Square Turning - Page 2
Once the glue is dried undo the clamps, and put them away. You now should have your completed block, with glue only in between the joint and on the sides of the waste block. If there is some dryed glue on the turning block, scrape it off with a chisel, running the chisels flat bottom, bevel up, along the sides.
(See sidebars on edge scribe and faceplate center finder)
Now to find the center of the workpiece. Lay the block on a table with the backing board facing up. Mark all four sides with an edge scribe, letting the edge ride against the work piece, not the waste block. You will have four lines that form a box in the middle. The reason we didn’t draw diagonal lines from each corner is you block may not be truly square. It may be more parallelogram shaped or even a little trapezoidal, but this way we find the center in relation to the sides. Now take a little punch and put an indent in the middle of the box drawn in the center.
Position your faceplate center finder in the faceplate and lower it down into the indent to line up the faceplate with the center of the turning block. Hold down the faceplate and center finder and affix the faceplate to the waste block with good size (#12) wood screws. Your faceplate usually will take at least 3 or 4 screws. Don’t scrimp, we don’t want it flying off later.
Remove the center finder and screw the block and faceplate onto the lathe now. With the lathe power off snug up the tail stock and spin the block with your hand to create an impression in the center of the block. Using a compass, draw a dark circle all the way around the edges, making sure not to go off the side. We want a good, dark circle so when the lathe is powered up and the wood is spinning, we can tell where the edges and corners are.
Most all the cutting will be with a fingernail ground gouge, at least a ½" flute and a loner handle sized comfortably for your proportions. You will always work the gouge from center out. If you work from the outside in, you risk hitting the flying corners with the gouge tip and either damaging the edges, or violently knocking the gouge against the tool rest. Your hand should be positioned stationary the edge against the tool rest with your fingers pushing the tool down against the rest. Your other hand is at the rear of the tool handle. Your rear hand will be used to twist the handle to expose more tool surface to the wood thus adjusting the amount of cutting action. It will also be used to vary the angle of the cutting area in relation to the wood. The handle will rest against the side of your body, which will assist in dampening the vibration. By moving you rear hand and hip away from your the wood, you are varying one of the cutting variables.