Woodworking on a Grand Scale


“Joinery and Wood Carving on a Grand Scale”

“The completion of the new altar canopy in St. Paul’s Cathedral in May of this year [1958] was an event of considerable importance in the world of woodwork. This great structure is 54 ft. high by 26 ft. wide and is supported by groups of corinthian pillars, amongst which are four spiral columns with wreaths of bay leaves carved between the bines. Each column was built up of twenty-two sectors put together cooper fashion and assembled with Aerolite 300 synthetic resin glue.

“The job of turning great columns of this size had its own special problems, not the least of which was a lathe big enough for the purpose. Much of the spiral was cut by a device travelling in a slide rest. This left on a sort of spiral collar (see hollow nearest camera) in which the projecting bay leaves could be carved.

“The completion of a magnificent structure of this kind is an effective reply to those who claim that there are no woodworkers left in the country capable of tackling some of the fine joinery and cabinet work left to us by past generations.”

— “Windmills of the Skyline,” Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, July 1958

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3 Responses to Woodworking on a Grand Scale

  1. nrhiller says:

    Oh my goodness! That IS grand.


  2. amvolk says:

    I just hope that there will be someone who can do this work by hand the next time it is needed, as the fellow above is doing it, and they don’t have to fall back on 3D scans and CNC.


  3. Jack Palmer says:

    Truly amazing work.


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