Mounting Bowl Blanks
Copyright Ron Sardo 2008

There are many ways to mount bowls blanks to a lathe.
Some turners use faceplates and some will rough out blanks between centers.
I know of one turner who roughs out bowls using a big pin chuck.
I've tried all these methods and they all work well.

I developed this method because I core all my blanks, even if I don't plan on using the core.
I wanted a way that I can quickly and easily remount a blank from both sides.

Here is my method for mounting bowl blanks on the lathe.

Image When I round my blanks, I use cardboard circle templates. In the center of each template there is a hole where I placed a stick pin to hold the template in place.  If I don't have a template the right size,  I'll use either a big compass or make a new template.

In this case I used a large compass so I can decide where I wanted my center. I marked the circumference then bandsawed along the pencil mark.

Next, I use a spring loaded center punch  to enlarge the hole.  Since the hole is a little hard to see in the photo, I placed a chalk mark for clarification.

(This is the inside of the bowl)
Image Here I'm using a speed square to help me eyeball a straight hole. I'm using a 2-1/8" forstner bit mounted in a hand drill.
Image I drill to a depth of about 3/8"
Image I place a chuck with a set of #2 jaws into the hole.
Image Here is the bowl mounted on the lathe and now I get the chance to try out the new home I gave my Thompson bowl gouge.
Image Outside all roughed out along with a 2" tenon

I reversed the bowl and will proceed to core out the center. Once I pop out the center I will flip the core and mount it again using the hole I first drilled. I will turn a new tenon and repeat the process again. 

I was able to get three bowl blanks from this piece and the whole process described here took around one hour.