The Engaged Column

I have been mulling the problem of how to add an engaged column to my next project. And, being frugal, I want to use material I already have at hand: .040 sheet aluminum. Closing a curve with the aluminum has never been a problem … like with the mailbox post. Cut to length and width with one end affixed in place … then work your way to the other end. Pretty simple. However, with no pre-existing shape for the aluminum to conform to and be attached to throughout it’s length, a solution was needed that wouldn’t require the services of a sheet-metal shop where the right equipment would be available. So …
With thinking cap firmly attached and thirty years of sheet-metal experience .. though almost none of that in forming .. I cut three pieces of 3/4″ plywood to resemble small triumphal arches. Each has a half-moon cutout with a three inch diameter and saved the pieces that normally would have been scrap.

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After using two lengths of the table sandwiched together as a press brake and forming the two 1/2 inch flanges along each length of the strip of aluminum and some hand shaping with a 4″ length of pvc pipe the arches and cutouts were put to use.

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Placing the aluminum over the upturned arches (dies) and using the cutouts (punches) and clamps it was a matter of forcing the aluminum to conform to the shape of the arches (dies). Repeating this procedure with the arches and cutouts in different positions the ‘mold’ for the engaged column took shape.

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I can only hope my new project will have engaged columns that look half as good as those on the Coliseum !

engaged column

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~ by Ed B on July 22, 2009.

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