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I would like some advise on turning plates as far as what thickness should I start out with? What part should I turn first? More or less anything to do with plates I would like to know. Any tutorials out there?
Thanks
 

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from my very limited experience of one plate, i would say turn the inside of the plate first reverse it onto a set of cole jaws, then turn the bottom and probobly stay 3/16 -1/4 inch thick. Id stay on the thicker side if your doing a segmented plate..... some one else prob. knows more than me though !
 

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Would it not be difficult to gauge thickness when mounted on cole jaws? I am interested in this as the boss has requested 8 chargers - they are platters that go under your plate on/at the table. Ron.
 

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Turn a plate/platter just as you would a bowl, just a lot more shallow. I start turning the outside, but instead of turning a tenon to mount in the chuck, I cut a recess in the bottom to use the expanding feature of the chuck. Turn and finish the bottom. Chuck the recess and turn the face, then finish. Can touch up the bottom if needed on the Cole jaws (large jaws). Work quickly, especially if the wood is wet as the plate will change shape quickly.
 

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I turn platters using my screw chuck. I put a spacer on the screw thread so that it will only penetrate the wood about 1/2". This is screwed into the face side of the plate. Then I turn the back or bottom of the plate. I now have large jaws for my chuck so I just turn a rebate for the jaws to expand into and then turn the rest of the back using this rebate for the foot of the platter.
Now I just expand my chuck into this and turn the faceside.
Here is how I judge the bottom thickness. Before I put the plate in my jaws I take a square and lay it on the bed of the lathe with the one leg against the jaws of the chuck. Now I put a pencil line on the bed. This shows me where I would cut through if I cut away wood to this point. Now put the platter in the jaws and start turning. When you have the outer lip where you want it bring the square up against this and put a mark on the bed of the lathe.
Now decide how thick you want the bottom and put a pencil line That distance from the line that marked your chuck jaws. Then measure the distance form the platter face line to this new line. That's how deep you have to cut. Place a straight edge across the face of the platter and using a ruler measure from the straight edge to the bottom of the bowl. Keep cutting until you get it as deep as you wanted.
To answer your question about the cole jaws. Just use what I mentioned above to measure the thickness. You just do it in reverse by putting a mark on the lathe using the cole jaws as a reference for the outside of the platter. You should have already measured the face side depth. Place this mark on the lathe bed. Now decide on your bottom thickness and make another mark. You can now measure from the foot of the platter to this depth.
 

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Turn a plate/platter just as you would a bowl, just a lot more shallow. I start turning the outside, but instead of turning a tenon to mount in the chuck, I cut a recess in the bottom to use the expanding feature of the chuck. Turn and finish the bottom. Chuck the recess and turn the face, then finish. Can touch up the bottom if needed on the Cole jaws (large jaws). Work quickly, especially if the wood is wet as the plate will change shape quickly.
This is more or less what I did except that I used a shallow spigot instead of a recess. About 1/4 or 5/16 inch thick feels about right for an 8 inch plate. For finish I used mineral oil. I made some years ago and after daily use am amazed how they have held up. They have warped a little and lost some shine but that doesn't spoil them. They aren't beautiful but are very practical - light, strong, nice to hold. They get scoured under the tap with one of those knitted wire things. Once in a while they get more oil. I used elm and sycamore. They are just shallow dishes, I didn't make them flat as that would make warping more noticeable.

Terry

My wooden bowls and vases
 
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