to­day’s wood col­umns

Old House Journal - - Ask Old House Journal -

are made to vent top and bot­tom. The col­umn sits on a plinth (flat pedestal) routed or molded at the bot­tom of each side to al­low air­flow into the col­umn. Note that even tra­di­tional wood-col­umn man­u­fac­tur­ers sup­ply an alu­minum plinth, or a molded ure­thane base with plinth; once painted, it’s un­no­tice­able. The top may be vented through the face of the col­umn (on a pro­tected side fac­ing the house), out through a hole in the top of the cap­i­tal, or through a hol­low entab­la­ture above the col­umn. Screen vent holes on the inside.

Old col­umns sit­ting di­rectly on ma­sonry, and Doric col­umns with no base or plinth, should be set on a thick lead plate, which is chis­eled to con­form to the base and with vent gaps cut in. —Pa­tri­cia Poore

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