Columned Excited

BEFORE. The painted column, save its hand-carved capital, is new top to bottom. The dark column is original and was so black and scarred. Could it be saved?


Why…yes. Yes it can. YES! (I’ve reversed position. The “dark” column is now to the right.)


The capital to the black column looked totally corroded. Could IT be saved?


Why…yes. Yes it can. YES! (Again, I reversed position. The “dark” column is now to the right.) Amazing!


Even the “good” capital had issues. The area in the red circle was completely missing. I had to carefully mold it back into existence. My work doesn’t exactly match the original but, as each capital is hand-carved, none exactly match one another. 


There are just three more battered original columns to restore!





  1. Annette on August 5, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Columned impressed!

  2. Charity on August 5, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I’m tilting my head. Are these two not the same shape as each other? Either way the transformation from beautiful to not beautiful to beautiful again is so satisfying.

    • Ross on August 5, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean, Charity.

      • Jonathan W on August 6, 2019 at 4:43 pm

        First and second images, the new column looks more curved than the old, which appears more straight.

        • Ross on August 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm

          Jonathan, each column shaft is a bit different as they were were all hand-done on a lathe. And they differ by as much as 3/4-inch in width.

  3. David Gervais on August 5, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    I see you finally got out the BFH and persuaded the old column to stand up straight.

    • Ross on August 6, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      David, as it developed the original column was OK. It was the new column which was crooked! And that was easy to fix!

  4. Seth Hoffman on August 5, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Wow, that looks great!

  5. Mike on August 6, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Bravo! I wish I had your skill and patience…

    • Ross on August 6, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      Audible books help hugely, Mike!

      • Mike on August 7, 2019 at 11:15 am

        I have a wife who provides me with constant verbal prompts and feedback while I work, so I’m not sure that the audio books would do it for me 🙂

  6. Amanda on August 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Another breath of life into this beautiful old lady! It makes me so happy to see this!

  7. Stewart Mclean on August 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Nice job! The thing that makes it restoration, as opposed to “fixing it up”, is to do your best while avoiding doing things that can’t be redone. If anyone in the future, including you, is such a perfectionist that they want to replace your repair to the damaged carving, you have done nothing to stop them. You are without a doubt the best person to own this house.

    • Seth Hoffman on August 6, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      Yes, I have yet to meet, see, or know anyone short of a museum conservator who is doing as careful and fine job of restoration as Ross! And that’s not even considering that he’s working within budget and time constraints of a single human.

      • Ross on August 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm

        Thanks, Seth, for your kind words.

        I enjoy doing the work, well, right. If I try and slap something together, all my joy in the work vanishes.

        With each project completed, and completed well, I feel recharged and ready for the next project. It’s all…self-fueling. Does that make sense?

  8. BJH on August 9, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Lovely! Completing it well, saving and restoring original whenever possible, even if it’s expensive. You are a rare gift, not only to the Cross House, but also to we who are vicariously energised and filled with joy by your labors. Much love, and Godspeed!

  9. Allison on August 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Oh how I would so dearly love to quit my job, drive over to Emporia, and help fix up your carriage house. Le sigh. It would feed my soul.

    • Ross on August 10, 2019 at 1:35 am

      Allison! You’re invited! The poor carriage house needs help!

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