i'm looking for some advice on building wood porch columns from
scratch. i want to make one that is about 10 to 12 feet tall and 12-15
inches in diameter. it will have a slight taper. i imagine this is
similar to coopering a barrel--tapered staves connected around the
circumference and the sharp corners planed smooth. i was hoping to find
a web site that details the steps and maybe provides some rules of
thumb for the angles and such. appreciate any such pointers. thanks.
Unless your like me (love to make it myself - even if it cost more) make a
one-off column may be more trouble than its worth.
However, I witnessed a man in Tijuana Mexico make columns for his own home
on a home-made lathe. He made the lathe from an old rear axel assembly
mounted/welded to a 6" pipe that was embedded in concrete. He welded a
pulley on the yoke and drove the system with a 10 HP gas compressor motor.
The tail stock was another rear axel hub from a front wheel drive car. It
was mounted on a tripod stand that was weighted down by sacks of dirt/rocks.
His tool rest was a jackstand that he moved up and down the column. His
roughing gouge was a 1-1/2" x 4' iron pipe that he cut in half and
sharpened. He claims he oil hardened it then tempered it in an old
woodstove. What ever he did, it cut beautifully!
For wood, he was using old pallet pieces, 2"x 4"s, and what ever else he
could find. He then cut them on his homemade bandsaw, planed them by hand
and glued together with homemade hide glue. (I did not ask how he made it!)
After he had the columns were turned to near size, he patched and holes and
gaps with bondo/epoxy, then sanded primed and painted them. They really
I told myself, I could do that, if I ever needed columns for my house!
Dave that sounds pretty cool and I'd love to try that someday, but it
seems more like an art project than a construction project. was his
column a solid wood glue-up from all that scrap? sounds more like a
telephone pole than a porch column. That thing must've required it's
own footing :) I think the column needs to be hollow. Tom's suggestion
for the birds-eye joinery seems to fit the bill. Thanks for the idea
though (I wonder if I can convince my wife to let me build a monster
lathe in the backyard?)
> i'm looking for some advice on building wood porch columns from
> scratch. i want to make one that is about 10 to 12 feet tall and 12-15
> inches in diameter. it will have a slight taper.
Get Fred Bingham's book, "Practical Yacht Joinery".
Read and understand the section on how to build wooden sail boat masts.
Looks like you do nice work Mark. unfortunately, i'm one of those
idiots who just can't resist trying to do new things far removed from
my own field of expertise (which I have yet to identify :). Thanks for
the offer though.
Mark Jerde wrote:
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