Something to hold up the roof

Since my last post there has been some real progress. I attached the cornice moulding – which was a bit hairy I’ll admit.  I used the hot hide glue and it was just fussy – I thought it would be easier.  My heart leapt when a piece popped after pulling the clamps.  I ended up spreading in a bit more glue and clamping the be-jeebers out of it and it’s staying down now.  There was a bit of blending to make the joint look OK, but I think the end result is good.  If you read the Landon article about his clocks he says he uses some nails and I have some headless brads for the purpose – I just haven’t had the guts to put them in yet.  At any rate a photo is below:

Next I dove into the columns and plinth blocks.

The front fluted columns are first, which is a (nearly) straight column turned on the lathe. Yes I’m using my pitiful bench top lathe with a bed extension but it serves the purpose for these small pieces just fine.

DSC_1663While I was using the lathe I made up the quarter columns that go at the back of the bonnet.  They will not be fluted; the capitals and bases are also wood as is traditional.

DSC_1664I’ll glue those in place a little later, after I’ve gotten the bonnet completely ready for finish but before moving on to the waist and base.  Next up is to add fluting to the full columns.   For this I fashioned a fluting box in which to hold the turned blank.  I marked the flute locations to index them and maintain spacing.  Everything is a bit crude with wood screws, but it’s effective.  The scraper is mounted in a simple holder which is guided by the fluting box.  Just take a light pull to make sure you know the grain direction, then a few passes is all it takes to make the flutes.  Easy-peasy as they say.

DSC_1667The brass pieces on the top columns are 3/32″ brass rod, bent and cut to shape.  A hole is drilled in the column to accept a short bend and the bottom of the rod is relieved a bit to fit into the brass base.

DSC_1670I fit the rods in place, then used a zip tie to hold them in place to grind off a little at the base so it fit.  There was a bit of fussing and in the end I had to deepen the fluting just a bit because I was too conservative with the fluting box.  Then they fit well.  Once the bases are attached later I think the fit will be quite good.

DSC_1673Finally this weekend I made up the plinth blocks to hold the finials.  These are simply tall blocks with a few flutes and a cap, all drilled for the finials and I used dowels to mount them (I didn’t glue then down yet because of the need to mortise for the fretwork – next week I hope!).


And a shot of the project status as of Sunday morning:


Next comes the last truly scary part of the bonnet: the fretwork.  For that we will be making our own mahogany plywood and a turning saw.  Next time.

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