Round Tapered Column

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Forum topic by WoodCrafter1016 posted 08-24-2010 04:00 PM 2645 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2251 days

08-24-2010 04:00 PM

I have a customer requesting a mahogany round tapered about 9’-0”. :/

I’ve made round columns creating a radius on the face and a T&G joint on either side but now tapering that is a different story. I wish I could use resin/fiberglass but its out of the question.

If they could do it 100 years ago, we can do it now right?

Anyone have any advise or point me in a direction? Thanks for any help!

Best Regards,

5 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2493 days

#1 posted 08-24-2010 05:23 PM

This is a tough one. You did not say how much of a taper, but I assume it will be a modest taper (8” down to 4”?).

Do you have the option of doing this in sections and attaching the sections together? If so, I would probably glue up 3 sections, each section being made of 8 boards that are mitered along the sides. I would probably make the sides thick (6/4th or 8/4ths) and the sections would be in 3 different sizes. Then I would mount each section on my lathe and create the taper. Of course, the small end of one section would have to be the same diameter as the large end of the next section.

This would be hard work, but I think it is doable. I’ve had pretty good luck making cylinders on my lathe. After you do the best you can with a gouge or skew, some sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood does a great job of getting rid of any high spots.

You could save some money with thinner sides on the sections and more sections (depending on the amount of taper required).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2417 days

#2 posted 08-24-2010 06:00 PM

They do it all the time for making masts for sailboats. How big and do you want it to be solid or hollow?

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View WoodCrafter1016's profile


2 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 08-24-2010 06:06 PM

-I was probably going to use 5/4 stock (maybe 12 pc @ 3 1/2” wide i’m estimating, haven’t got that far yet)

-It will be covering an existing 6×6 p.t. so hollow would be best, even inserts to keep the inside alligned can be do-able.

-The taper will be 12” up to 10” x 9’ Tall


View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2417 days

#4 posted 08-24-2010 06:25 PM

Birdsmouth is a pretty easy way to do it. There are several calculators to figure the size of the staves. One is on Duckworks:

You need to figure the size for each end of the taper.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2246 days

#5 posted 08-30-2010 02:30 AM

Make your tapering jig for the tablesaw. Then divide 360 by the number of staves you want. Take that number and divide it by two and that is the angle to set your saw to. Cut the staves. Place them together and then join the last one until all surfaces are intimate.

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