Making bowls without a chuck......possible? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default Making bowls without a chuck......possible?

Is there a way to make bowls on a lathe without a chuck?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 01:39 PM
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Yes, b/4 chucks they used face plates and still do..

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Is there a way to make bowls on a lathe without a chuck?



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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bobj3..Yes, using a faceplate. I guess I should have asked, "How do you you use a faceplate to make a bowl?" I was concerned because on some other video's I'd watched, the faceplate was fastened to the blank then the the bottom formed, then the peice was reversed and placed in a chuck to work on hollowing it out.....I finally got one on my second attempt....the rim broke on my first attempt because I let the piece grab it...good lesson learned. I was using a small gouge to try and get an interior radius and that was probably the wrong tool in the first place. I just cut the rim down and started in again. This time more slowly which helped a lot. I used a piece of osage orange which turned out pretty good for a first piece. I know that I really like turning and plan to do much more. Thanks!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 01:41 PM
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A lot of turners used to use faceplates to turn bowls. The faceplate was mounted and the the outside of the bowl was formed. Then the inside was hollowed out. I have couple of bowls from the 20's and 30's that my grandmother used that grandpa made. When he took the faceplate off he filled the screw holes with sanding dust and glue mix. It can be done. You can buy some pretty good quality chucks that don't break the bank. It would help if we knew the lathe you have and I am guessing it is 1 X 8 spindle. Grizzly has one that I have 5 of for about $110 each. What gouge are you using on your bowls? Is it a spindle gouge or a bowl gouge?

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hello BernieW, The lathe I have is the HF 34706 12 x 33 and it works quite well for the purpose I bought it for, namely spindles. I can live with the faceplate screw hole, they could be filled as you said or the bottom sanded flat and a circle of felt doesn't look too bad, although that's a matter of taste I guess....The chuck that Harbor Freight lists as a "must have" accessory does not fit this lathe even though they say it does. Here is a quote from an enduser: "If you own the Central Machinery 12" lathe DONT BUY THIS CHUCK! Even though its advertised as "AN ACCESSORY YOU WILL NEED" with this lathe its incorrect. Also there's an additional advertisement stating " Adapter plate not included". There is NO ADAPTOR PLATE." end quote. From more reading I don't think there is even an agreement on the size of the threads......(I could go count an inch worth if necessary) the gouge I was using that grabbed was a 1/2' bowl gouge, I quit using that one. I had very good luck with the 3/4' spindle gouge. They are the descriptions from the Penn State website of the Benjamin's Best tool set.




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A lot of turners used to use faceplates to turn bowls. The faceplate was mounted and the the outside of the bowl was formed. Then the inside was hollowed out. I have couple of bowls from the 20's and 30's that my grandmother used that grandpa made. When he took the faceplate off he filled the screw holes with sanding dust and glue mix. It can be done. You can buy some pretty good quality chucks that don't break the bank. It would help if we knew the lathe you have and I am guessing it is 1 X 8 spindle. Grizzly has one that I have 5 of for about $110 each. What gouge are you using on your bowls? Is it a spindle gouge or a bowl gouge?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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@ BernieW...I just went out and measured the spindle and it's also as you said.....1 x 8 I went on ebay and was looking and there are 1 x 8's listed so maybe I'll be in the right place at the right time for a chuck sometime after all. Nice to know that there is such a thing available though. Thanks!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 09:32 PM
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I would go back to using the bowl gouge. Spindle gouges are dangerous to use on bowls because the tangs are not made for the bowl turning. A friend of mine here in town 4 yrs ago was turning a bowl with a 3/4" spindle gouge. He had a catch, it broke and the bowl threw it into his leg. The end that broke was about a sharp as a surgeons scalple. Don't know where you are located but you might find a American Association of Woodturners chapter near you or a local Woodcraft or Rockler that give demo's and classes.

By the way here is a chuck I have been looking at. At $119 it would be hard to beat. On several other forums I am on they are getting really good reviews. Here it is on Ebay. Hurricane 4 Jaw Woodturning Chuck 4" w Dovetail Jaws HTC100 Wood Lathe | eBay

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 10:30 PM
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Back in high school I turned a bowl using the face plate method. A piece of 3/4" pine as a backer, white glue/paper/white glue. As I recall it turned out pretty good for a first kid's effort... this means my mom had to leave it on a table for a month until I forgot about it. I may give this another try. This time I will be the one to hide it.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 07:55 AM
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Check out Lyle Jamieson on Youtube as well as sign up for his news letter. He does not use a chuck in fact he discourages the use. Instead he uses a glue block and explains why. Myself I use a chuck but have enough pieces fly off to know they can be extremely dangerous.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Art, very informative. I'm watching his video's now.
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