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  • A Quick Column

    I wanted to put a small figure on top of a decorative column. The figure itself is a little over a half-inch tall (about 13 to 15 mm), so finding a column of the appropriate height in the local stores was not proving successful. So I decided to make my own, and did this little project over a couple hours.The basic materials are a wooden spool from a local craft store in the desired size, some wood to make the end pieces, and some glue. The tools used were a rotary tool with a ball shaped grinder, a hobby saw, a straight file, a vise, and a clamp. Note that not all of these tools are necessarily needed.The wood used was from a bag of craft wood which they were calling jumbo craft sticks, probably about the same size as a tongue depressor from the doctor’s office. It was the right width needed so a minimum amount of cutting was needed. By turning another stick sideways across the one being cut, it was easy to make quick squares with the hobby saw.[pagebreak]The next step shapes the column center. Since the rotary tool was used to carve the grooves in such a small piece, I was not about to hold it myself. Using the vice and the handle of the straight file as a bracing guide, I carved the grooves into the wood doing the best I could to hold things straight. I was able to get about two or three grooves before I needed to rotate the spool. The end result was I had something that looked quite like a grooved column. Note that the picture of the grooved column without the end pieces was a test piece. I had already glued the end pieces on the finished part before I decided to write this tutorial. This is why it doesn’t look nearly as clean as the finished part.[pagebreak]The next step is to simply glue the end pieces on. I used plain PVA glue, then held it together with a clamp. I wanted the stronger bond that clamping provided. To dress it up a bit more, I took the straight file and rounded over each of the corners of the end pieces, then rounded the top and bottom of each corner away from the flat surfaces. And here is the final result, sans primer and paint.
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