Wood Preparation and Putting it on the Lathe

image1.jpg (25671 bytes)First we will mount a waste block on the screw chuck. You could also use a small face plate, but I find this less time consuming, and this Glaser screw chuck works real well.
(Since this was written, I have actually gone back to small face plates, like those that Best Wood Tools sells. The screw chuck would sometimes strip out and make it difficult to reposition the work)

blockprep1.JPG (39174 bytes)We need to make sure that the turning block is as square as we can. To do this, you could just mark it out with a square and sand, band saw or use a jointer to "parallelize" the block. I have made a jig to do it on the table saw. First cut a reference edge, then start with that edge and measure and cut as you go with all four sides being the same length and square to each other.

image3.jpg (23257 bytes)Now that our block is nice and truly square, use our handy homemade gizmo to find the center. I use this method because it will find the center in relation to the sides, versus drawing lines from corner to corner. This finds the "true" center. You want to get the lines about 1/16" from each other
image4.jpg (13089 bytes) If your block is square, this is reflected in the box between the pencil lines. There should be a "square square" in the center. Use a punch and put an indention in the center of the square. We will use that fro a registration mark with the live center in the tailstock later.
wasteblock1.jpg (25363 bytes)Use an old rag to cover the ways of the lathe bed because we don't want to get glue on it. If you have a variable speed lathe, put it as low as you can, and still have it spin and make a spiral of thick CA glue. If you don't have a variable speed lathe. Keep it off and put a good thin layer of CA glue on it (thick gap filling type)

Liberally spray the wood block with CA accelerator, make sure you have good ventilation and don't whiff it, otherwise you won't be coherent for the next step.


The tail stock needs to be positioned and lockedfit_the_block.jpg (18829 bytes) down so that there is enough space to get the block in without toughing the glue covered waste block, yet you can advance the live center and the waste block makes good solid contact with the wood block that we are going to turn.  

What you want to do here is to use the small indention you put in there as an alignment mark, positioning it into the point of the live center. Then advance the live center until it makes contact with the glue and waste block. Once it makes good solid contact, spray accelerator over the joint where they come together. Let it sit for a good few minutes and you catch a breath of fresh air.

    Cutting the wings and Sanding

    Cutting the Base and Sanding

    Drilling, Turning the Bottom, and Finishing