Wood II, Wintersession 2016, Instructor: Charley Appleton

Faceplate Turnings (2016)

In this project, we were asked to create a project from multiples of a module. This module was to be repeated as though it was made in a manufactured process – that is, the first module would be identical to the last. I decided to explore a trapezoidal module, created by changing the angle of the miter gauge on the table saw.


I calculated that turning the miter gauge 22.5 degrees would allow me to create an octagonal ring out of eight modules.

In my first study, I glued up three rings made of maple and cherry on top of a block of cherry and turned it on the lathe.

I was then interested in exploring open segmented turning using the modules.

I decided to pursue the investigation of open spaces in the faceplate turnings. In order to continue with the idea of a manufactured process, I built a sled for the table saw and a jig that would hold the modular pieces. As a result, all of the modules would be cut at the same location with a dado blade. I glued up the modules so that the dado blade sawcurves would match up. I then turned the piece, resulting in the two following vessels.

Though successful with the dado cuts, I realized that I had small unintentional spaces between each of the modules. I discovered that this was caused by joining the two different types of wood (maple and cherry) at different thicknesses. As a result, the modules would be unable to glue into perfect rings when stacked on top of each other.

In my next study, I was interested in finding a function for the dado cuts I made in the modules. I decided to turn a handle on the lathe and shape it so that it would be able to fit into two of the holes.

In addition to these studies, I turned other blocks of wood using the faceplate turning process in order to discover the limits of the wood and tools. Below is a small bowl made of cherry.

A cup made of two blocks of walnut sandwiching a block of cherry. I first glued up the different blocks of wood and then turned it to have a piece made of different types of wood. In this piece, I experimented with clearing out the center of the cup by using a Forstner drill bit while turning on the lathe.

A cup made out of cherry. Prior to turning the piece on the lathe, I drilled holes in the block of wood.

A miniature pot made out of a block of cherry and walnut.