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My Record Bowl Lathe

Bowl lathes should really be termed faceplate lathes since they give ultimate access to all parts of a faceplate turning.

bowl wood lathe

A bowl lathe is used for face plate work. My Record bowl lathe has a 3/4" x 16 spindle and takes a lot of standard accessories but I generally use a typical faceplate with it or one of the threaded wooden glue blocks that frequent my shop. In theory it will turn a 36" table top but the largest I have used it for is 24". At the low speed of 575 rpm a 36" table surface would be turning a rim speed of over 60 miles an hour. This would call for a very well fastened lathe. I know of one man who habitually uses this model lathe for turning 18" bowls. His is fastened to a heavy bench that is bolted to both floor and wall and still makes for some interesting times.

Record bowl lathe

Speed is adjusted with a fairly unique ribbed belt and pulleys and are 550, 1155, and 2475 rpm. The higher speeds allow for easy turning of small pieces. The duct tape on the cover edges helps prevent rattles from irregular pieces.

Bowl lathes, lathes with outboard turning facilities, and lathes with moving or rotating head stocks allow for easier access to some turnings, especially bowls, vases and hollow forms. This is not necessary but it is nice.