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Thread: Tapered Columns

  1. #1

    Tapered Columns

    I'm considering building tapered columns for a Habitat house I'm working on. They will be PVC approximately 6 ft tall and be 5 1/2" square sitting on top on a 2 ft high brick base that is 19" square.
    My question is "How much taper should there be over the 6 ft length"? My feeling about tapered columns is that the taper should be barely discernible. I have seen ones where the taper was exaggerated and looked over done.
    My second question involves the construction. I'd like to bevel the corners but am not sure how this would best done on a table saw. A tapering jig would work fine for the first pass but and unsure how to cut the other side.

  2. #2
    A tapering sled that clamps the piece down on its surface would work.

  3. #3
    Just draw some tapers, and look at online stuff. The most tapered are usually Arts & Crafts period stuff. My own preference
    for square pillars is just enough taper for it to be immediately noticed. Beveled corners are easily done with a router
    bit of 45 degrees that has a ball bearing. Butt joints are OK if they are neatly sanded and have some glue blocks inside.

  4. #4
    Thanks Lee and Mel for the feedback. I'm assuming I'd need to make 2 different jigs for this job - one for the left side of the board and another for the right. Is that correct?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Krawford View Post
    Thanks Lee and Mel for the feedback. I'm assuming I'd need to make 2 different jigs for this job - one for the left side of the board and another for the right. Is that correct?
    Not necessarily, you could flip the work piece end for end and cut the second side.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    When I was building our house, I made different size patterns from 1/4" luan paneling, stood them in place, and picked out the one that my wife and I liked. I built our columns with 3/4" plywood using butt joints and then covered the joints with PVC corner molding. Used PVC casing around the bottom and top of the column. Worked for us.


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  7. #7
    Von, yours are certainly in the correct range for Arts &Crafts style. And even if they were a little out of range the whole
    scene is pretty nice. If I couldn't feel good sitting on that porch...I'd know it was time for powerful medicine !

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