Wood Turning Logo for aroundthewoods.com woodturning tips, techniques and instructions

Wood Turning Bottom Jaws: making your own - Page 1

A set of jumbo sized jaws for your four-jaw chuck can be easily made in your home workshop and used to finish lots of bowl bottoms.

a large circle in plywood for home made jaws

As I tend to turn about six or eight bowls in a row and then let the finish dry to later finish the bottoms, I decided I needed, or at least wanted, a quick way to do the bottoms. One Way makes a great set of large jaws for my One Way chuck, but the price is beyond me. So I made one. To start with I took a piece of 3/4" plywood about 14" on a side and drew as large a circle as I could on it.

plywood marked in quarters for jumbo jaws

A little geometry and it was divided into 4 quadrants.

 continued marking for woodturning chuck jaws

A little more geometry and each quadrant was divided into thirds, complete with an easily corrected error

 locations for hold down screws marked

Starting from the center. the trisectors were marked each inch for holes to hold the bowl hold-downs, beginning with the 3 inch mark.

 using a four jaw chuck jaw for marks

With one of the jaws carefully lined up, holes are marked for drilling.

 jaws cut for drilling

Then to the bandsaw and the circle and jaws are cut ready for drilling.

 jaws ready to be mounted to a four jaw woodturning chuck

After drilling 1/4" holes for the hold-downs and 8mm holes for the jaws, there are four jaws ready to go.

 mounted to the chuck slides

They are mounted to the chuck slides with 8mm machine screws.

 woodturning jaws mounted to the bowl lathe

And then placed on the bowl lathe. Next for the hold downs.