Turning Archive 2005

Templates for cutting true circles from burls

Keith Newton
>I thought I would start a new thread, rather than posting on the end of one a couple of days old.

When I am cutting blanks from burls or any naturally rough topped wood that would be hard to mark on. I have a set of concentric rings that I made from 1/2" MDF with a router on a trammel arm. They all have a few holes around them so they can easily be screwed to the work with a couple of drywall screws.

I find them to be very helpful in visualizing what the top of the turning will look like before I even touch it with the saw, because the inside opening is like looking through a picture frame at the wood you are about to cut.

I try to screw it onto the blank parallel to the axis of rotation, so If I am cutting a piece off of a large piece with the chain-saw, all I have to do is to stay outside of the ring to saw off the rough blank, and then saw parallel to that plane to get the bottom right for the band-saw.

Once it is on the band-saw, I cut just outside of the ring. Once this is done, I have a nice round but cylindrical blank. I then mark a line about 3 to 6" up from the bottom around the outside. I will then tilt the BS table and saw off the waste that falls outside of the faceplate diameter.

Since I have not been to any classes on turning nor taken any magazines, I don't know what others do. Is this a common method that others use? If not, let me know and I will take some photos which will make it easier to follow.

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