Wooden plates are a great use of offcuts of more expensive woods. One of the best things about making wooden plates, apart from it being fairly simple, is that it only requires small thin pieces of wood depending on the size of plate or saucer you want to make of course. There are lots of tools and methods that can be used to make your plates. This instructional will outline a method of using a wood lathe.
To make a wooden plate you need a good wood lathe. Before you go, read this awesome review for the best wood lathe. The first thing you will do after selecting the wood you will use for the plate is to prepare the blank for turning. You will turn the back of the plate first, so fasten the lathe’s faceplate on to the front of the blank. The screw holes will disappear when you are shaping the front side of the plate.
Using a bowl gouge, make the edge of your wood round. Work the edges on both sides, this will avoid splintering the blank’s surfaces. Start at the outside of the plate and move inwards to the center.
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Once the backside of the wood has been flattened, you can begin to level the surface. Start with the bowl gouge, then you can switch to a square-ended scraper. You can use a straightedge to check if the surface is properly leveled. When you are ready to turn the plate to its open side, first make sure the center area is completely flat. This will make it easier to mount the faceplate
Now you can use the bowl gouge to shape the backside of the rim of the plate. Measure out and mark a center circle on the back of the plate. Install the faceplate on the central circle. Using a high strength double-faced tape, trim the tape to match the faceplate.
Fix these together to enable you to turn the plate securely, till you are happy with the shape. You can now complete the rim. Depending on the style of plate you wish to create. From the rim carve into the plate, working your way into the center. You may want to switch to a square-ended scraper tool to level off the surface. You can now sand that side of the plate.
Slowly remove the plate from the faceplate. Be sure to remove any tape residue that remains with a mineral spirit. You can now send the backside of the plate by hand for a thorough finish. If you would like your plate to be used in the kitchen, you will need to use a food-safe oil finish. Pure tung oil or walnut oil is a great choice. You will need at least 4 coats of this.
Regardless of whichever method you prefer to use to make your plate, it will require practice. The great thing is that it’s easy to get your hand on offcuts of woods to practice with.
There are many other ways to make a wooden plate using a wood lathe. Whichever method you choose will require a fair bit of practice before you can really get the best result. Another great thing is that your friends and family will have a good collection of wobbly, chipped and dented beautifully unique wooden plates!
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