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Spindle Turning
Faceplate Turning
Other Special Techniques

Lathe Turning
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Other Special Techniques

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Figure 12-53. Small workpieces can be turned by mounting them on a screw center. Be sure there are no chips between the workpiece and the screw center's front face.

There are many special techniques that can be performed on the lathe. Let's take a look at some of the simplest:

Screw Center Work
Workpieces that are too small to be mounted on a faceplate or not long enough to be fitted between centers can be set up for turning by using a screw center (a device that is mounted on the Mark V main spindle). Find the center of the workpiece and start a hole for the screw by using an awl or by drilling. Mount the workpiece by threading it on the screw center (Figure 12-53). The technique makes it possible to shape small items like drawer or door pulls, finials or small posts (Figure 12-54).

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Figure 12-54. Turning is accomplished in normal fashion. On jobs ilke this it's best to use carbide-tipped tools since they have smaller cutting profiles than conventional tools.

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Figure 12-55. Extra-long lathe projects can be produced if you turn separate pieces and then connect them as shown here. Click on image to see larger view.

Extra-Long Work

When a project is longer than the spindle capacity of the lathe, it can be turned as separate pieces that are then joined in the manner shown in Figure 12-55. The tenon on the one piece can be formed while the part is on the lathe. Drill a matching hole in the mating piece; then put the parts together with glue. Use a Iockwedge, if you wish, to reinforce the joint.

The same idea applies when you join a faceplate turning to a spindle turning (Figure 12-56).

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Figure 12-56. The same idea will work when you need to connect a spindle turning to a faceplate turning. Click on image to see larger view.

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Figure 12-57. When a large diameter is required in one area of the turning, either (A) reduce the stock or (B) build up the stock. Click on image for larger view.

Glued-Up Stock
When a large diameter is required in one area of the turning, two methods are used to prepare the stock (Figure 12-57). In one, start with oversized stock and use a jointer or bandsaw to reduce the stock before it is mounted on the lathe. Warning: Glue the stock and leave it clamped for at least 24 hours prior to turning.

In the other, glued blocks are used to build up the larger diameter. The mating surfaces must be perfectly flat and true for a perfect joint if the final turning is to resemble a solid piece of wood.




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Figure 12-58. Make a large turning block by laminating pieces of stock. The laminations can be of contrasting wood.

When solid stock large enough for a deep bowl or similar project is not available, stock may be glued together (Figure 12-58). Or rough-cut rings may be glued onto a solid base. This method saves a lot of material since the cutout discs may be used in other ways. Figure 12-59 shows rings cut for a project that will have straight sides. If the sides are to slope or taper, the rings should vary in size. The important thing is a good glue job so the stock will hold together with just a faint line showing on the finished item.


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Figure 12-60. You can get interesting inlaid effects if you prepare a turning blank by gluing together pieces of contrasting wood. It's not easy to do, but try to visualize the end result.


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Figure 12-59. Speed up shaping a deep bowl by gluing precut rings to a solid base.

You can produce intriguing lathe projects with an inlaid appearance when you prepare the base stock by gluing together pieces of contrasting wood. The initial blocks can be prepared for either spindle turning (Figure 12-60) or faceplate turning (Figure 12-61). The blocks won't look like much to start; the appealing effects occur when the turning is complete. It's not easy, but try to visualize the results as you plan the initial block assemblies.

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Figure 12-61. The same idea applies to faceplate work. A good glue job is critical.

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Figure 12-62. Here are other ways you can prepare stock for split turning. Oval moldings and even quarter-rounds are possible.

Select wood not only on the basis of color contrast, but also for similarity in density. Good combinations to try are maple with rosewood, and holly or birch with cherry, walnut, or mahogany.

Split Turnings
Split turnings are lathe projects that end up as half-round, shaped columns. Using the paper-glue-joint method shown in Figure 12-62, two pieces of wood will produce identical half-round mold-ings. Four pieces of wood, paper-glued to a central core piece, will separate as elliptical moldings. Four pieces of wood, assembled as a solid block, will become four pieces of quarter-round molding. Warning: Glue the stock and leave it clamped for at least 24 hours prior to turning.

Procedures like this are useful when a special molding is needed or when you need a particular hardwood molding that isn't available.

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Figure 12-63. You can prepare stock this way when you need a lathe turning with a center hole such as a lamp base. Click on image to see larger view.

Through Holes
The two methods shown in Figure 12-63 can be used to prepare stock for projects like lamp bases before the material is mounted for lathe turning. Cut grooves in the center of the stock. A groove about 7/16" wide by 7/32" deep in each piece will do for lamp cords.

Glue the pieces together and use keys to plug the opening at each end. When the turning is complete, open the grooves by boring holes at each end of the turning.

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Figure 12-64. The drill chuck grips the bit. The workpiece, while turning, is quill fed against the bit to form the hole.

Accurate center holes, of limited length when using conventional bits or much deeper when working with extra-long bits or extension bits, can be formed by mounting the drill chuck on the tailstock. Figure 12-64 shows the technique being used to form a socket hole in a small candle stand. The procedure is the opposite of normal boring. Here, the drill bit is stationary; the workpiece turns.

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Figure 12-65. Construction details of an indexing device, (A) guide pin holder, and(B) indexing disk. Click on image to see larger view.

Some lathe projects, like wheel hubs, require radial holes that are equally spaced about their circumference. A good way to do such work accurately is to use an indexing device. The plans for one that you can make and which is mounted on the Mark V's upper auxiliary spindle is shown in Figure 12-65. Make the guide pin holder first. Then drill holes in the power plant cover and mount the holder as shown in Figure 12-66. Drilling holes in the power plant cover will not damage the machine. You must situate the holder so the guide pin and the spindle have a common vertical centerline.

