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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2'x2' piece of standard B/C 1/2" plywood from Home Depot. You might want a bigger piece if you have a bigger lathe. I cut it into 4x 1'x1' pieces. Glued them back to back, then cut the corners off on the bandsaw. I attached my lathe faceplate to the center and then rounded it on the lathe. I brought it to a diameter that would give me an extra 10mm or so. I worked it so that the front didn't wobble and then drilled and tapped it for my lathe (1" x 8 TPI). I turned a small shoulder and then turned the rest so that it was tapered. I reinforced the threading with thin CA and retapped a few times applying CA each time. Then I mounted it on the lathe with the faceplate off and made a slight taper from the center on the face side. Sanded the whole thing just so I wouldn't get any splinters and used a little bit of CA to help.

Bought a bunch of white "Foamies" brand foam sheets from a local craft store. Each is 2mm. Using spray adhesive I glued each both to the face of the plywood, and hand-molded it around the edges. I did this repeatedly, gluing and molding sheet after sheet, until there was ~10mm worth of foam on the face and edges. Last step was making a piece to enclose the edges, which was just a lot of cutting and gluing.

Tried it on 2 pieces today and it works just as well as I had hoped. I just jam the workpiece up against it in reverse and use the tailstock to hold it in place and then it's held in place well enough for me to finish the bottom. Total cost was $6.50 for the wood, under $10 for the foam, and a couple dollars worth of glue.
 

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I have several "jam/jamb/friction chucks" at about 2.5", 3.5", and 5" diameter which fits most of my chuck jaws (feet/base).
Yours seems to grip on the outside edge which is fine where mine girp about the area of the base. Yours seems to work more like a donut chuck with out the donut. :thumbsup:

Why so many layers of padding? I was told to only use one layer. As the thickness increased the ability to mount it true would decline. One side can squish in more than the other side. Don' know if this is correct or not. I just use one layer of leather over the wood for a friction chuck.

Looks like a neat project that lots of turners can use. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It does run true. I was worried that there might be a problem, so when I applied the foam, I stretched it and molded it by hand very carefully.

After the bowl has been set against it and some pressure has been applied, it actually tends to grip the bowl rim on the outside and inside to the extent that the tailstock ends up just barely doing anything. That's why there's so much foam. I wanted it to be able to sort of absorb the rim. Also, that's why there is a slight taper from the center on the face side of the underlying plywood - additionally the taper lets it work well with plates by gripping quite a bit of the inside.

I also should mention that I intentionally chose white foam. I was concerned that colored foam might somehow rub some of the color onto the wood. That may not be the case, but it was something that crossed my mind.

Edit: I just looked into what a donut chuck is. Interesting idea. I might try making a version of this chuck that uses that concept when I get into hollow forms.
 
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