Work Holding

Work Holding as it applies to us is the tooling that safely and accurately positions and holds workpieces on the lathe so we can turn it.

When we prepare to turn a project, we must think through the entire process to ensure that we know how we're going to hold it for each operation. If we don't prepare ourselves, we might find that we have no way to hold our project thereby not being able to complete it.

There are many different ways to hold our work piece onto the lathe and it is well worth learning as many ways as possible.


Collets and Woodturning Fee-based Woodturning Articles by John Tarpley
By: John Tarpley
Do you use collets in your work? If you are like most woodturners, your immediate answer is probably no, but if you consider for a moment you will realize that collets are a part of the tools you probably use. If you use a router or a rotary tool then you are using collets. Even interchangeable blade craft knives use a collet to hold the knife blade. With the development of interchangeable turning tool handles, many of these handles also use collets. All these tools use collets because they provide a secure, accurate grip combined with ease of use. For these same reasons and others, woodturners should be making more use of collets in our work.


The Final Touch - Finishing the Bottom Fee-based Woodturning Articles by Al Miotke
By: Al Miotke
You have just finished turning a bowl or vessel, sanding is complete, and possibly the finish is applied. Well, except for the bottom, that is. You now need to remove the piece from the chuck or faceplate and find the best way to hold it securely while you clean up and finish the bottom. I remember when I first started turning, my approach was to part off the bowl, and take the piece to my disk sander to create a flat bottom. There are a few disadvantages to this approach. First, the bowl will most likely not sit flat on the table in six months due to wood movement, so it’s best to dish the bottom so the piece rests on just the rim. Second, I learned quickly that people notice the bottom, so adding some detail adds a level of professionalism. In this article, I will review a number of possible methods for holding your work piece while you finish up that all important bottom.


Reverse Chucking of Bowls
By: Bill Juhl
In this article, Bill explains all the different ways that you can reverse chuck a bowl to turn out the center of it. He starts off explaining reverse chucking, explains the options and then shows examples. If you're new to bowl turning, this article will help you learn all the options available to you.


Donut Chuck
By: Art Liestman
In this article, Art explains how to make a donut chuck and includes a very important safety tip.


A Circle Cutting Jig that You Can Build
By: Fred Holder
In this article, Fred explains how to make a circle cutting jig for your band saw. This jig is useful for cutting lumber into circles for a bowl from a board design or for cutting logs into bowl blanks. It's easy to make once you read Fred's article.


Lathe Chucks and Chucking
By: Bill Haskell
In this great 3-page chuck article, Bill covers all the things that you'd ever want to know about chucks.

He explains the different types of chucks, what they are good for, their advantages and disadvantages. He also has a great description on the Four Ways to Grip with a Four Jaw Chuck.

This is a wonderful resource and would be great printed out and hung on your shop wall.


How to use a Wood Glue Block
By: John Taylor
There are lots of ways to hold your turning blank onto the lathe. Using a Glue Block is one of the oldest methods is still very useful today and a favorite of many turners. If you're not familiar with using a glue, check out this great article by John Taylor. He covers how to make a glue block and how to use it. This will give you the basics and hopefully get you started on using this tried and true method of workholding.


Methods and Jigs for Reverse Turning Bowls
By: John Lucas
In this article, John shares seven different ways to hold a bowl on your lathe so that you can finish turn the bottom. If you don't know seven different ways, then reading the article is a great way to learn.


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