View Full Version : Turning half columns for railway clock

22nd March 2008, 11:00 PM
Hi all,

I finally got around to turning my half columns for my railway clock. Here's what I did:

Cut timber to length and ripped in half. Glued halves back together with two pieces of newspaper in between, lots of glue but didn't glue the last inch of waste material at each end. Placed a screw near each end. The squared up on the bench saw to 38mm, mounted on the lathe and roughed down. This is when I took the first photo, you can see the screw at the tailstock end, and the paper layer.

Then did detailed turning at each end, and worked the intervening column down to 20mm between ends. As it was a thin spindle and 550mm long, used a skew to do this as it handled the whip better than a gouge. Then sanded through the grits to 1200. Second photo shows me splitting the column after removing the screws. This was quite easy as the ends weren't glued.

Then the easy part - cutting to length, oiling with DO and then gluing to the clock door - shown in the third photo.

I got lots of advise for this from the woodturning part of the forum. Hope this may be of use to you if you are thinking of doing something similar!

Happy Easter holidays!


Big Shed
22nd March 2008, 11:05 PM
Well done swifty, had never thought of doing it that way, leaving the ends without glue.

Good looking clock too:2tsup:

Thanks for the technique.

23rd March 2008, 09:08 AM
G'day Swifty,
Looking good,
I too have never thought of doing them like this will try the next one though.:2tsup:

Catch ya

23rd March 2008, 05:03 PM
Thanks for that Swifty....we learn something every day!!


23rd March 2008, 07:08 PM
nice clock

8th July 2008, 05:40 PM
Do you know, I have wondered for years how they did that and got both sides identical. Did you think of it yourself? Well done. Great clock also.

8th July 2008, 07:21 PM
Hi Swifty,

I must have been asleep to miss seeing your clock!

It is really nice too:2tsup::2tsup:

Way back when I was at school we were taught to do half columns that way.. My project was half columns as a bracing for book ends.

I often use half columns for my little clocks (usually no longer than about 150mm) I have made a little jig and simply cut mine in half on the band saw,

Once again, a very nice clock,