Friday, February 17, 2012

Hubris 101b: Turning Quarter Columns

I turned the quarter columns for the dressing table on which I am working. It's the first time I've turned and now I'm here to teach you how I did it.

Getting the profile I wanted was remarkably similar to using hollows and rounds: Establish the flats/fillets and knock off the corners.

The result:

I imagine the reason I love this hobby is the problem solving that goes along with it. I turned the columns Wednesday night and thought about how I was going to add the fluting that night. This was my solution. 

The fence rides the poplar.

I glued the front two on yesterday morning and just took the clamps off.

I am on schedule for bringing this to the NWA show in Saratoga, NY at the end of March. Construction is to be complete by 3/1 and I will spend March on the finish.

Outside of the Lie-Nielsen Handtool Events that I often attend, NWA will likely be the only (and biggest) show at which I will exhibit in 2012.

Question: does this fall in the 'Table' category? It's not a 'Case, Cabinet or Desk', right?


  1. Matt, looking forward to seeing this with a finish (am sure you are too). I typically see lowboys catagorized as tables.

    Mark Maleski

  2. Matt I think a Lowboy could be categorized as table or case work, in fact I think it could be considered case work of the highest order. Lowboys are also considered "dressing tables" but they are definitely tables that require an abundance of case work. Did this help clear things up for you?.....I didn't think so.


  3. Great observation that turning is accomplished the same way as sticking mouldings. I had never thought about it that way before and upon reflection realize that it is exactly the same except that I don't have multiple sized gouges that perfectly fit the arc I'm shooting for. Maybe that is why my mouldings look better than my turnings. Nice simple solution on the fluting too. The lowboy looks fantastic, nice job

  4. Matt

    I enjoy your insights and work. Another great post. I thought perhaps the table versus casework would be obvious. I looked through several museum collection books and found little consistency. Sometimes the piece is in the table section, other times its in the casework section. So its your choice.

    Herb Kettler

  5. Matt,

    I have often used the lathe to turn a sample molding, just to see how it looks in wood. I can turn several samples on the same blank and get a feel for each. Its a great way to size different elements of a molding before using precious stock.

    I started thinking it could be a case, as it is a large hollow container with drawers. However, after thinking about it, I would argue it is a table, as the framing is not a carcass, but rather four legs with skirt boards (and drawer dividers) joined to them. A top is attached directly above this. Just like my kitchen table (only much nicer!)

    Good work,

  6. Jason,
    Regarding the turning: I love it. Thanks for the suggestion. I said table for the same reasons.

  7. I tend to think, possibly incorrectly, that tables tend to be viewed from all sides, where casework is normally against a wall. I would put it in the casework class. By the way, it looks fantastic!

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