
Installation
Care and Cleaning

Product Characteristics

What are the inside dimensions of your post caps?

Our post caps with a wood base come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are 4" × 4" and 6" × 6", which are made to fit a nominal 4" × 4" or 6" × 6" post. The inside dimensions of the nominal 4" × 4" measure 3-5/8", and the inside dimensions of the nominal 6" × 6" measure 5-5/8". In addition, we make a 4" × 6" post cap (with inside dimensions of 3-5/8" × 5-5/8") in Newport High Pyramid. We also make an 8" × 8" Copper-Topped cap with an opening size of 7-5/8" and a 10" × 10" cap with an opening size of 9-5/8". All of these special sizes are available in cedar.

Our adaptable post caps for vinyl and composite posts come with three adaptors to fit actual 4.5" × 4.5", 4.265" × 4.265", 4" × 4", and 3.5" × 3.5" posts.

Will my stainless steel post caps rust?

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more then 10% chromium. Stainless steel has a hard oxide coating which makes it resistant to stains. Corrosion and wear strip away this coating causing the steel to rust. To maintain this coating, clean periodically with a mixture of vinegar and club soda.

Will the brass post caps tarnish?

Our brass post caps, like our copper post caps, are a true metal brass—an alloy of copper and zinc. Our brass post caps are protected with a thin clear coating of lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun's ultraviolet rays, moisture, and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. Periodic reapplication of this clear coating will help to protect the brass.

What preservative is used to protect Maine Ornamental's pressure-treated wood post caps?

Our wood post caps are protected by CA-B (Copper Azole Type B), an EPA-registered pesticide containing copper and azole compounds to protect it from termite attack and decay. For more information, refer to the Copper Azole Safe Handling Information.

How bright is the solar post cap light?

The solar post cap light provides an ambient, non-task-oriented light.

Where can I purchase replacement LED light bulbs?

The LED bulbs are part of the whole solar cell component and are not designed to be replaced. The LED bulbs have an average life of 10 years, with a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day.

How do I access the batteries in my vinyl post cap/solar light?

Remove red plastic tab or install included batteries. Seat the batteries firmly to ensure proper contact. Contains Nickel-Cadmium batteries. Batteries must be recycled or disposed of properly. Replacement batteries must be AA 600mAh Ni-Cd.

What kind of replacement batteries should I buy for the solar post cap light?

If the rechargeable batteries provided will no longer recharge, they can be replaced with any AA rechargeable batteries. The life depends on the quality of the batteries purchased.

How long will the rechargeable batteries provided with the solar post cap last?

The rechargeable batteries should last approximately one year.

Can I use regular, non-rechargeable batteries in the solar post cap light?

No, the solar post cap light is designed to be used with rechargeable batteries. If regular batteries are used in the sun, they will destroy the solar collector.

How long is the life of the LED light bulbs?

With a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day, the LED bulbs should last an average of 10 years.

What is the metal underneath the post caps with the powder-coated finish?

The base of our powder-coated post caps is made of stainless steel.

What is powder-coating?

Our white, green, real patina, pewter and black post caps are all treated with powder-coating. Powder-coating is a dry finishing process in which finely ground particles of pigment and resin are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto an electrically grounded post cap. The charged powder particles adhere to the grounded post cap until they melt and fuse into a smooth coating in the curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality finish that is also environmentally friendly.

What does "patina" mean?

"Patina" refers to the natural weathering of copper due to airborne sulfur compounds, which gradually change copper's surface color. The resulting color, called a patina, depends on location and climate. Salt, moisture, sunlight, ultra-violet rays and pollution can affect the final color. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina. To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months. To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

What is a post skirt?

A post skirt is a trim molding for the base of a post. Post skirts are available in 4" × 4" and 6" × 6" sizes, three styles, and three wood species: pressure-treated pine, cedar, and redwood. They can be used alone or in combination. Our post skirts are cut to size, with three sides pre-joined. The fourth side can be easily slipped into place and attached with finish nails, staples, or exterior-grade construction adhesive.

Installation

How do I attach the post cap to the post?

We recommend using an exterior-grade construction adhesive (or PVC glue if attaching to a vinyl post) to adhere the cap to the post. Apply the adhesive liberally to the inside of the cap and place the cap firmly over the top of the post. If you prefer to use Brad nails, be sure to pre-drill all nail holes to avoid splitting. For more information, refer to the installation instructions.

How do I attach the solar post cap light to my post?

To attach our solar post cap light to a post, apply an exterior-grade construction adhesive (or PVC glue if attaching to a vinyl post) to the inside edge of the molding at the bottom of the light, and then place the light firmly onto the post. For more information, refer to the installation instructions.

