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way to make faceplate rings

Shawn Schiebrel

PRO Member
I was checking out the faceplates and was kinda stunned by the prices. Then I saw faceplate rings. As many of you know, these are steel rings that have holes that can be screwed into the scrap blocks, but have dove tail edges that are grabbed by standard chucks. These are even more expensive, so I thought, how hard can it be to make these. I thought about using wood, but the thinness and potential to crack along the grain pattern made me nervous. I couldn't make them out of metal, but I thought about HDPE (high-density polyethylene). so I stopped at GFS and bought a $15 HDPE cutting board that's about 1/2 inch thick and laid out 7 4" rings. Cut them out with a bandsaw and used the wormwood screw to mount it to the chuck. Turned it to the right size with a nice dovetail, then while on the lathe, scribed a line on the face about 2/3 between the center and the edge, took it off and drilled 8 countersunk holes on the scribed line. pretty happy with it. I've tested by attaching it to a pretty large blank and turning it. rock solid and pretty happy with it.
 

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stuart johnson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like a winner. I don't know how heavy a piece I would want to use it with it for fear the screws might pop. Is there much flex when you tighten down the chuck?
 

Shawn Schiebrel

PRO Member
No flex at all, I don't see the screws popping loose any more on this than through a metal ring. you still are screwing through the backside ( motor side ) of the faceplate into your sacrificial piece. the ring doesn't have any screw threads going into the material. As long as your screwhead is larger than the hole in the ring, it's not going anywhere. you basically are creating a removable tenon that the chuck grabs onto.

I should also say that the face of the ring is even with the face of the chuck jaws. meaning that there is no "wedge" force by the chuck jaws between the ring and the attached piece. the ring bottoms out in the chuck jaws and fills the entire cavity of the jaws.
 
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