Centering a bowl on a glue block?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by LelandStone posted 06-23-2013 04:56 PM 2077 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 2511 days

06-23-2013 04:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

Hello, jocks!

So I’ve gotten into woodturning of late and very much enjoy making bowls (which also gives me a reason to forge new tools, so +1). Right now, my technique is to drill and tap a blank, mount it directly on my lathe spindle, turn the outside of the bowl, the reverse the partly turned bowl, gluing its foot to a glue block on a faceplate.

However…try as I might to avoid it, I’ve so far introduced eccentricity into the process: My bowl will glue into place just enough off-center that I have to re-true the bowl before hollowing. Any tips you more experience turners can pass along?

Thanks in advance,

-- Leland, OC California

5 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#1 posted 06-23-2013 06:29 PM

Before getting my chuck, would turn bowls between centers using drive and live center. To speed up the process would turn outside facing tailstock. Allowed me turn a recess in bottom, except for little nib, which chiseled off before mounting on waste block and faceplate. I turned waste block to fit recess, and glue paper joint, so could turn inside bowl.

Can also turn a flat spot on bowl base and turn waste block to fit use paper joint or CA glue too.

Trick is leave yourself enough wood, so when reverse turn a bowl can bring things round again.

-- Bill

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 2511 days

#2 posted 06-23-2013 08:37 PM

Bill many thanks for your response. I’ll give that a try and see how well I can make it work!

-- Leland, OC California

View jte9999's profile


25 posts in 2100 days

#3 posted 07-09-2013 04:32 AM

Leland, kind of late for a reply, sorry. Have you tried drilling a small hole through the center of your glue block and then use a thin stiff wire matching the small hole (straight piece of coat hanger works) to guide the faceplate/glue block through to the center mark left by the live center on the foot of the bowl? Of course you need to do this off the lathe. If you’re carefull this should work for you. Hope this helps.
—jay KCMO

-- --half full, half empty? How about twice as big as it needs to be?

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20482 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 07-19-2013 01:29 AM

When you make a bowl, the spigot or tenon that you use to hold it for hollowing out the inside can be either turned as part of the original piece of wood. Or, if you need to keep all the thickness in the bowl, glue a scrap bock on the bottom out of which you can turn the tenon.
Glue the block on the original piece of wood. Then find the center of the top and bottom as accurate as possible and drill a small ~ 3/16 hole in each end about 1/2” deep. Always start between centers and shape your bowl and also turn the tenon the bottom while between centers. Then everything will be concentric.

After the outside is done. Take it out and mount it in a chuck by the tenon and finish turning the inside. After your bowl is sanded and finished, take it out out of the chuck and turn the tenon off and finish the bottom.
To do this you will need to make a jam chuck- a turned block that just fits inside your bowl that you can mount the bowl on with the tenon lined up on the tail stock. Cover the jam chuck with a piece of white rubber shelf lining material or leather for a drive surface. After you turn the bottom and cut the tenon almost all the way off. Cut the rest off with a saw, and sand the bottom smooth so there is no evidence left of the tenon. I use a power sander with a 2” disc on it or a Dremel with 1” disc on it to finish sanding the bottom.

good luck…..........enjoy your turning!!..............Jim

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

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 07-28-2013 04:28 PM

Jay, Jim, thank you both for the helpful input! I appreciate your taking time to post, and your tips are sure to come in handy.


-- Leland, OC California

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics