To layout the posts for a 10 foot octagon I first set up 1x4 batter boards at 12 feet. I started at the front at the elevation I wanted for the uphill post and used a level to get the grade all the way around. I then put string lines at 10 feet, measured corner to corner and adjusted the strings a necessary to make sure I had perfect square. Next I measured in from the corner of the string line the same on each corner and made a mark on the string with a permanent marker pen to get the center for each post base.
I then measured down from the string to get the height for the forms and then used a plumb bob from the mark on the string to get the center for "J" bolt. I made the post bases 12x12x8 inches, which works out with one 80lb sack of concrete. Before I set the post I put down an asphalt roofing shingle to keep the post from making direct contact with the concrete and bolted down an earthquake strap. I also put a generous coat of wood preservative on the end grain of the post. After standing up the post the earthquake straps are bent up and nailed into the posts.
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