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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    2

    Default Large column issue on plantation style home

    I am having to rebuild a 22 foot tall column on a plantation home built in 1903. Does anybody have any idea how to cut the flutes in the sides of the column? They are 2 5/8" wide and 1/2" deep. I cant find any router bits anywhere close to this. Surely there is a way to do this because they still make columns but they are really expensive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,165

    Default Re: Large column issue on plantation style home

    Originally, with a hand plane and gouges; in the age of machinery, an overhead router could cut the flutes after the column was assembled. Not any type of homeowner router.
    The massiveness of columns like yours is why Chadsworth can charge what they do. I looked it up; a generic wood 22ftx24dia column would is in the $4K range each. Having your existing columns duplicated precisely is the most costly option.
    To do stave repairs means you only have to recreate a few flutes, so a router to establish a straight border, and remove gross amounts of material finished off by carving gouges will be effective. You need to get a gouge with a similar (slightly smaller rather than wider) diameter as the flute's shape
    casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Large column issue on plantation style home

    Thanks for the reply. I actually found a router bit that I think will be large enough, but I hope a normal sized router will turn it. I am going to have to replace about 9 of the individual slats in the column. About 2/3 of the column is solid. Guess I will try to make it work. We were quoted 7500 bucks for a new one and they said it would not match.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,792

    Default Re: Large column issue on plantation style home

    A bowl router bit may work some of tem are that large.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,013

    Default Re: Large column issue on plantation style home

    If the columns are straight, and you can make the segments individually then install them afterward, use a table saw.

    You will have to build a jig and clamp it to the table saw, Basically what you are doing is creating a fence that is angled to the saw blade. The less angle, the narrower the flute will be, the more angle, the wider the flute will be. Since you are cutting with the side of the blade, you raise the blade in 1/16th incriments with each pass, hogging out the flute a little bit at a time. It will take time to get the angle set right, but once you do, the process is easy.

    If you're working on tapered flutes, then you might be able to remove most of the material as stated above, and finish with either a router or hand tools.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,165

    Default Re: Large column issue on plantation style home

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesgibson View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I actually found a router bit that I think will be large enough, but I hope a normal sized router will turn it. I am going to have to replace about 9 of the individual slats in the column. About 2/3 of the column is solid. Guess I will try to make it work. We were quoted 7500 bucks for a new one and they said it would not match.
    Hi,
    You need a smaller router bit first, because there is no safe vibration-free way to cut both edges/sides of such a large flute at once; it's the vibration that will ruin it. You want to use a small bit and delineate each side of the cut first; then using the bigger bit to reach the bottom of the flute, it will have some working space and the chips will have somewhere to go.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

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