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Figure 12-66. The guide pin holder is mounted this way. Drilling mounting holes in power plant cover will not damage the machine. Be sure the guide pin and the auxiliary spindle have a common vertical centerline.

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Figure 12-67. The indexing disk is mounted on a faceplate which locks on the upper auxiliary spindle. When the disk is engaged by the guide pin, lathe-mounted work will be held in a fixed position.

The indexing disk, which is the control that positions a project for drilling, is made next. After the disk is cut out and rounded, mount it on a small faceplate. Then secure the faceplate on the auxiliary spindle (Figure 12-67). Push the guide pin forward so it will mark the disk. This will establish the radius of the circle on whose circumference the guide holes must be drilled. Make a layout and drill the holes. The plans suggests a spacing of 22-1/2°, but you can increase or decrease it.

A typical use for the indexing device and a drill guide are shown in Figure 12-68, where the hub for a wheel is being drilled for spokes. For example, if the hub is to have eight spokes, lock the indexing device at any point and drill the first hole. Turn the indexing device 45°, lock it with the pin, and drill the second hole. Turn the indexing device 45° for each hole until all are drilled. If the wheel needed four spokes, the device would be turned 90° to establish each hole position.

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Figure 12-68. A typical appilcation for the indexing device. It positions work so radial holes can be equally and automatically spaced. The drill guide keeps the bit square to the workpiece.

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Figure 12-69. Construction details of the drill guide. Click image to see larger view.

The drill guide, made as shown in Figure 12-69, is mounted in the tool rest arm and positioned so the bit will be square to the work and so its point will be on the work's horizontal centerline.

Indexing, as shown in Figure 12-70, can also be used to gauge the spacing of surface-drilled holes. The drill guide can do double-duty. When you position it correctly, it will act as a stop to gauge hole depth.

Turning Small Components
Model makers will find a dowel turning fixture almost indispensable for small turnings like head-lights, wheel hubs, rims, capstans, deadeyes for boat and automobile models, and for making components for miniature furniture.

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Figure 12-70. The indexing device and the drill guide can also be used to automatically space surface holes. The drill guide can also serve as a stop to gauge hole depth.

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Figure 12-71. A dowel turning fixture makes it easy to turn small parts from dowel stock.

A good feature of the dowel turning fixture, shown in Figure 12-71, is that it allows mounting of a long piece of dowel that is gripped for turning with the drill chuck that substitutes for the usual drive center. The bolt acts as a tool rest. The table to which the fixture is clamped, or the power plant is moved to position the dowel for each new turning. The dowel doesn't have to be cut until several individual parts have been formed.

To make the dowel turning fixture follow the plans in Figure 12-72. The plans show three sizes of holes, but you can accommodate other sizes of dowels merely by drilling additional holes.

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Figure 12-72. Construction details of the dowel turning fixture for 1/4 ", 3/8", and 1/2" dowels. Additional holes for other sizes of dowels can be drilled. Click on image to see larger view.

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Figure 12-73. The bolt, which is part of the dowel turning fixture, serves as a tool rest. Apply paste wax to the dowel so it can turn with minimum friction.

Figure 12-73 shows the relationship between the dowel turning fixture and a turned dowel. It's a good idea to coat the dowel with paste wax to minimize friction where the dowel turns in the block.

The dowel turning fixture can also position tiny work for concentric drilling. If the work is very tiny, it can be gripped in a router chuck locked on the main spindle.

Turning Ovals
The most important part of turning a cylinder into an oval shape is the initial layout on the ends of the stock.

First make an accurate template for locating the true center and the two off centers (Figure 12-74). If the ridge line is located first, it is easy to position the template at the ends of the stock and mark the centers with an awl.

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Figure 12-74. You can turn cylinders with an oval cross section if the work is shaped while it is mounted on off centers. These drawings show the procedure to follow. Click on image for larger view.

Turn the work on true center until it is round. Remark the ridge line.

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Figure 12-75. When the oval is complete, use sandpaper to smooth the project and to remove the ridge line. The shape of the oval will depend on how far apart you space the off centers.

Mount the work on one of the off centers. Turn it until the cut nears the ridge line. Now it's round on one side, oval on the other.

Mount the work on the remaining off center; turn it down to the ridge line. Now the work is oval. Sand it as illustrated in Figure 12-75.

Turning Spirals
Spiral forming is classified as a lathe job even though most of the work is done by hand. It is started by mounting stock between lathe centers and turning it to a cylinder.

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Figure 12-76. This is the kind of layout you must use to prepare stock for spiral forming. Click on image to see larger view.

Layout of the spiral divisions is shown in Figure 12-76. First mark off the length of the spiral. Divide this into equal spaces, each approximately the diameter of the cylinder. Draw four lines along the length of the stock, connecting common perpendicular diameters at each end. Now divide each space into four equal parts and, with a heavy piece of paper as a guide, pencil-mark diagonal lines across each one as shown.

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Figure 12-77. To form spirals: (A) Use a keyhole saw or backsaw to cut on the spiral line. (B) Start the shaping with a round file. (C) Continue the shaping by using a square file. (D) Finish the shaping with a half-round file. Then work with strips of sandpaper to achieve final smoothness. Click on image to see larger view.

Now follow the sequence detailed in Figure 12-77. Use a saw to cut along the spiral line to the depth needed (Figure 12-77A). This depth is easily controlled if a keyhole saw is used. If a backsaw is used, clamp a block of wood to it to act as a depth guide. Next use a round file to form a groove to the depth of the saw cut (Figure 12-77B). Open up the groove with a square file (Figure 12-77C). Shape it with a half-round file (Figure 12-77D). Use sandpaper to do the final shaping and smoothing.







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