Mounting Live Edge Turning

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Blog entry by scrappy posted 08-14-2010 07:39 PM 5630 reads 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just thought I would post a little blog on how I mount a Live Edge Turning in order to finish off the bottom of the piece.

When starting your tun, you can use a turning plate or chuck to hold the bottom and turn the outside and inside. But when you want to finish off the piece, that live edge doesn’t give you anywhere to grip. I saw one of these mounts in the Mine is a LOT cheesier design, but only cost penny’s to make.

Started with a scrap of wood, a bolt, nut, and washer. Added a no slip pad for friction.

Live Edge Jig Top

Cut wood to a circle.(don’t have to be real accurate with this as you will turn it later) Drilled and countersunk bolt head, and mounted bolt.

Live Edge Jig Bottom

Chucked the bolt up in the Jacobs Chuck and turned the disk to desired size. Needs to be big enough to give max. grip on bowl but not too big. Also tapered the edge to match (or close to) the taper on the inside of the bowl. After that I added the “No Slip Pad”, (mine is an old router pad)

Live Edge Jig with Pad

It is now ready to use. I just chuck it in my Jacobs Chuck.

Live Edge Jig Mounted

Put your work piece in place. The tapered edge will help you to get it centered.

Live Edge With Bowl

Put the tail stock against the bottom of the piece tightly, with the live center, to hold it in place.

Live Edge With Bowl and Tail Stock

Notice I don’t have a “Cone Center”. I just made a cone out of wood and put it on the live center. As long as it is seated good you don’t get wobble.

Now you are ready to turn the bottom of your piece. I turn mine with a step at the edge, and a relief in the bottom. That way if there is any movement/warp later, it is only making contact with the table at the very edge and is easy to level with a little sandpaper.

Live Edge Bottom

Hope this help all of you who have been hesitant to try a live edge.

The main things to remember:
You need to make your disk small enough to hold your piece.
You need to make the entire jig long enough so your piece clears the head stock.
This is ONLY for light cleaning of the bottom. NOT FOR HEAVY DUTY TURNING.
Always use your tail stock to hold anything that is in the head sock with a moris taper. It WILL come loose!

Have lots of fun and try new things!

Thank You

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

11 comments so far

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2909 days

#1 posted 08-14-2010 08:01 PM

Thanks scrappy, I’ll be giving this a shot in the near future.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View Seer's profile


306 posts in 3638 days

#2 posted 08-14-2010 09:00 PM

Cool idea Dan I like it now just waiting for my adapter to come in on my new chuck


View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4023 days

#3 posted 08-14-2010 09:20 PM


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View sedcokid's profile


2731 posts in 3595 days

#4 posted 08-14-2010 10:07 PM

Good idea will keep it in mind for the future use.

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4082 days

#5 posted 08-14-2010 10:17 PM

Thanks, Scrappy.. even your step-edge at the outer bottom is new to me; that design idea would apply to platters also, and is a good one to plan for later warpage correction. Good advice, and a handy jig! Thanks.


View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 08-14-2010 10:41 PM

Thanks everyone. Glad this info helps.

I have used this type of mount on a vase also. Just had to make the pad smaller to fit in the neck.

Barbs, I can’t take credit for the bottom edge design. I noticed it on my stoneware plates and bowls. hahaha

Thanks again.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 2961 days

#7 posted 08-15-2010 02:40 AM

You mentioned this to me the other day and I couldn’t quite see it in my minds eye. Click, the light just went on and now I understand about the many bottom pieces suggestion. I was about to buy one of these but you just saved me $16 plus shipping. Thanks, this will make a nice addition to my many ways of finishing off the bottom. This might even topp the list, especially for natural edged bowls when there’s nothing to grab on to. Saw a bunch of that no slip pad at Goodwill today and it was very cheap.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3441 days

#8 posted 08-15-2010 01:44 PM

Great info Scrappy.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4166 days

#9 posted 08-15-2010 01:52 PM

Thanks for the info. I’ll try this one out.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3361 days

#10 posted 08-18-2010 07:39 PM

cool idea thanks for sharing

-- self proclaimed copycat

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20476 posts in 3102 days

#11 posted 10-17-2010 06:04 PM

Hi Dan. Thanks for the blog. When I was just starting to turn, I asked my mentor, Dick Wilson, “how do you finish the bottom of a turned bowl once you have the inside and outside turned?”. He said to make a jam chuck similar to the one you have mounted in the Jacobs chuck. But the way I make them is to get a scrap piece of wood and turn a spigot on it to fit in my 4 jaw chuck ( with an 8 degree taper on it). Then I mount the wood in the chuck and turn it to the shape you have and put leather strips or some of that white rubber shelf lining material on it to “drive” the piece. I put a center in the bottom and turn it- just leaving a little nub on the bottom. I chisel or saw off the nub and use a small round sanding disc on a Dremel to finish off the bottom so there is no mark in the center.

I mention this because I get nervous when turning something with it hanging far out away from the head- I get vibration and run-out that makes my piece run off center. but some of the jam chucks need to be long to have the rim of the turning clear the head.

Thanks for sharing and this will help others that have had to find this out for the first time like I did.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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