A while back I showed a small sample of how the Legacy Ornamental Mill works with a small spiral cane.
Turning those little things is a pure pleasure and I do it often.
But sometimes the demand is for a large spiral column.
This mill, model 1500EX is a long bed machine, signified by the EX in the model number. So I made the columns outside the front entry to our house/knit shop.
But there is an inherent problem with large, solid columns.
No matter what material is used (plastic excepted), it splits.
The process goes this way:
As the outer parts of the column dry out they contract.
Not much, but it doesn’t take much.
The inner core doesn’t contract at the same rate.
So the outer layers are now too small to cover the inner, unshrunken core.
Just look at the logs in a log house. Most of them split.
Most commercial columns are hollow, preventing the problem.
My columns are hollow, too.
Here’s how I do it.
I accentuated the lines showing the birdsmouth cuts that join the pieces in a six sided hollow form
Blocks are fitted to the column to fasten it in the mill. Then the form is milled round, first, and then the detail is milled in.
Here’s a short practice piece that didn’t have the birdsmouth joints, but does show the spiral forms.
The actual columns were finished outside with good primer and exterior gloss enamel. Then I filled the inside with foam to prevent moisture and insects from coming in.
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