How to make a Spiral Groove in Column

I need to make a spiral groove in a couple of columns. I only have to do it in two columns and I may not do another for a LONG time, so a complex jig that will take room and time to build is not an attractive approach.
An alternative way is to put a grid pattern on the column and join points along the grid to make a spiral groove manually using gouges and chisels. That is a possibility, but I am afraid of how tedious this would be and my ability to make a clean, attractive groove using this method.
I wonder if someone has a BLEND of a simple jig and a manual layout that might use something like a follower groove as a path for a follower arm attached to a router. Has anyone come up with something like this?
If not, and the manual way is the way to go, is there someplace on the web that goes through the steps for doing this that will help me be successful?
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eganders wrote:

It would probably help if you would give some additional details regarding the dimensions of the column, whether or not it's tapered, the desired pitch, width, and depth of the groove, etc.
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eganders wrote:

Use a strip of heavy weight paper cut into a long strip and spiral the strip around the column at the desired angle. Use a paper heavy enough to prevent lateral flexing. Mark the edge of the paper. A course file can be used to a major portion of the groove.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Nova wrote:

forget which one but a little research on the net should find which one. It was a good show IMHO.
Dave Nagel
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Or find someone with a CNC router or a router copyier if you have a sample.
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If the diameter of the column is large enough, you may be able to use some type of flexible battern like 1/8" BB plywood, and tack it to the column to act as a fence for a router.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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"eganders" wrote:

Find somebody with a Sears & Roebuck "Router Crafter".
It was an accessory for a router to do specifically what you want to do.
Lew
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Thanks folks. You all gave good ideas. I will look up the router crafter. The thin plywood guide may be a way to go also. I don't have all the details yet (my daughter in law is asking for it for their new house and we don't have dimensions yet). I believe it will be a minimum of about 2 ft high and about a minimum of 3 inches in diameter. I don't know how long--12 to 18 inches is a guess.
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You want one of these: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spiral_turning_lathe_ (Carpentry_and_Joinery,_1925).jpg

That's the usual way.
I think you will be needing a lathe to do this though: firstly to shape the blank, then just as a way of holding the work between centres so it's easy to turn it as you work on it.
Finish it off by using a custom made wooden plane (more of a spokeshave / scraper) with an iron that matches the profile you want. The lathe toolrest is replaced by a length of steel angle or box the length of the workpiece and supported at two ends (this is an easy gadget to make for a lathe if you can buy a spare toolrest slide). Then make the finishing scraper so that the body rides on the long toolrest and the iron is at the right helix angle for the spiral.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spiral_turning_lathe_ (Carpentry_and_Joinery,_1925).jpg You're right! Do you know where I can get one?
--
Any given amount of traffic flow, no matter how
sparse, will expand to fill all available lanes.
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Steve Turner wrote:

Maybe a little more reasonable:
http://www.timbecon.com.au/details/router-lathe-8715.aspx
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Sheesh, I've been watching this thred waiting for someone to post the name of that darn machine that is perfect for this stuff but I can't recall the name. It's like National or Century or something. I see thme on craigs and eBay now and then. They are a big red lath type thing but specifically for doing spirals and other fancy linear cutting. They have like a canvas catch basin for the chips too. I'll poke around and see if I can find the name. You can get the low end version for about $1,000 or cheaper.
wrote:

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Legacy ornamental mill
http://legacywoodworking.com/index.cfm

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eganders wrote:

Or, take your pick from:
http://legacywoodworking.com/productList.cfm?type=1
~Mark.
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