Beating a dead horse (another ring flattening idea)

Ken Sherwin

PRO Member
I tried another idea to easily flatten rings.

1. I put a ring on the spindle with Cole jaws. I straightened up the sides of the ring but I'm not good enough to make a glue-ready joint with a bowl gouge. Then I scribbled on the cut face with a pencil.

2. I mounted a 12" flat sanding disk to a tailstock from a 12" lathe through a live center onto my 16" lathe. then I could press the sanding disk against the ring, getting 4" of stroke for each rev of the headstock. At 500 rpm, it only took a few seconds of time and no effort at all to erase all the pencil scribbles.

I've never before flattened a ring this easily and quickly.

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New Member
I do kind of the same thing with my drill press,slow speed and cutting and glueing segments as flat as possible, good idea.


PRO Member
Cole jaws will work if the ring is thick enough to leave it proud of the bumpers. Most of my work uses 1/4" and 3/8" and sometimes 3/16" ring thickness. I have tried various things and currently have settled on a combination of things. I start with a hose clamp. The problem with hose clamps is that they are typically wider than the thickness of my rings. So I clamp the ring between 2 surfaces coated with Arborite to prevent them sticking to the ring. The upper part of the clamp is circular and sized to fit just inside the the hose clamp (I have made a selection of sizes which work for most of my work). If the stock has been carefully prepared to be of consistent thickness this gives a pretty flat ring from which to start sanding. Clamping pressure is applied by tightening a nut on a 1/2" x 13 threaded rod. I inspect for the flatest surface and start sanding with my V-drum sander from Stockroom Supply. When one surface is flat I work on the other. The two surfaces may be flat but not parallel to each other but I find that it is pretty close using a caliper to measure the thickness around the ring. Typically I have found a variance of 1/128" and occasionally 1/64". I glue up the ring to the previous ring and when set I put the assembly on the lathe and use the approach discussed above using a flat sanding disk. At this point I find that turning the disk manually with headstock locked is sufficient to quickly finish the job.

Ken Sherwin

PRO Member
I had trouble with my rings being shorter than my Cole jaw bumpers too. My solution was use flat head screws withOUT the rubber bumpers in the jaws. The countersunk screw heads formed a dovetail in essence. Of course they marked the side of the ring but who cares? It gets turned off anyway.