View Full Version : Show me your lathe faceplate mounting options

07-09-2010, 01:16 PM
As the title suggests, post your pics here of different ways of mounting items to your lathe faceplate for machining. I only have a 3 jaw chuck, so the faceplate is the closest thing I have to a 4 jaw chuck. And I like seeing differing ways of mounting said items. Feel free to describe your pics as well. :)

07-09-2010, 03:02 PM
The few times I've used my faceplate, I've used several short pieces of angle as hold-downs. I drilled holes in one leg, cut the other leg so it's a little longer than the thickness of the part, and used bolts through the faceplate slots.

07-09-2010, 05:25 PM

I attached a pied of plywood to this 14" faceplate so I could screw wood to it. Here I was making wood pulleys to make a back shaft for this very lathe. I jury rigged up a half horse motor to run it to make the pulleys. Lathe heal thine self. Gary P. Hansen

Here is the back shaft I make to put this 1909 Le Blond back to work.


Dr Stan
07-09-2010, 05:41 PM
In industry we would make fixtures to mount on faceplates for short production runs of oddly shaped parts, or ones which we needed to mount with pressure only on the faces to reduce warping from the chuck jaws.

07-09-2010, 05:49 PM
So far, I've only used the faceplate to clamp workpieces to it using the clamp-kit from the mill.

The piece was a cylinder that needed an off-center hole drilled through it, and off-course, it was too far off-center for the 4-jaw to work. Lined it up, clamped it down and used some of the extra clamps from the kit as weights on the opposite side of the faceplate (180 away from the cylinder I was drilling.) to counter-balance the weight. Worked pretty good really...

Other than driving lathe dogs when I'm turning between centers, that's the only project I've used it for, so far...


The Artful Bodger
07-09-2010, 06:10 PM
For some pieces I have been able to use a threaded rod in the fashion of a drawbar right through the spindle.

07-09-2010, 06:49 PM
This probably isn't all that creative, but it's the most difficult faceplate mount that I've yet to do.

The aluminum pin helps hold the two pieces in registration as I get the clamps positioned.


07-09-2010, 07:34 PM
I like a chuckable disposable face plate.

drill and tap all the holes you need, weld on it, bolt on a fixture, face it if needed, add dowel holes if needed.

much like a sacrificial sub plate for a milling machine, when it too beat up you scap it and make another one, but we found we dont need a new one the old holes are ready to chuck up and bolt down and go.

07-09-2010, 09:56 PM
The Brooks' tilting work head part shown needed the small diameter section near the center as well as the radius on the outer edge cut with the same center. This didn't leave much room for clamping without interference so I used some scrap to make a clamp for the occasion. The milling clamp on the left was to improve balance. I didn't have a face plate so I drilled a couple holes in the drive plate.



07-09-2010, 10:20 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I believe I have a relevant question along the OPs thought process

Along these lines, how do folks mount a thin (<1/4" thickness) circular plate when attempting to turn the entire face and also have it be parallel with the other face of the disk??

I've heard of using double sided sticky tape, but that seems a little too adventurous for me...


07-09-2010, 11:35 PM
That sounds like a job for a surface grinder, assuming it'll stick to a magnetic chuck.

I'd make a collet with a small step on the end to do it in the lathe. Sorta like this:
but without the raised center. (not my work, just borrowed a picture from image search)

07-10-2010, 03:09 AM
Along these lines, how do folks mount a thin (<1/4" thickness) circular plate when attempting to turn the entire face and also have it be parallel with the other face of the disk??

If it's thick enough to grip from the edge without warping, you can use a chuck with reversible jaws and some kind of spacer to make it clear the jaws.

07-10-2010, 04:07 AM
This is probably nutso, but I'll put it out there.

Take the magnetic base for your dial indicator. Chuck the rod in the lathe, and take a cut across the base so it's perpendicular to the spindle. Center your disc on the base, and turn the magnet on. It should be strong enough and rigid enough for a light cut.

07-10-2010, 04:29 AM
I had to make some new rod ends for an air cylinder. The pieces were odd shaped and I needed to bore for the graphite bushing and seals. I didnt take any stills but you can see what I did at the beginning and end of this video:


Rich Carlstedt
07-10-2010, 09:33 PM
Along these lines, how do folks mount a thin (<1/4" thickness) circular plate when attempting to turn the entire face and also have it be parallel with the other face of the disk?
I've heard of using double sided sticky tape, but that seems a little too adventurous for me...

We had to do some of that and here is one solution.
Mount a larger (OD) piece of aluminum on a face plate .Be sure to use C'sunk screws when attaching it, and have the screw heads about 3/8 below the face or more . We used 1" "tooling plate--which is very flat to start with
1. "Face" the tooling plate
2. Mount the work piece against the tooling plate and Pressure plate it, meaning you take a block of scrap flat material and drill/C'sink a hole in the middle of it, and stick it on the nose of the live center in the tail stock and put as much clamping force as possible on the work piece against the tooling plate.
3. Turn the OD of the work to finish size. Do not face !
4 Remove the work piece and Counterbore and face the tooling plate. C'bore depth should be about 1/2 of finish thickness and ID should be very close the part OD (.001~)
5 Put work back into the Tooling plate, now radially located, and retain with screws fastened near the perimeter or the work. Face all work, and then pressure plate the middle to face near the outside edge.
6 Flip the part and do the other side. Since you know the tooling plate depth, thickness is easy to get.

The above method will produce very accurate plates with parrallel faces
If you want to eliminate the pressure plating, hook up a swivel vacuum line on the left side of your lathe spindle and you have a vacuum chuck


Rich Carlstedt
07-10-2010, 09:42 PM
I should have mentioned, that the C'bore in the Tooling plate needs to have a relieved corner , so any burr will not cause the work piece to stand proud of the faced tooling plate. You can carefully mount a parting tool at a 45 degree angle to go in and relieve the corner ( the aluminum is forgiving here !).
Also Please note that most lathes have a natural con-cave crosslide that should produce a .0005" "thinner" plate in the middle.
This means if the work piece is .250 thick at the OD, it may be .249 in the center when faced on both sides. This may be worse as the Tooling plate may also have this face issue
Each lathe, tooling setup,material, cutting speed etc will affect this outcome.
Knowing your Lathe is the best answer.