Preparing Wood for Turning on a Lathe

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When preparing wood for turning on a lathe, find the center of the block, determine the size of the turning and cut off any excess corners or areas to make the turning process simplified. Prepare a piece of wood for turning on a lathe with information from a woodworking craftsman in this free video on wood crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Wood Lathe Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I'm going to talk about how to prepare wood for turning on a lathe. What I'm starting with is a block of stock, in this case cherry, that I've glued up a couple pieces, and the first thing we have to do is find the center of our stock. So just using a combination square, I'll mark the center on the top and the bottom. The next thing I want to do is, I want to determine the size of my turning. In this case it's going to be two inches, so I've set my compass, and I'm going to swing an arc, which gives me the final size of my turning. Rather than taking the stock to the lathe right now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to cut off the corners, which will make it easier for turning, and it also makes it a bit safer because there aren't all of these hard, sharp edges to work with. So what I've done is I've taken my table saw, set the blade to 45 degrees, and I'm now going to adjust the fence, and start removing that extra stock. As you can see, we now have an octagon, fairly even sides, to make it much easier for turning. The last thing we want to do before we mount it on the lathe, is to mark our center point. Simply just take an awl, at the cross point we marked earlier, and a mallet, and give it a good whack, and you do that on both sides, and now we're ready to mount our stock on the lathe. Okay, we've just talked about how to turn rough stock into a prepared blank for turning on the lathe. I'm Dave Trull, with the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.

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