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Blog entry by nobuckle posted 04-13-2012 03:51 PM 6784 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently received an old brace that I believe belonged to my grandfather and I am in the process of cleaning it up a bit. I have to replace the wood handle at the top of the brace as well as the wood handle in the middle. A friend of mine gave me a couple chunks of walnut that I plan on using for the top handle. I only need one but he gave an extra just in case the first one goes south.

Here is what I have to make:

Here is what I have to make it out of:

I have to use my ShopSmith lathe in order to turn the handle. However, I do not have a Nova type chuck for my machine. I do have a small face-plate for my lathe.

Before I turn the handle I need to know a few things;

1. Would my face-plate be enough to hold the material?
2. Should I mount the face-plate on the end-grain, face-grain, or edge-grain to turn it? (I’m thinking end-grain, but I’m not sure).
3. Should I make some sort of holding fixture that would utilize the face-plate and allow me to put screws into the face-grain and edge-grain of the material? Something such as the following:

In the above picture, screws would go through the side rails of the fixture to hold the workpiece in place. Would this be a safe way of turning the material?

Your input as a wood turner is most appreciated. Thank you for your time.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

2 comments so far

View Darell's profile


434 posts in 3620 days

#1 posted 04-13-2012 04:40 PM

I haven’t done much face plate work but I think you’ve got the right idea. You don’t want your screws to penetrate through the glue block into the wood blank you’re making your top from. You would glue the end grain of your turning block to the face grain of your glue block, centered as close as possible and clamp it and let the glue cure per instructions on the glue bottle. Use plenty of glue to allow for glue penetration into the end grain. I think if you glued your turning block face grain to face grain on your glue block your handle would tend to be weaker where it narrows at the bottom and could break off. I’m interested to see how other, more experienced turners would approach this.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View dspahn's profile


85 posts in 2406 days

#2 posted 04-14-2012 04:42 AM

Definitely use a sacrificial block between the faceplate and the block of walnut. I don’t think it matters much the orientation of the sacrificial block, but you for sure want the block of walnut to be glued on the end grain. Since the block of walnut isn’t that big, you could probably just use hot glue. (However, be careful of catastrophic catches if you use hot glue: they have a tendency to rapidly detach the work piece from the sacrificial block.)

I also use a shopsmith for lathe work, and find that extending the quill to near maximum, and using the tailstock as support works very well. That way you have enough room to manoeuver the carriage and tool rest. When you’re nearly done, you can use a jacobs chuck in the tail stock to drill the holes you need and know they’ll be dead center.

Good luck!

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