by Phil Colson
There are times when a piece of wood I am trying to mount on the lathe is uneven, whether it be naturally uneven or I have bandsawed it that way. I was turning a crotch piece and I didn't want to bandsaw it straight across, which would have cut away part of the crotch. I also didn't want to use a 4 prong or 2 prong drive center and have it mess up the bottom of the crotch.
I remembered a drive device that Al Stirt uses so he can adjust the piece to balance the rings in the bottom of the bowl. A story for another column, but you can
look Al up on YouTube
. I just needed a way to put almost any configuration on a drive.
I took a piece of dry oak (any hard wood will do) and put a tenon on it and rounded it. Once in the chuck it stood out about an inch. I then drilled two pilot holes and counter-sinked. I used Spax screws because they are very strong and don't break easily. They have a serrated tip and move into the wood easily. Once pressure is applied from the live-center, they sink into the wood and hold fast.
Now I have a way to drive any shape or size wood I desire to turn.
It works for me.
Phil can be reached directly via email at
The Highland Woodturner