stevenbunn Sun, 04/28/2019 - 16:21

Making and installing fluted quarter columns on the clock case

A close up view of one of the turned quarter columns glued and clamped in position
As I stated in an earlier post, one of the aspects of case construction I wanted to explore was making and fitting fluted quarter columns to a clock case. Following Franklyn Gottschall's plans, I glued up a 2-1/4 inch square turning billet from four smaller 1-1/8 inch square lengths of cherry. The laminated squares were seperated by strips of brown paper. Gottschall's drawings show the columns turned in one piece with the column's base and top sections turned at the same time as the center shaft. I followed this procedure. The flutes were cut using a 1/4 inch diameter grooving router bit. This created three grooves down the length of each quater column. Frankly, Franklyn, the result looked clunky. Most of the antique clock cases I have examined have much more delicate and numerous flutes on each quarter column. I decided that the columns as made were junk. I glued up a new laminated turning billet. The column base and capitals turned out OK on the first rejected column stock. I  carefully trimmed these elements off the duds and glued them in place in the case. I then re-routed the flutes in the new turning using a 1/8 inch diameter grooving router bit, with the grooves cut on 1/4 inch intervals. This spacing created 1../8 inch wide flutes. I think this looks infinitly richer than the first effort. The completed fluted shaft quarters were carefully trimmed to length and glued in place. Not bad for a couple of days work.
I am already thinking about turning several examples of column profiles based on photographs of clock caes featured in Antiques Magazine. A great thought, but given my time constraints maybe something for the next life time.
Thanks for stopping by. STB
Another quick comment. Based on Google reports exactly four people visited this site last month. Those four visits probably recorded my own views of the site as I checked on the site. If this number is valid, this is really depressing. Bummer