How to Add Quarter Columns to Your Furniture
Make classic fluted columns of any length, without a big lathe
Synopsis: Especially if you use Jeff Headley’s method. Instead of turning a whole column on a lathe and then cutting it into quarters, Headley uses shopmade jigs and tools to shape each quarter round. The minimal turning required can be done on a mini-lathe. Here, Headley takes you through the process, from carcase construction to final shaping and adding beads and flutes.
Many aspects of period furniture design are linked to classical architecture. One of the most obvious connections is the fluted quarter columns that adorn the front corners of many pieces, from chests of drawers to tall case clocks. The design has evolved through the years; on Federal pieces, for example, the fluting was replaced with inlay and stringing.
The good news is that while the column design may vary, the case construction is fairly constant. So once you’ve built one piece with this feature, you can easily…