I made a center finder thing to mark the center of a chucked piece. I often have a bowl or hollow form that has a tenon for my chuck, but no center mark. If I want to reverse mount it, like in a jam chuck or vacuum chuck, it’s really helpful to know where the center is.
This tool fits right down into the spindle threads, and I can tap the knob to mark the center.
I took a scrap piece of wood and carefully turned a cylinder to just match the threads. I then drilled a hole to match some scrap rod I had laying around. I sharpened the rod to a point and epoxied a knob onto the end.
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