Stop-fluted pilasters

Rick Yochim

Well-known member
S.U.V. - I love it. Thanks John, that's a keeper!

And thanks too, Jeff, for those clear photos and explanations. I can see how scraping a bead and flute with a scratch stock, or routing/shaping with a router registered and indexed, would work. You just need the right jigs and indexing heads the way Dennis and others have explained to get clean flutes and reads that wrap around the quarter column symmetrically. And to me, this would seem to be even easier doing it this way on a flat pilaster. 

So investing time and effort in jig setup, whether the cutting is done by hand tools or power tools, vice attempting to stick then apply one reed at a time looks like you'd get better and cleaner results while working more efficiently in the process. The profiles are cut from the same piece, so no mixing and matching wood, no errant little glue blobs to worry about and subtle grain or figuring patterns that want to show through the design, can.   

Once again, the forum has helped me work through this seemingly complex task into something doable.

Thanks all.

Rick Yochim     


Jeff Saylor

Well-known member
Rick guessed that the brass reeding added to fluted columns was glued in.  When at Old Sturbridge Village, I saw a tallcase clock with a brass reed that had worked itself out of the column.  The maker apparently bent the brass rod to 90 degrees at the top and swaged the end flat.  Then he filed the flat to a point and drove it into the flute.  The bottom of the brass rod was held to the column simply by the cast base that was applied.


Well-known member
Excellent demo Jeff as always. Is either cutter square to the face or beveled, used right off the grinder or honed, do you leave any burr? How do you prevent any tearout? I wish you a successful event at Waterford which was always a favorite event of mine.

John, since you didnt need them, please send me your new socks and underwear. You can keep the other gifts. They do seem incompatible. :>)

Michael Armand

Active member
Sap Members
                    It is possible to do stop-flutes on the lathe with a small router using two bits. It requires a duplicator and a small porter cable router, along with a beading bit and a roundover bit. I know its not the "sapfm" way but it sure makes things a lot easier. I just did 60" long tapered posts for a bed with stop-flutes. Be glad to share how if anyone is interested.
                                                                      [email protected]
                                                                      Michael Armand


Well-known member
Bending the top of the brass rod to 90 degrees and filing a point is brilliant. If only I were as clever as those that have gone before- Thanks for sharing that clue, Jeff Saylor. Now if I can only remember it for the future.


Well-known member
NIce pics, Jeff. I use a slightly different method, mounting the glued-up-with-paper turned column between centers of an idexing head, which is then centered in a long open topped box. I then make a block that will fit snugly between the sides of the box, mount a scraper in it, and scrape the flutes, reeds or whatever into the column, splitting the quarters apart when I'm done. For stop fluting make two scrapers, one for the "filled" flutes and one for the hollow ones and carve the point where they meet and the ends. Some fluted columns have the fluting run right off the end so they could just cut the column to length and fit it between the bases and caps avoiding the terminal carving. A molding plane doesn't work well unless you are running the flutes out the end, and even then there's a chance to rip the grain, which will not happen with a scraper. As with everything, there's more than one way to it. The above way works for me.-Al