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Thread: Bit of a Gloat and a Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Bit of a Gloat and a Question

    A few weeks ago I was contacted by a couple to help price the lady's brother's shop. At the end of the day they asked if I was interested in the bowl lathe. It's a home made piece of equipment that is one heavy hunk of metal. I'm going to enjoy this piece very much.

    My question has to do with face plates. Since this lathe is a dedicated bowl lathe, I'm have to start most everything on a face plate. I have a 2" that will fit on it. Is there a rule of thumb for the size face plate/blank? The lathe has a 24" swing and I will be turning bowls, hollow forms, and maybe a hat or two. 4"? 6"? What does the rule of thumb say? What do you suggest?
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    Working flat so I can play round,
    Doug Miller

    Repentance Is The
    Prerequisite For
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Doug, I've turned up to about 26" or 27" (rough size) using the 3" cast iron faceplate that came with my 3520B, and turned 24" and under with a 2 1/2" aluminum one from Don Pencil. I know some folks would recommend using bigger ones, but those have worked for me. I also suspect the larger the plate is, the less likely you are to get vibration, but I've not had any real issues with vibration using the smaller ones. In all cases, I'm using hex head lag bolts to attach it to the wood, though. Goes without saying that you want some beefy screws when turning something that big on a faceplate.

    BTW, if you look at the "Seconds and Blems" page on Don Pencil's site, you can often find great deals on faceplates. They might have a scratch, or the anodization might not be perfect, but I've had no issues with the ones I've bought from that page.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Vaughn has the experience.
    I have never turn a hunk that big. I do know a 50 pound hunk of walnut flying towards my face is something I would want to avoid.
    But, whatever works, works.
    Stand aside matey.
    BTW, that lathe is a catch. Mind saying what ye paid for it?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Reno, Nv
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    I think of equal importance are the screws used too?
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Ladner BC
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    42
    i agree with Frank. That is some fine looking 'home' built bowl lathe. I too am of the opinion that the larger the face plate the less likely you are to have problems with vibration or launching! There is quite a lot of information on the web about number and type of screws. Lots of experience worth tapping into.

    Pete
    http://www.woodbowlsandthings.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Vaughn has the experience.
    I have never turn a hunk that big. I do know a 50 pound hunk of walnut flying towards my face is something I would want to avoid.
    But, whatever works, works.
    Stand aside matey.
    BTW, that lathe is a catch. Mind saying what ye paid for it?
    Frank when you find out what he paid for that thing you will know he had a mask and a gun. He has a thread going on over at woodturners resource so i know, but will let the rev tell his story. BTW i sure wish i could find a deal like that rev.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    Nice looking lathe. I use a 3" faceplate with 2 inch #10 sheet metal screws. You probably already know don't use sheet rock screws. The tailstock does help until you get it balanced.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Weishapl View Post
    ...The tailstock does help until you get it balanced.
    This is very true, and I recommend it if the tailstock is available. On Rev's new blue toy, he doesn't have the option. About the only time I use a faceplate on my Powermatic these days is when I'm turning something that's too big to fit over the regular bed (anything bigger than about 19" or 20"), so I slide the headstock to the right side and turn off the end. I've got something like 38" of swing in that configuration.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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