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Finial challenge

#258501 by cham-ed » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:23 am

My church was built in the 1920s. In a number of places we have what I will call finials on top of newel posts. Let me know if there is a better name for them. They have had had a rough life. We have two that are completely missing and a number that are damaged. The piece is laminated out of multiple strips of oak (I'm guessing white oak). And it is solid. The recesses you see on the sides of the sloping area are carved into the solid. Currently I'm making a template of the profile. Unless someone has a better suggestion I'm planning to cut this out on the bandsaw. I really can't think of a better way. Followed by a lot of smoothing and sanding. Comments?

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Re: Finial challenge

#258502 by cham-ed » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:24 am

I should also mention that these are 2 feet tall.

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Re: Finial challenge

#258503 by Hobbyman2 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:52 am

How were they attached to the newel post wooden dowels or steel bolts .?

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Finial challenge

#258518 by cham-ed » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:10 pm

Four 1/2" wood dowels

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Re: Finial challenge

#258521 by Hobbyman2 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:15 pm

If you sand down the old one and look at the laminations from center out and top down you may discover the build method . ?

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Finial challenge

#258555 by masonsailor2 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:56 am

Are you matching other finials or replacing all of them ? If you are replacing all of them you will have a little more latitude and be able to change them to fit your tooling. If exact match is necessary then there is going to be a lot of hand shaping. If you make each detail a separate piece and then join them together in layers it will simplify things somewhat. The recess on the main body can be done with a jig and a plunge router. The curved pieces are going to be a challenge. Cutting them out with a band saw will get it close. Then you are going to need some tall, probably 6” or better drum sanders that have fairly small diameters. You can make the drum or spindle sanders on the SS lathe fairly easy and use them on the SS in vertical lathe mode with the drum extending through the table. Definitely going to be an interesting project !
Paul

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Re: Finial challenge

#258559 by Hobbyman2 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:37 pm

Paul does that grain pattern look like oak ? to me it , the grain , resembles a english chestnut or a walnut ? maybe its just my eyes ?

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Finial challenge

#258560 by cham-ed » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:18 pm

Here is a view of the base so you can see how it is laminated. It certainly is dark enough to look like walnut or chestnut. I've taken it in to my local woodworker's store and they are in agreement for oak, probably white oak. The building was finished in 1923. Which might have to do with the pick of material. And I don't know if they have ever been cleaned. But that means a 100 year old patina.

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Re: Finial challenge

#258562 by Hobbyman2 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:38 pm

looks to be 1/4 sawn, face grain oak would have some large grain patterns , not saying it isnt it could very well be , thanks for sharing and would love to see the build as it goes , I have a smaller version of a raised panel bit that would turn out a piece looking like the very top of the post but dont think I have seen any that large , would almost have to be at least a 1inch shaft on it . pretty neat ! wonder if you could work the out side pieces and then glue them up and then final sand and finish ?

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Finial challenge

#258564 by Hobbyman2 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:52 pm

here is a video that may give you a few ideas if you are carving one out of one piece .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGw3cGsJmI0

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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