How to Trim Wood Square Columns

What You'll Need
Circular saw
Hand saw
Chalk liner
Tape measure
Protective gloves
Safety goggles

Square columns provide a formal yet superb design to any space, especially in a sunroom. The addition of columns to a space in the home provides it a distinct appearance. However, the column may be too tall for the space and therefore require some trimming. Trimming the columns precisely, properly and cleanly require some basic woodworking skills, a steady hand, and a good deal of patience.

Step 1 – Measure the Height of the Columns

When replacing an old column with a new one, remove the old column first from its location. Measure the length of the old column to determine the length of the new one. If not, measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling and use this measurement as a guide when cutting the new column to the correct height.

Step 2 – Mark the New Column

Transfer the measured height to the new column. Start measuring from the base to the top. Mark the location for the cut near the top of the column and not near the base. To ensure that the cut will be level with the ceiling, mark on all four corners of the square column. Use a square and a pencil to connect all the 4 marks together around the entire perimeter. If the points do not meet each other even after using a square, there may be a mistake in the measurement or a slight angle difference in the sides of the wood.

Check the marks if they are in their proper locations by measuring from base to top. Measure on all 4 sides and be sure that the correct height measurement is properly marked on each side. Connect the marks again and make sure every marked point meets accurately.

Step 3 – Cut the Shaft

Connect the circular saw to a power source. Before starting the cutting process, wear protective goggles and gloves. Place the column in a flat level cutting surface and secure it properly before starting. Set the saw to its proper cutting depth following manufacturer’s instructions. Turn the saw on and cut through the wood. Turn the wooden surface to cut the other sides.

The circular saw will probably not cut all the way through the wood so finish the cut using a handsaw. As soon as the wood is completely cut, set the extra wood aside and sand the rough edges on the column.

Step 4 – Test the Cut Column

Fit the column into installation location to see if it fits properly. If the column does not fit, remove it and trim the excess wood from the top until the proper length is attained. Trim the other columns in the same manner.

Before installing the column permanently, cut some intricate designs on the top sides or build trim moldings that fit the style or design of the space where the columns are to be installed. Install the trim molding after the column is secured to the floor and ceiling.