Turning a Bamboo Plate

First up – Glue up a block of contrasting bamboo pieces. Flatten it, cut square and mount on your lathe. I bored a 2 1/8 hole, to mount on my scroll chuck. Bring up tail stock to support while turning the edge profile.

Sand the edge and it’s transition to the bottom…

Then flip it around, using the Forstner bit, in a Jacobs chuck to help with centering as you glue it onto a block held in the scroll chuck. (or use double sided tape, or any other method to attach the plate bottom to the lathe.)

I used superglue. I’ve had good luck with Gorilla super glue. It might even be too strong. Use the tail stock to apply clamping pressure while waiting for the glue to dry. I waited overnight, but with smaller turnings (finger rings) a couple minutes is fine.

I brought up the tail stock again, to support the plate while turning. This bamboo was super tough. I spent just as much time sharpening my chisels as I did turning out the face of the plate.

It occurred to me that trying to split off the plate might be too destructive, so I carefully attempted to part off the plate from the glue block. I had only used a ring of superglue, but it still held on very well.

…a little padding and I backed off the tail stock a smidge,.. and enter my beloved pull saw.

This managed to leave just a bit of the glue and block attached to the plate, rather than remove chunks or scar up the bottom. Enter the orbital sander to clean up the bottom, and we’re good to go.

It was tough to turn, as in the wood – or rather grass – was tough. The finished project however should withstand plenty of use.

*Oh, and if you don’t want to mess around with the tedium of gluing up a block to start the project with… just head over to the kitchen store, and look for some cutting boards in the damaged section, or clearance aisle.

This was only $5 at Home Goods. WAY CHEAPER than my time trying to make this elaborate of a glue-up… and being a cutting board, it is surely durable enough to be a plate for cheese and crackers or some such.

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