Cheap Inertia Sanders

I use small, cheap die grinders from Harbor Freight for inertia sanding. They are small and cost about $10 when on sale. They may not be great die grinders, but the bearings are good and they have a 1/4″ collet that accepts my 2″ hook-and-loop pads.

Inertia sanding is when you hold a sanding disk to the wood while it’s spinning on the lathe. The turning wood spins the sanding disk so you don’t get straight scratches. It’s less aggressive than power-sanding, and can produce a better finish than plain flat sandpaper.

Big Drive Center

Drive Center for Roughing Bowls
I made this big drive center that I sometimes use for the initial roughing out of bowls. A standard drive center just won’t work for larger pieces or wet wood.
I rough between centers when I want to reposition the blank to center the grain, avoid (or highlight) a defect, etc.  Or for times when I don’t have a good surface for a screw chuck, or when the wood just won’t hold a screw for some reason.
I started with a 3″ faceplate and added 5 bolts.  The faceplate had a center hole so it could be used as a screw chuck. So one bolt went in there, and 4 others around the outer holes. I sharpened the ends of the bolts to a point (chuck it in a drill and spin it against a bench grinder). The center point is a bit longer than the others, which helps with initial positioning and keep the thing where it should stay.

Wood Turning by Dave Landers