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post #1 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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turning something flat

im making a cake platter for my dad to give as a gift
im trying to make a 11 " surface flat on the lathe.man i cannot get it.
any thing to make it easy on me?
help me pros lol
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 12:10 PM
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Platters are hard, huh? You need to proceed slowly. Take some material from the center first and work your way to the rim. Work in sections, getting close to the final thickness you want in the center section, then a little further, then a little further still. Be patient, work slow. Slow your lathe down. As the piece gets thin, it can warp or flex, even if your wood is dry. I like to finish mine with a heavy scraper taking very light cuts.

I'll post some pics of a shallow bowl I did last weekend. Not quite a platter, but close.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...

Last edited by sawdustfactory; 09-11-2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: New post with pics
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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this is to put a cake on top so it is flat or needs to be
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 01:29 PM
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If you want it absolutely flat, then why not start with a board (or glue up) that is already flat? Rough it on a band saw or with a jig saw, and then turn the outer edge round on the lathe.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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well i did think of that first but i glued up 2 boards and slightly cupped wood so i was gonna turn it and put some nice cuts on the edge so here i am lol
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-11-2011, 06:27 PM
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Crayon edge of straight stick, while piece is turning hold crayoned stick against it. Makes it easy to see high spots.
Just keep sticking and scraping until flat.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-12-2011, 12:54 PM
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it's very hard to get a perfectly flat bottom with a gouge. I'm not a big scraper fan but this is one instance where it works. Set your tool rest so it's parallel to the board after you get it as close to flat as you can with other tools. Then set the scraper flat on the tool rest and put your left hand against the tool rest. pinch the scraper between your thumb and fingers and gently slide the scraper across the wood removing as little as possible.
Scribble some pencil marks very lightly across the surface in several directions. This will show you when the scraper has contacted the whole surface. I can't stress more the importance of light cuts with a freshly sharpened tool. Use a flat scraper. You don't want to have to sand any more than necessary because it will raise bumps where the summer winter wood varies in hardness.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-12-2011, 03:35 PM
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A very slight hollow is acceptable in a cake platter .

If after the glue up there is a slight cupping , see if a local wood shop will put it through their thicknesser/planner or the drum sander , before you chuck it on the lathe.
But try to turn the whole thing yourself first using the techniques described by the lads above

Last edited by Manuka Jock; 09-12-2011 at 04:08 PM.
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