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  • tapered column

    I was reading some posts about tapered columns but I have a specific question. I'm not great with math so please bear with me. For a theatre set, I'm constructing several square tapered columns 16' tall with a 12" base and an 8" top. I believe the slope would be just under 1.5 degrees. Would the bevel on the four-sided column be 45 degrees at a 1.5 degree slope? I would think I would put the sides of the shaft in a jig and cut the bevel with a circular saw. To be even more difficult, what if I want to go with butt joints? I assume the settings would be different. Can anyone tell me what they would be? The great online angle calculators are confusing to me. Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Re: tapered column

    Take the board and measure the 8" on top (center it if you do not want to re trim the top and bottom) take the bottom and mark the 12" and snap chalk lines and cut on the line, (that way you do not need any stinking math),

    If you only trim on side, your top and bottom will be off and not square, but can be trimmed,

    if you are doing but joints and your only lapping one direction, trim an extra thickness of the board, if your cutting 45 use the full width,

    what I would do is make a mock up, say 8 foot long and do the 6" on the bottom and 4" on top, and try the 45 degree and the lap and see what works best it is going to be a challenge to cut a 16 foot board on a 45 and come up with a good miter,

    it is impractical to make a taper jig for that length, IMO

    so cutting with a skil type saw is what I would do, and most likely use a jointer hand plane to touch up if needed, even in 8 foot lengths it would be tough on a table saw, with out a line light, as your fence will not do you a lot of good on that taper,

    that is how think I would go about your project (if I read things correctly and understood what you are trying to do)
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    • #3
      Re: tapered column

      You could use a table saw, but its a bit tricky. I've done it by tacking a board on to the the piece being ripped so that the piece being ripped does not ride the fence but the tacked board does, if that makes sense...

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      • #4
        Re: tapered column

        Having built numerous theatre sets, (they always con the retired guys into working) I say use butt joints. The audience will never know. (or care) Either BHD or Alpha's ideas will work fine. If I were doing it, I would tack a straight edge and rip it with a skilsaw. Too hard to handle a 16' piece on a table saw unless you have help.

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