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Using wooden jaw plates (as an alternative to button jaws) allows a turned bowl to be finished on the underside with no visible means of determining how it was held in the lathe. This small bowl is straightforward, but the turner is of course able to produce any design of his or her liking.

Please watch the video carefully to learn how to make wooden jaw plates.

Tools Menu

Finishing materials as required

Step 1

Mount the bowl blank in the screw chuck and rough out the diameter using a bowl gouge. Turn the centre flat ready to accept the sacrificial softwood blank.


Step 2

Prepare the 75mm dia softwood blank, drill a 3.5mm hole down the centre, insert bamboo skewer and clamp using tailstock. Leave overnight or until the glue has completely set.
Top Tip! The skewer ensures the softwood blank is centred in the middle of the bowl blank.


Step 3

Turn the softwood disc to 65mm dia using the bowl gouge.


Step 4

Turn the outside to the profile required and smooth to 400g with the Flexipad sander. Support the blank with the live revolving centre.


Step 5

Complete the outside with finishes of choice; here Liberon Sanding Sealer and Microcrystalline Wax are used.


Step 6

Remove the bowl blank from the screw chuck and remount it in the lathe using the SK114 chuck and gripper jaws.
Top Tip! To avoid injury to the hands, always remove the live revolving centre when not needed.


Step 7

Make a ‘shop made depth gauge from a scrap of timber and another bamboo skewer, setting the depth to the thickness of the blank minus 12mm. Using the bowl gouge, begin to turn the inside of the bowl, checking the depth at regular intervals.


Step 8

Carefully turn the inside of the bowl to the correct depth.


Step 9

Sand and polish the inside of the bowl.


Step 10

Remove the bowl from the chuck and install the 150mm wood jaw plates. This is best done by unscrewing the chuck and placing it on a flat surface, making it much easier to insert the wood jaw plates and to check that each is properly engaged in the chuck threads. Remount the chuck and wood jaw plates on the lathe; tighten onto a 10mm dowel.
Important! Ensure that the wood jaw plates are completely secure when turned by hand.


Step 11

Important! When using the wood jaw plates, the speed should never be greater than 600 rpm.
Measure the dia of the bowl, transfer this to the wood jaw plates and draw a circle. Make a 6mm deep groove using a dovetail scraper. Remove the dowel, insert the bowl and tighten the wood jaw plates onto the rim to ensure that it’s held firmly. Do not overtighten.


Step 12

Turn off the sacrificial softwood blank, set the depth gauge to 3mm and turn a shallow depression in the centre, sand to 400g. Turn the rim of the bowl on the underside flat, check with a ruler, sanding again to 400g.


Step 13

Use a 3-point tool to complete the turning on the underside. Polish the base.


Important! Allow enough material to enable the shaping on the underside to be produced. If not…


Step 14

The completed bowl is shown and, if required, a pyrography pen can be used on the underside to record any details.

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