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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Making Quarter Columns It Takes Two Tries - Step 6

I started to work on making the fluted quarter columns that are in the corners of the chest.  These are decorative touches that really make the chest stand out.   I have made them before on a lowboy so I didn't think it would be too difficult.  But these are much larger.

I started by gluing four 1 1/4 inch pieces of poplar together with craft paper between them and turned it round to 2 1/4 inches.  I'll show a step by step later.

Below is the first test piece ready for grooving.

 I built a jig to mount on my lathe so I could use a router to cut the flutes.

I mounted the jig on the lathe and placed the turned column in between the centers.  Now I can slide the router back and forth to cut the flutes with a round bottom router bit.

My lathe has indexing pins on the head stock which will hold the turning in place while I push the router to cut the flute.

The picture of the chest that I am reproducing shows that it has 3 large flutes.  So I figured this is a good place to start.  As it turns out I didn't like any of the flutes that I cut with router bits.  I tried several and I didn't like any of them.

I needed to start over.  I cut four new pieces of soft maple, since I ran out of poplar and then glued them together with hide glue and craft paper.

Once the glue dried I was ready to turn the square round in the lathe.

Then I made a scratch stock and mounted it a wooden jig that fit in the router jig on the lathe.

At first I tried to cut the flutes with just the scratch stock.  I did work but it was a lot of work and it took a while to cut them to the depth that I wanted.

I decided that the router could help.  I mounted a 3/16 inch bit in the router and used it to cut a smaller and shallower grove in the column.  Then I used the scratch stock to widen and deepen the flute to the correct depth.   This helped a lot to speed up the process, I also waxed the sides of the box to help the scratch stock slide better.

So now I was happy with the results and had a method that would work.  I needed to repeat the process with the cherry.  Below is the cherry column after I had turned it to size and then scrapped it smooth prior to cutting the flutes.   You can see the test pieces of soft maple next to it on the bench.

I also need to turn the base and capitals for the top and bottom of each quarter column.  I followed the same method of gluing up four pieces with craft paper and then turning the pattern on the lathe.

By turning them on one piece, all I needed to do was cut it in half,  split it apart and pick the best one for each column.

Below is the completed column ready for glue up.

Looks pretty good.  I sanded it before gluing it into place since it would be much easier before attaching it to the case.  

Now that the columns are done I can start to make the molding.

Here is today's video: