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Thread: Natural Edge Bowl Prep

  1. #1
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    Natural Edge Bowl Prep

    Hi All,

    This is kind of a silly question, but what do you use to prep a natural edge bowl for face plate mounting? On smaller bowls (10") I have just been drilling through the bark, but now with a larger lathe I think I need to worry about getting an even surface and stronger hold. I have seen YouTube videos where they use some sort of chisel to chip away the bark to make a flat for the face plate, but wasn't even sure what tool they were using. Also was curious to see how others do it.
    Thanks in advance,

    Tom

  2. #2
    I have used my 3" Forstner bit to drill a shallow hole that my 3" faceplate fits in with no problems....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry McFadden View Post
    I have used my 3" Forstner bit to drill a shallow hole that my 3" faceplate fits in with no problems....

    Good idea Barry - I'll have to measure my face plate, but that should be a quick, simple way to do it.
    Thanks,
    Tom

  4. #4
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    3" Forstner as well.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2004
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    I have a 3-1/8" Forstner bit that I use for 3" faceplate. I just bought a new Ricon 70-220 Midi lathe and the 3" faceplate is really 3-3/16" OD. I told the Woodcraft salesman that the little oversize does make a difference, and he tried to sell me a 3-1/4" Forstner bit. I also use a 2-1/8" Forstner bit to get a flat for a 2" faceplate from PSI. I almost always will use the tailstock for safety so that the faceplate is mainly used to drive the wood until the final time to true up a tenon (seldom use recess).

  6. #6
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    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    I have a big framing chisel that I use to make a flat for mounting. I find it quicker and easier than setting up and using a giant forstner bit. (not to mention cheaper than buying such a big bit if you don't have one for other reasons) I have had issues with big forstners catching and spinning uneven chunks of wood that are not securely clamped on the drill press.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input everyone. Roger, how long does it take you to make a flat with your chisel? On YouTube they make it look easy, but I've never used one in real life!
    Tom

  8. #8
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    I use the spur drive. Couple reasons. You can adjust the blank to balance out the edges. You can balance out the sapwood and heartwood. You can re-orient the piece if you find a nice or bad section of wood. If you mount it on a faceplate, you're stuck with what you got. I do use a chisel to get rid of the bark so the spur has something to grab on to. Just my $0.02.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Iwamoto View Post
    I use the spur drive. Couple reasons. You can adjust the blank to balance out the edges. You can balance out the sapwood and heartwood. You can re-orient the piece if you find a nice or bad section of wood. If you mount it on a faceplate, you're stuck with what you got. I do use a chisel to get rid of the bark so the spur has something to grab on to. Just my $0.02.
    I also turn between centers instead of using a faceplate for the reasons Kyle mentions (allows flexibility to shift the blank around to better balance the the grain and edges).

    I usually use a "Texas Spur Drive" from Best wood products: https://bestwoodtools.stores.yahoo.net/tespdrce1.html I think really hard about where I want the spur drive to contact the blank, then drill there, through the bark, with a 1.5" spade bit which is the same diameter as the spur drive. Slide the blank on to the spur drive, then bring up the tailstock with live center to support it. Check for balance, and adjust where the live center hits the blank to get the orientation you want.

    Drilling like this doesn't let you adjust the blank at the head stock end, so, like I said, think hard about where you want to drill. I usually will cut the blank round on my bandsaw using a plywood circle template. I try hard to get the circle template well centered on the blank. Then I just center the drill on the nail hole left behind after removing the circle template.

    Hope that all makes sense.

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson80 View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone. Roger, how long does it take you to make a flat with your chisel? On YouTube they make it look easy, but I've never used one in real life!
    Tom
    Maybe five minutes-- I'm not fussy about perfection. A couple chops on the ends then peeling cuts to make a flat. If the rim of the chuck is touching around most of the circumference I've not had a problem. The gaps need to be intermittent-- not flush on one side and a quarter inch away on the other!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Maybe five minutes-- I'm not fussy about perfection. A couple chops on the ends then peeling cuts to make a flat. If the rim of the chuck is touching around most of the circumference I've not had a problem. The gaps need to be intermittent-- not flush on one side and a quarter inch away on the other!
    Thanks - I just ordered a 3Ē forstner as I found one on amazon cheaper than a chisel, but iíll Keep my eye out for a chisel too as it looks like it would come in handy for a lot of things. While I understand the benefit and ease of a spur drive, Iím still pretty new at this and feel more comfortable with a faceplate (not to mention my blanks have typically been really irregular and need truing up on the bottom which is harder for me with tailstock support).

    I turned this last night (was pretty wet and still needs some sanding/finish). Almost 16Ē, I think itís poplar (strong, almost bitter smell). Unfortunately the bark was half missing from the start. To date this is the biggest bowl Iíve turned....

    Thanks for the replies.
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