Custom Centering Cones

I could not live without my Custom Centering Cones that I have turned out of ultar-high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene.

I have turned lots of different shapes and use them often.  

In 2007, I wrote a magazine artificial that explains how to turn your own cones out of UHMW.

See my “Custom Centering Cones” magazine article on page 49 of “American Woodturner, The Journal of the American Association of Woodturners, Winter 2007, Vol. 22, No. 4″  Or click here for PDF.  (Magazine photos by Joe Larese)

Collet Chucks

I find collet chucks convenient for holding small work.  

Collets typically come in standard dowel sizes 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, or 3/4″.   So it is very easy to mount a chunk of dowel as a turning blank.  Or you can mount a turning blank between centers and turn a tenon.  I like to use 3/4″ diameter tenons when possible.

I own both the “Beall Collet Chuck” and the “Apprentice Collet Chuck”.   The Apprentice Collet Chuck is sold under a number of different names by different retailers.

Apprentice Collet Chuck

I really like the Apprentice Collet Chuck better than the Beall Collet Chuck.   Because the knurled rings on the Apprentice allow you to tighten and loosen it with out wrenches most of the time!

Avalilable from Craft Supplies USA, Penn State, Etc.

Beall Collet Chuck

The Beall Collet Chuck does not have any knurled rings.   The smooth body on the Beall chuck makes it difficult to hand tighten and almost impossible to loosen with out wrenches.   Using the wrenches on the Beall chuck is a pain!

The Apprentice chuck is cheaper and you can use wrenches on it if hand tighen/loosen is not adequate.

The Beall chuck is available from Packard, Craft Supplies USA, etc.

ER32 Collets

The Apprentice and Beall chucks use the same “standard” ER32 spring collets developed for the metal working industry.  If you need more sizes of collets you can easily find them on Ebay, Mcmaster, MSC, Enco, etc. 

There are lots of different ways to mount ER32 collets in metal lathes.   I recommend you avoid these solutions.   The Apprentice and Beall chucks are cheaper and easier.  Just screw them on.  No drawbar required, etc.

Collectors of Wood Art

A lot of galleries that use to show and sell woodturnings have fallen on hard times due to the economy.

The “Collectors of Wood Art” is a club of people interested in collecting (purchasing) high end wooden art (woodturings, etc).   Over the last few years they have been attending AAW  International Symposium.

They have a good web site where artists show there work.   Many of the big time artists have some great eye candy out there.  See

Check out the work of

J Paul Fennell
Clay Foster
Christian Burchard
John Jordan
Jerry Kermode
Michael Mode – I love the castle like pieces he has been making.
Binh Pho
Joey Richardson
Hayley Smith
Steve Sinner
Keith Tompkins
Malcolm Zander

And many more.

I recently joined.   My artist profile is here: