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Thread: Buying a new lathe faceplate

  1. #1
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    Buying a new lathe faceplate

    I only own one faceplate for my lathe. I just used it to make a donut chuck recently so I'm shopping for another one. Is there any advantage or disadvantage with different sizes or types? I know I need a 1" x 8 thread chuck. The one I have is a 3" plate. Would bigger be better?
    Last edited by Tom Baugues; 09-12-2014 at 08:24 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Tom, in my opinion 2-3" is all you will ever need. I've turned several 12-16" bowls starting them on 3" faceplates and never had a problem. At least not a problem with the faceplate. I use sheet metal hex head screws in them as well and a hex bit on the cordless works great.
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  3. #3
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    Recently I was looking at options for some additional lathe accessories since I'm doing more turning. One discussion I ran across included a suggestion for getting a lathe spindle tap so you can make your own faceplates, adaptors, etc. I got this one in a 1" by 8tpi.
    Bill Arnold
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  4. #4
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    I'll second everything Jeff said. I've turned 24"+ blanks with a 3" faceplate.

    You'll find steel faceplates and aluminum ones. Most of mine are aluminum, and most came from Don Pencil's "Seconds and Blems" stock. Don's website (donpencil.com) doesn't look like it's been updated in a while, but you can give him a call at 360-376-4586 to see what he has available for your lathe. Right now his website is showing twenty 1 x 12 tpi x 2" faceplates on the Seconds and Blems page for $10 each. This link should get you to the page:

    http://www.donpencil.com/SECONDS.htm
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    Recently I was looking at options for some additional lathe accessories since I'm doing more turning. One discussion I ran across included a suggestion for getting a lathe spindle tap so you can make your own faceplates, adaptors, etc. I got this one in a 1" by 8tpi.
    A shop-made wooden faceplate would be fine for smaller projects, but for something like roughing out a bowl that's somewhere near your lathe's capacity, I think I'd want the extra strength of metal threads.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  6. #6
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    I have a Beal spindle tap similar to what Bill Arnold mentioned .
    They make a good faceplate as well as other accessories if using a good close grain hardwood like rock maple . I have never had a problem with one like that but then I have never used them for turnings over 12" diameter so yes, for larger turnings a steel one would probably be best .
    When I tap a wood faceplate I saturate the threads with thin CA and let it set overnight , Then run the tap through it again to clean it up .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Young View Post
    I have a Beal spindle tap similar to what Bill Arnold mentioned .
    They make a good faceplate as well as other accessories if using a good close grain hardwood like rock maple . I have never had a problem with one like that but then I have never used them for turnings over 12" diameter so yes, for larger turnings a steel one would probably be best .
    When I tap a wood faceplate I saturate the threads with thin CA and let it set overnight , Then run the tap through it again to clean it up.
    Thanks for that advice, William. I hadn't thought that far ahead!

    By the way, welcome to the Family! Hope you like it here!!!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Young View Post
    I have a Beal spindle tap similar to what Bill Arnold mentioned .
    They make a good faceplate as well as other accessories if using a good close grain hardwood like rock maple . I have never had a problem with one like that but then I have never used them for turnings over 12" diameter so yes, for larger turnings a steel one would probably be best .
    When I tap a wood faceplate I saturate the threads with thin CA and let it set overnight , Then run the tap through it again to clean it up .
    The CA glue is a good idea.

    For somewhat balanced pieces, the wood threads should be fine. In my case, I seldom use a face plate except for large, out of balance blanks. (12" to 24", upwards of 100 pounds.) Most everything else I start between centers and get it rough shaped, then put a tenon on it for the chuck.
    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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