I was able to get back to work on my columns yesterday. I pulled the last of the clamps and all of the tape off the four main columns.
They turned out really nice. Very little glue squeeze-out on the outside and only a couple of gaps to fix.
First thing to do is to sand down the outside of the columns so that all of the edges and faces are flat and smooth.
And because a couple of the slats were not perfectly square to my straight edge, I got some stepping on the ends of the columns. To mount these properly, the ends need to be perfectly flat and perpendicular to the sides.
I have tried trimming these on the miter saw before and it never works well. This time I am going to try cutting them down on my cross-cut sled.
I find the lowest point on the column end and but a stop block up against it.
Then I raise the blade enough to cut through one facet.
I rotate the column and repeat eight times and it worked surprisingly well.
Unfortunately trimming both ends of the worst one reduced my height by 1/8″ and all four columns need to be the same exact height. That means I had to trim them all the same way…
After all the columns were trimmed, it was time to fill some gaps.
This requires a little quick-setting CA glue and some saw dust pushed into the gap.
Then a bit of sanding and the gap is mostly unnoticeable.
While I am working on the four main columns, I decided to go ahead and cut down the slats and to make the center column that will display the relic.
I grabbed the stack of slats that had a few pieces that had split ends and cut them all down to 20″ long.
I lined them up, making them as square to the straight-edge as possible, then taped all the joints.
Some glue and a quick roll-up.
Then add some clamps, and that one can be drying while I get set up to install the trim on the columns.
The trim required a 3/4″ wide dado cut 1/8″ deep so I installed the dado blade and brake into my table saw and put the cross-cut sled back on it.
After setting up my stop blocks, I started cutting the trim groove, rotating the column 8 times to make the groove all the way around.
This cut was repeated on both ends of each column, including the short one, when it was dry enough to cut.
When the columns were cut, I installed my little jig for cutting the trim to the right length and angle.
I made several test pieces to get the correct length, then cut 80+ pieces to trim all five columns.
I am attaching these trim pieces with wood glue on the back and CA glue on the miters.
I hold them in place to dry with a 23 gauge pin nailer.
Then I sand each joint while the CA glue is still tacky so it will hold the saw dust and fill any gaps.
After some careful effort, the first column is done.
A couple of hours later, all five are done…
While those are drying, I went back to the stack of base pieces that I cut the other day and set up the 3/4″ round-over bit in my router table to cut the edge on the base caps.
Then I switched to the 1/2″ chamfer bit to cut all of the base pieces as well.
I also started cutting down the oak plywood for the altar top.
In an effort to have a really clean edge I applied painter’s tape to the area I wanted to cut.
This worked fairly well on the good edge, that was under the track, but not so well on the waste side.
Once the pieces were cut to length, I tried the same trick on the table saw when I cut the boards to width.
Since the blade cuts downwards, this seemed to help a lot more.
Tomorrow, I will start putting together all of the column pieces and maybe the tops as well.