What makes a good column? and
a few myths exploded

Fluted or not fluted? ......

(i) Received wisdom tells us that the Doric column shall be plain and the Corinthian shall be fluted.
Architecturally, the Doric column is also fluted.(and it should have no base - but they always do!)

(ii) Both columns shall be the same height.
The Corinthian is about 15% taller than the Doric.

(iii) They shall sit upon a double cube.
Who says so? ...... and it looks daft too.

On the other hand, the client is always right, and traditions change over the course of time in any case. So let us see what makes a "cheap" job and what is more acceptable.....


These are the same size and made from the same piece of ash. Most columns you will be offered have bases like that on the left (two plain slabs of wood). Very few are joinery made with mitres, like that on the right. Plain slabs show unsightly end grain. Mitres avoid this. Plain slabs will eventually warp. Mitred ones cannot. It is also hard to maintain uniform thickness over a plain slab.
My columns are fully mitred throughout - even the plinth is mitred - which ensures squareness (and an even grain) all round.
It makes extra work, but if someone is expected to pay three figures, then they are entitled to expect something decent in return.
Cheap "baize" is self adhesive PVC with flock sprayed onto it. How often have you found the baize peeling off the bottom of something?
There is no way this will peel! These are made from real baize, folded over a card pad and stuck on firmly.


And finally, look at the finish. One coat of hastily applied varnish? (I know of one reseller where it is so). The finish is quite apparent with everything you look at here - if it's no good, it never escapes from the workshop.