Replacing an x-large column base

Hi,
The base of one of the columns to the front entrance of my house has rotted to the point that it can't be repaired and needs to be replaced. My problem is that the dimensions of the piece are 13" x 13" x 2 3/8", and given the dimensions I don't know if I have any replaclement options aside from having a piece custom milled, which will undoubtedly be expensive.
I tried a local salvage lumber outfit, but the largest they could offer is 10" x 10".
Anyone have any ideas/suggestions?
Thanks,
--Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< The base of one of the columns to the front entrance of my house has rotted

Choose treated lumber for the replacment. Rot tends to come back and travel.
<< My problem is that the dimensions of the piece are 13" x 13" x 2 3/8" >>
For most DIY folks this is a simple glue-up job. If you have access to a table saw, go to an old fashioned lumber yard or other source for premium grade treated lumber. Buy a 10' piece of 2 x 4. If God loves you, you will find one that is knot free and straight, not warped, cupped or bowed. Yellow pine is good, and the board should feel real heavy. Store it in a dry out-of -the way area supported in several places on the length. Turn a new side up every several days as it dries (treated lumber is often very wet as sold). A month of drying would be perfect, but use your judgement. Cut the 2 x 4 into 9 segments 13 1/8" long. With a 1/8" saw kerf you won't have much left over, so be careful. Rip each piece to your needed thickness plus say, 1/8" for milling, or 2-1/2". Now stack the pieces side by side to make up the 13 x 13, doing so with a polyetheylene sheet under them to keep the 2 part epoxy you will use from becoming part of the work bench. Other adhesives might work, but not nearly as well in this case. A couple of short pipe clamps will hold things together while the adhesive cures. Now take the plank to your millwork shop to machine to your specs if you decide not to do it yourself with some hand tools. I think they will be more reasonable pricewise than you think. Good luck.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

make up one from smaller pieces of lumber bolted together, and clad it with thin pieces to make it look like it was one piece.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Laminated constuction can (probably will) fail when the parts glued together exapand and shrink with changes in moisture content, then water gets into the open joints and causes decay. Pressure treated wood will not decay, but it usually is lower quality wood that is more likely to expand and shrink.
The most long-lasting wood construction for square column bases (also known as "plinths") is four solid wood pieces joined at the corners with a splined-miter joint. I just made two such plinths, 12.5" x 12.5" x 2.25" out of vertical grain Douglas Fir in my woodworking shop last week. It took 4.2 hours to fabricate the plinths, which would cost $147. plus $50. for materials. I treated them with chemical preservative inside and water repellant outside.
The method is described in my article, "Mr. Baseman," in Old-House Journal, July 1995. If your library does not have it, I can send you a copy for $10. to cover my costs and time.
Also, you can get plinths made of plastic, "cultured marble," and aluminum.
For more on column maintenance and repairs go to www.HistoricHomeWorks.com , click on Reports and see the Wooden Column publication, which shows construction methods and lists suppliers.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.