Cutting a column to length

The boss had to cut a round, tapered column to length today. How can you be sure of cutting it square? Any tips or tricks out there?
JP ******************* Meliora.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

First step is to mark it square. Take a piece of paper and wrap it around the column. If you get it to overlap perfectly, then it is pretty square (the less agressive the taper, the more square it will be). Mark the column with a Sharpie along the edge of the paper.
Cutting it square is then up to you.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unless the column has NO taper, this could easily give you a false indication. With any taper at all it is going to be difficult to tell if the edge of the paper is parallel to the end of the column. The poster is dealing with a tapered column.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 19:21:57 GMT, "Leon"

Actually, it shouldn't be. The wrapped paper would form a cylinder and all that would be needed would be to ensure the exposed part of the column as it exits from the cylinder (in other words, the loose part of the cylinder) is centered within the cylinder.

I was aware of that and addressed it in my original reply.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think there may have been a mis-understanding of your original post. you can wrap the sheet of paper around the tapered column, with the paper _in_contact_ with the column at all points.
And with a little care, get the edge (that goes -around- the column) to 'overlap perfectly' the _corner_ on the layer below.
I'll admit that on a 1st reading, that _is_ what I thought you were describing.
If you roll the paper to make a 'cylinder on cone'( not a 'cone on cone') then, yeah, it comes real close to being the 'square' cut point. Subject only, as you rightly point out in the current article, to the inaccuracies in centering the smaller-diameter end of the column within the paper cylinder.
I think _I_ would approach the problem by standing the column _upright_, making sure that it is plumb to the vertical, and simply measure 'up from the floor' the requisite distance, all around the column. Similar to the way dressmakers insure that skirt hemlines are 'even'.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Make a fixture/support to hold it so the centerline is square and make the cut. The ease of doing this depends on the diameter of the column and what type of saw you are cutting with.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

RAS, TS, BS, SCMS...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Make a square fixture that the column can fit inside. If needed, wedge it so it is tightly in place. You can then crosscut with a table saw sled or a handheld circular saw, using the square fixture to hold it square against the sled fence (or to clamp a guide to for the circular saw). This is pretty much foolproof if done properly.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My buddy and I do this quite often on front porch columns that hold up the porch over hang. These columns tend to rot out at the bottom where they often stand in water. We build new bases from PT lumber, shorten the columns, and set the column on the box.
You can accurately mark the column 2 ways. If the end of the column is in good shape to start with, stand it up and cut a piece of wood the length that you want to cut off the column. Stand that piece of wood up against the column and use it to indicate where to mark the column. Move the board around the column and make your marks as you go around. We use the newly built base with a pencil setting on top of it to mark the old column before removing the column. We simply push the new base around the column and mark it with the pencil.
You can also simply measure in several places from the end of the column to the desired cut spot.
When cutting we tend to prefer a jigsaw over a circle saw as it is easer to keep on track and follow the line ESPECIALLY if the column has a taper.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 18:53:26 GMT, "Leon"

Thanks. Hended up free cutting it on the bandsaw. Not very flat, I must say.
JP ************* Critique me.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Easiest in the lathe you made it in, but some improvised centers would do.
Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a
"WooWooism lives" Anon grafitto on the base of the Cuttyhunk breakwater light
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

made. Cut a hole this diameter in a piece of scrap two-by. Slide the scrap over the column until it won't move any further. Adjust the angle of the scrap until the edge of the hole is in contact with the column all the way around. Mark with a pencil. Remove the scrap. Hand-saw to the marked line.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Any tapered columns that I've cut were only meant to be shortened by cutting from the bottom, which is usually a cylinder.
If you cut the tapered part off, the capital won't fit properly, as these are sized to the taper as it comes.
To make a cutline for the bottom, just make measured marks up from the bottom in about four spots on the circumference and connect them with a piece of cardboard that wraps around, striking your pencil line when the marks line up.
If the column has a collar style base that slides on the cylinder, you can simply slide it up, pin it with some finish nails and use this as a guide for your saw.
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.