I like to decorate plain wood plates so I make them to hang easily on the wall. To accomplish this I cut a groove in the bottom of the plate using a parting tool. You can see part of the plate with the groove in it in the picture at left. This groove then becomes an easy way to hold the plate using the expanding collet type chuck that I built. To make the chuck I turned a bowl from hardwood. Drilled holes aroung the outer inside edge of the bowl. Each hole has a nail in it. The circle of nails is forced outwards when the plate that fits inside the ring of nails is pulled towards the headstock by tightening the thumbscrew on the threaded rod. (This will work only on hollow shaft lathes) Be sure to make the plate slightly larger than the circle of nails. The heads of the nails stops them from being pulled through and they cannot fall out because the faceplate sits against the heads. A recess groove had to be made to accomodate the nailheads. The groove in the back of the plate has to be cut accurately since the nails do not have a great deal of movement but I have not had a plate come off this device yet.
I suppose if you have a screw chuck you could adapt something to fit a groove in the bottom of plates too. But I made this before I acquired a screw chuck, so I used this for all kinds of turnings.

John Williams Artist in Wood Turning

Nail it on OR A holder for plates using nails

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