Craftsman built-ins #10: Pilasters

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Blog entry by mountainaxe posted 03-16-2013 05:15 PM 1618 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: bookcases Part 10 of Craftsman built-ins series Part 11: Hall Bench and completion! »

Back in the shop this past week to continue with the craftsman built-ins. This phase of the project encompassed constructing pilasters to be placed on the two knee walls previously constructed. A pilaster is a rectangular support that resembles a flat column. The pilaster projects only slightly from the wall, and has a base, a shaft, and a capital. Mine are simple to mimic the columns on the adjoining half wall. I thought about running a beam across the ceiling, but, on second thought, decided that it would cut up the room and make it feel smaller.

There’s nothing really fancy in the construction of these columns. I used 1/2” plywood for the flat surfaces and corner round for the trim (which hides the sins of imperfect angles!). The top and bottom caps are 1” stock. The beam stubs are small boxes made of 1/2” plywood and 3/4” stock. Angles were matched with existing columns.

Attachment was a little tricky. The bottom plate was glued/nailed to the knee wall first. I added cleats so the pilaster could attach to something…I glued/nailed it to the base. The top required that I cut the ceiling molding. Used my new oscillating saw…which made short and neat work of this cut. I toe-nailed the top of the pilaster to the ceiling molding. Of course, the walls were not square and necessitated patience in scribing the pieces. The gaps were filled with caulk. I painted with Zinsser BIN primer. I did have a challenge of moving an electric box into one of the pilasters. I’m no electrician, but this was a fairly straightforward effort.

This is the final product. Turned out nicely and really anchors the room. It also deceives the eye to think the room is taller than it is. Next project is the built-in bench/coat rack.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

1 comment so far

View NormG's profile


6575 posts in 4346 days

#1 posted 03-17-2013 12:37 AM

Wow, great build. Thanks for sharing, will have to remember this one

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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