Faceplate Turning Is Fun
Shed your inhibitions: there’s more to owning a lathe than turning knobs and legs
Synopsis: If your wood turning has been confined to knobs and legs, it’s time to branch out and start having some fun with your lathe. Try faceplate turning, the art of transforming a chunk of log or a block of wood into a stand-alone, artistic piece. Learn the basic sequence for turning a blank into a bowl or platter, the simple set of four tools you’ll need for any faceplate turning project, and how to sand, seal, and apply a finish to your work.
When it comes to turning, most furniture makers, not surprisingly, confine themselves to making furniture components. Regardless of the style, whether Shaker legs or period finials, almost all parts are turned between centers with the grain running parallel to the lathe’s bed, a process known as spindle turning. However, there is another dimension to turning—faceplate turning—where the blank is attached just to the headstock…