Staved Columns - Need Advice

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Forum topic by Hyperhutch posted 02-19-2010 04:46 AM 1568 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 3271 days

02-19-2010 04:46 AM

So, I am interested in making some staved columns as prototypes to get experience. I’m wondering if any of y’all have made one before, and if so, how you cut and assembled the glue-up. Also, wondering if the joints could be made using a power feeder on a tablesaw, assuming the angle was set accurately enough.



-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

7 replies so far

View Gotwood1962's profile


30 posts in 3040 days

#1 posted 02-19-2010 05:20 AM

I saw an article in FWW magazine a while back. Basicly they calculated the angle to cooincide with the number of sections and milled the pieces. the pieces were then laid wide side, or outside face up ,and were masking taped perpendicular to the strips each strip tight against the other. this assembly was flipped over and you basicly just rolled the column up. The assembly was checked dry and adjusted where neccessary. last step was to glue all the joining edges and roll it back up. More tape, shrink wrap or large rubber bands could be used to bind the assembly together till the glue dries. Hope this helps

-- Gotwood1962, If sawdust were valuable... I'd be a millionaire

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3362 days

#2 posted 02-19-2010 05:38 AM

ditto with gotwood ,
thats the way to do it .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3611 days

#3 posted 02-19-2010 07:08 AM

My buddy Bently did a blog on how to make a column Hopefully it helps.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3568 days

#4 posted 02-19-2010 07:38 AM

I hated doing this job with columns and now know where the price point needs to be at after the horrid experience. I built an entertainment center with 1/2 round solid hard maple columns. The unit was hard maple and painted shiny black.

If you look at the pics, the picture of the natural color without any finish, those pillars were not staved columns. I built the columns 3 times before I got it right. The first 2 tries were a nightmare. If you look closely to the unfinished picture you will see the pillars were laminated but had air pockets thus rendering those pillars as good as trash.

My 3rd try to build these pillars, short of throwing in the towel, I looked up how to build drums on google. Utilizing this information of “staved pillars” I began to build and it turned out great. I seen an episode on DIY how to do a staved pillar glue up but did not feel my experience level was up to the task. So, I cut my staves at 2” or maybe 2 1/4” (Sorry as I cannot remember exactly). I used my TS to put a 9 or 10 degree bevel on each stave. Using a technique I learned on DIY I was able to figure out what size stave and what degree bevel. I remember the technique required me to draw the curve to full scale that I was attempting to build on a board and then lay out small (puzzle sized) staves around the curve while figuring the appropriate bevel to achieve my desired curve. That was actually the easy part. With all of my staves beveled, I glued them up. Not the easiest thing in the world. I probably did it the “cheating” way but it worked. I actually drilled pocket holes every 12 to 18” the length of each stave. Then using wood glue, I began to screw each stave together. I used a “stop” piece on my work bench while pushing my work against that stop and applying pressure while driving my pocket screws. I also made use of simple quick grip clamps to help me. Once I got my last stave screwed on, my 1/2 round took form and looked great!

Then I took it to the sanding station and applied the muscle of a 4” by 24” porter cable that handled business and made bumpy staves look like a perfect 1/2 round chunck of hard maple. It was actually cool and gave me a real feeling of accomplishment. Boy was that a tough job, about made me go bankrupt and I was only doing it for a customer for “fun”! Well, they are substantial and extremely strong and look great. The pic probably does not do them justice.

Hope this helps. Jerry

-- .

View Hyperhutch's profile


63 posts in 3271 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 03:23 AM

Thanks y’all. After researching and posting on several forums, it seems that the basic assemble is easiest achieved with tape. The clamping methods vary, as well as the type of joints used, i.e. bird mouth, beveled, beveled and splined, etc…, but it sounds like all can wind up with a nice finished product.

Thanks for the links. I can’t wait to make the first prototype! I plan on perfecting 4’ columns, then attempt larger ones.


-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

View charlemagne's profile


9 posts in 3040 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 12:26 PM

I found this spreadsheet on a drum building board.

-- If it's possible i'll try making it with wood

View Hyperhutch's profile


63 posts in 3271 days

#7 posted 02-21-2010 05:34 PM

Hey, that calculator’s kinda cool. Thanks!


-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

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