This Christmas I got several new tools/toys for my lathe. I have been trying to experiment with them to get comfortable and to understand how beneficial they are. For this post I will review a spindle stabilizer and a home-made jam chuck that I have been using for natural edge bowls. I hadn’t thought of a reason to use the stabilizer until last night while I was working on a deep bowl with thin walls. I was getting a bunch of vibration while trying to get the final cut close to the rim, which was a natural edge so it was all that much harder. I figured that was as good a reason as any to try out my new tool.
It really wasn’t made for this exact application but I think it worked well enough once I had everything tightened down properly. With the lathe turned on the whole system vibrated more than I expected but I was able to finish the wall of the bowl without creating vibration marks.
After I finished the inside of the bowl I am always left with the problem of how to finish off the bottom. A few months ago I first tried finishing up a deep natural edge bowl and found that my standard jam chuck configuration caused the edges of the bowl to extend so far towards the drive portion of the lathe that it wouldn’t turn. This might be a common solution but I simply took a scrap 4×4 and put a foot on one end and turned the other end so I could screw a jam chuck to it. With the extension in place I am free to finish the bottom of the bowl without fear of messing up the natural edge I worked so hard to preserve!