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Thread: Making a column plinth/capital

  1. #1
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    Making a column plinth/capital

    I’m not sure this is of any interest, but I’m in the midst of making a wall clock. My design calls for columns up both sides, and they need plinths/capitals at each end. Not having a lathe, and knowing the parts are too small for a router/router table set up, I had to rely on this method.

    Here is the basic design/need; a half round piece, ~1 3/4” at the base, with a concave curve to a 1 1/2” top.

    4257993C-534F-4FE0-971B-6961CD06BEE0.jpg

    So, out comes the bench top drill press and a 2” hole saw. I made a few extra just in case.

    115921F4-3D4A-4502-A080-D059CA06205D.jpg

    I marked out the final dimensions on each.

    I first used a carving tool to remove most of the waste.

    C9A53D4A-B077-4233-9710-9F8E53A94747.jpg

    Being an absolute novice at carving, this is why I made extra. Ha!

    379B0932-B72F-41EE-9E80-11E785B9663B.jpg

    Once the bulk of the waste was carved out, I attached a bolt and chucked it in the drill press.

    830F7E17-FBC3-4A04-96B7-8320AFE4610E.jpg

    Using a rubber thingy (whatever they are called) and some 80 grit paper, I refined the shape and brought it up to the reference marks.

    3227F2C4-F071-493B-BEDD-535478E45D94.jpg

    Needs a bit more refinement, but turned out fairly well. I’ll only need half, so I can choose the best side when I get to that part of the build.

    8B6909D4-4E3A-4156-8CB6-312D47918D92.jpg

    I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat…or make a plinth/capital

  2. #2
    Good idea Phil. Thanks for posting. I wonder if a round rasp would have helped at any point? (Im a huge fan of rasps and files for rough shaping of wood. I have many varieties, up to a 16" Farrier's rasp.)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    Innovative at using what is on hand to get the job done Phil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Good idea Phil. Thanks for posting. I wonder if a round rasp would have helped at any point? (Im a huge fan of rasps and files for rough shaping of wood. I have many varieties, up to a 16" Farrier's rasp.)
    Some my lathe work uses rasps and files. Mostly a file is used to bring a tenon down minutely in size when fitting it to a ferule or chisel socket. Some shaping has been done with a bastard file or a rasp.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    I love it – look forward to seeing the rest!

  5. #5
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    Good beginnings Phil...keep us posted.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all. Fred and Jim, yes, I love using rasps/files, etc. to shape. I tried using a flea market round file initially, even in the drill press, but ended up getting some chipping. The right file would have worked well. Just another item for the Christmas wish list!

  7. #7
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    Nice work. Sometimes we can hang ourselves up with thoughts such as “I can’t do that because I don’t have an “X”. Working around that is very satisfying.
    Jim

  8. #8
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    Files and rasps work best going with the grain so it's not surprising that you had trouble trying it on the drill press. Would work better in a carving vise.

  9. #9
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    Tom, agree. I did the first with a carving tool, then used the file with the piece in a vise. Got a little impatient and tried the file with the drill press. After a little experimentation, just found the carving tool and sandpaper/drill press to work just as well and was a bit faster and avoided the tear out from the file in the drill press. I need four completed pieces, but made six and played with two to get it down to this process.

  10. #10
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    Phil
    Another option would be to visit my shop and turn on the lathe.

  11. #11
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    Tom, kind offer, thank you! I certainly wouldn’t mind taking you up on a lathe lesson some time. Always nice to meet another Michigan woodworker. Where abouts in Michigan are you?

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