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How to make tapered wood cones

Rooms's picture

I need to make two wood cones for a table base. Each will be 20" tall, with a base diameter or 26" and a top diameter of 10".  I'm thinking of making them out of staves with 16 segments per cone. By using 5/4 stock, I should have 3/4" remaining after rounding.  I can not turn anything that large on my lathe. Rounding would be done by hand.

Is there a better way to tackle this project?



DustyGeorge's picture

(post #106453, reply #1 of 7)


In Mark Duginske's DVD "Mastering Your Bandsaw" he demonstrates a technique for making a bowl on the bandsaw that I am sure could be used to make your cone.  It would be better if you could see the DVD or find a reference to this technique but I will give a quick and dirty description.  He tilts the bandsaw table to 45 degrees.  He then uses a circle cutting jig to cut concentric rings from a piece of 1 inch stock.  When he finishes the rings can be stacked and glued up into a rough bowl ready to turn on a face plate.  Yours would be larger but it should be easy to finish with a plane, spokeshave or sander.

Good luck, George

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sapwood's picture

(post #106453, reply #2 of 7)

Your stave construction scheme certainly is do-able. I'd opt for more staves. Sixteen staves means each is a little better than 5 inches wide at the bottom. That's not normally very big, but small errors could add up and the five inches might go askew quickly. However, by adding one stave at a time you can correct for misalignments as you go. Simple rubbed joints might suffice if the edges are prepared well. You might also consider the use of pinch dogs.

Also, the more staves you use, the less material you'll have to remove and thus the surface will be easier to keep true.

This sounds like an interesting table.

KeithNewton's picture

(post #106453, reply #3 of 7)

I have made cones by using the strip-canoe technique of using a half round on one edge, and a flute cutter on the other, with thickened epoxy to glue it together.

It worked great, with QS Wenge, you could not see the glue lines. although I made mine to open, so it was 3 - 120º arc parts that were held together by the other parts, and one of them was the door.

Glue-up was tricky, because epoxy is slippery as grease, and when clamped, those wedged parts try to slip out of the wide end of the frame. For yours being a full circle, I would try to set up my clamp frame, so that your small radius is at the bottom, and the wide is at the top, supported at the right distance apart. If you have an old basketball to drop into it when you get started, this may help manage the parts falling down. When all of the parts are glued and in the form, a plywood end, with a weigh on top should push all of the wedges together tight.

As you apply the glue to a part, you could just stand each one in there on its small end, and they would lean out into the frame. Your final part may need to be longer, to make up for any measuring error.

Drop me an email if you want to see photos of mine.

QCInspector's picture

(post #106453, reply #4 of 7),46168

These will make the glue up easier if you're going the stave route.

Rooms's picture

(post #106453, reply #5 of 7)

Thanks to all for your responses. Lots of good input.

Have a great day,


byhammerandhand's picture

(post #106453, reply #6 of 7)

Should you decide to go with a staved approach here is a calculator to determine bevel and miter angles:

hopper angles

Edited 4/19/2007 1:48 pm ET by byhammerandhand

Rooms's picture

(post #106453, reply #7 of 7)

Thanks, a good tool to have!