I made several of these for Christmas gifts this year. They aren’t difficult, and they seemed to be well received. They use a fairly small amount of material, so they may be the perfect project for that pretty little chunk of wood you just can’t throw away.
Start with ¾” material. The blank for the dish is about 3” diameter, and the post is ¾” wide by about 3-4” long.
Put the post blank on the lathe and use a roughing gouge to turn it round.
Now turn a ½” tenon on the end.
Throw the dish blank on the lathe and turn a recess in the bottom side. Taper the edges of the recess so the chuck jaws can catch the taper. Make sure the diameter of the recess is big enough to go over the jaws on your chuck.
Turn the dish blank around and bore a ½” hole in the center with a forsner bit.
Dry fit the tenon in the hole. Trim the end of the tenon if it’s too long. If the tenon is too big, you can turn it down a little more, too.
Okay, everything fit now? Go ahead and glue the pieces together.
Once the glue has set, put the assembly on the lathe. Spread the jaws inside the recess on the bottom of the dish. Shape the dish how you like, and transition the dish into the post. Leave about ¼” foot around the recess at the bottom of the dish – this should be enough to prevent the recess from splitting, and create a nice surface for the dish to sit on.
Continue to shape the dish and post, and begin to work towards parting off the post. I like the post to be a bit of an inverted teardrop shape, so the tip is slightly bigger around than the neck.
When you have the shape completed, sand and buff the dish and post, then part off the post and sand and buff the endgrain.
Finish the jewelry dish with your favorite turner’s polish.
Just like that, you have a beautiful gift that will be appreciated by a jewelry wearer of any age. These three are Beech, Black Walnut, and Hickory.