Face Plate size guide

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scooby

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On my old lathe, I turned a few bowls (from 6" blanks) using a SC3 chuck with 50mm jaws and the standard face plate (which I think was 3').

Upgraded lathe a few months ago that has a 14" capacity, I'm not going to max out that capacity but thought I'd try some shallow bowls or platters in the 10-12" range. I've got some blanks that are about 13" in diameter.

Currently I've only got the faceplate that came with the lathe and ring that was supplied with a SC4 (both 3"). Do I need to get a bigger faceplate? I've seen quite a few people start off between centres but I'd feel more comfortable using a plate.

edit: The lathe supplied face plate has 6 screw holes and the faceplate ring has 4.
 

minilathe22

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As long as you take light cuts, and use the tailstock where possible a 13" blank will be ok on a 3" faceplate, its more about how long the screws are to get a good grip. However for a making a platter, a faceplate with screws is not ideal as they will probably ruin the centre of the piece. If you are not comfortable putting a large blank between centres you could glue a piece of scrap wood to one side, screw the faceplate to that, and then turn a tennon on the other side, with the tailstock supporting it.
 

SVB

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Couple of points. Nothing stopping you drilling more holes in the one you have - I did so now 8 holes in all mine.

Also you can open up the holes you have to take a No.10 screw - nice deep thread so ace hold.

Also a tip I got from Phil Irons - countersink both sides of the faceplate. On the wood side it gives the small bits of wood that can by pulled out of a hole as you drive the screw in somewhere to go - stops the wood being lifted off the faceplate by a small amount that can then result in vibration.

happy turning,
Simon
 

scooby

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Thank you again guys, some really helpful advice.
I've got the screw that came with the SC4 but never used it. Might have to give that a try sometime.
 

Richard_C

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Think about the state of the blank. If its sound, well prepared and with a flat face to screw it to, a faceplate is fine. If its irregular, green/soft or you don't think the screws are getting traction, a scew chuck might be better. Regardless of which I use I always bring the tailsotck up and keep it there as long as I can, at the very least until its all nicely round and in balance.

I made this - concentric rings drawn by sharpie on a piece of acetate cut from a folder. I put it on lathe and just held pen against toolrest and rotated by hand. You can see the centre point and the 4 guide holes for a faceplate. Its quick to lay on a blank and even if its irregular get pretty close to centre.
centre guide.jpg
 

scooby

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Thank you Richard, that's a great idea. I'll be copying that.
All the timber blanks I've got are as dry as they can be, flat and I can't see any defects (at the moment).
I've never tried wet turning yet.
 
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