How do I activate the solar post cap?

  1. Remove top by pressing inward on the side of the clear lens, grasping the edge of the top and lifting it off.
  2. Install the batteries.
  3. Replace the top by snapping it back onto side panels. (Ensure that the holes in the sides are matched up with the stubs on the top.)
  4. Place your solar post cap light in direct sunlight for 24-48 hours to fully charge.

How do I activate the solar Tiffany-style post cap?

  1. Remove the solar panel by lifting it straight up from the top of the cap.
  2. Ensure that the batteries are securely in place.
  3. Replace the solar panel.
  4. Your solar Tiffany-style post cap is now ready to be installed on your post.
  5. Your solar Tiffany-style post cap will need 24 to 48 hours of sunlight to fully charge. Note: The amount of direct sunlight received by the solar panel determines the length of time the light will remain lit after dark.

Should I remove the thin, clear plastic film over the top of the solar collector on the solar post cap light?

Yes, the clear plastic cover is meant to protect the solar collector during shipping.

Where can I purchase replacement LED light bulbs?

The LED bulbs are part of the whole solar cell component and are not designed to be replaced. The LED bulbs have an average life of 10 years, with a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day.

What kind of replacement batteries should I buy for the solar post cap light?

If the rechargeable batteries provided will no longer recharge, they can be replaced with any AA rechargeable batteries. The life depends on the quality of the batteries purchased.

How long will the rechargeable batteries provided with the solar post cap last?

The rechargeable batteries should last approximately one year.

Can I use regular, non-rechargeable batteries in the solar post cap light?

No, the solar post cap light is designed to be used with rechargeable batteries. If regular batteries are used in the sun, they will destroy the solar collector.

How long is the life of the LED light bulbs?

With a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day, the LED bulbs should last an average of 10 years.

What are the inside dimensions of your post caps?

Our post caps with a wood base come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are 4" × 4" and 6" × 6", which are made to fit a nominal 4" × 4" or 6" × 6" post. The inside dimensions of the nominal 4" × 4" measure 3-5/8", and the inside dimensions of the nominal 6" × 6" measure 5-5/8". We produce a limited selection of other opening sizes, such as 4-5/8", 4-7/8" and 6-1/8". In addition, we make a 4" × 6" post cap (with inside dimensions of 3-5/8" × 5-5/8") in two, all-wood styles: Newport High Pyramid and Newport Classic. We also make an 8" × 8" Copper-Topped cap with an opening size of 7-5/8" and a 10" × 10" cap with an opening size of 9-5/8". All of these special sizes are available in cedar. Our 4" × 6" post caps are also available in redwood.

Our post caps with a vinyl base are available in 4" × 4" (to fit a 4" × 4" vinyl post) and 5" × 5" (to fit a 5" × 5" vinyl post). The 5" × 5" post caps come with an adaptor. The post cap adaptor is removable and fits a post measuring 4-3/4" × 4-3/4".

Care and Cleaning

Will my copper post caps remain a shiny copper color?

Our copper post caps come with a thin, clear marine lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun's ultraviolet rays, moisture, and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. In its natural state, copper breaks down in the elements and patinas. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina.

How do I keep my copper post cap from turning green/patina?

To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months.

Can I speed up the patina process on my copper post caps?

To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

Will my stainless steel post caps rust?

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more then 10% chromium. Stainless steel has a hard oxide coating which makes it resistant to stains. Corrosion and wear strip away this coating causing the steel to rust. To maintain this coating, clean periodically with a mixture of vinegar and club soda.

Will the brass post caps tarnish?

Our brass post caps, like our copper post caps, are a true metal brass— an alloy of copper and zinc. Our brass post caps are protected with a thin clear coating of lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun's ultraviolet rays, moisture, and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. Periodic reapplication of this clear coating will help to protect the brass.

Do I need to apply a finish to my wood post caps?

As with all wood products, we recommend that you coat these with a high-quality exterior finish to preserve the wood's natural beauty and ensure a lifetime of enjoyment. Apply to all wood areas, including the underside of the cap, before installation.

Should I allow my treated wood post caps to "season" outdoors before I apply a protective finish?

No, our treated wood post caps are kiln-dried and do not require a drying period. We recommend applying a protective finish immediately.

Will the metal solder on my glass post caps oxidize?

Exposure to the elements may cause the copper-wrapped solder on your glass post cap to oxidize and lose its original color. Applying car wax before placing the post cap outdoors will help to prevent the initial oxidation. We have found regular furniture polish to have the same affect, but its prevention time may be vary based on geographical location. Reapply the car wax/furniture polish every 3 to 6 months as needed.