finding center

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Forum topic by Karda posted 06-17-2019 02:51 AM 339 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1586 posts in 976 days

06-17-2019 02:51 AM

how do you find the center of a bowl blank the blanks thanksat is not perfectly round or square. same for
spindle blanks

6 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5654 posts in 4085 days

#1 posted 06-17-2019 03:06 AM

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1584 posts in 2152 days

#2 posted 06-17-2019 04:07 AM

Mike, go to WB and check out my reply…......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Wildwood's profile


2673 posts in 2557 days

#3 posted 06-17-2019 12:40 PM

1. Every turner should have set of these.

2. An awl:

3. This work great for bowls and spindle blanks:

Have all of these things and some homemade things that work too! On odd shape pieces as long as close don’t always worry about exact center, will just turn it round anyway.

Some of these things can find locally in hardware or big box stores, pawn shops or flea markets.

-- Bill

View Karda's profile


1586 posts in 976 days

#4 posted 06-17-2019 06:28 PM

Hi thanks for your input, Right now my concern is a tool handle I am going to make. I want to make sure it is well centered so the tenon will be centered so the gouge is centered. I was thinking about a center finder like the one Bill posted but they look like they would work only for perfect circle or square

View Wildwood's profile


2673 posts in 2557 days

#5 posted 06-17-2019 07:01 PM

If using one of these and go to each corner and mark a line you will have four paralell lines with little square or rectangle in center of the spindle blank. Just take your mallet or hammer & awl and tap a hole of rectangle or square, this should be close enough on both ends of the blank.

Combination squares any size will do same thing using same procedure:

Will sometimes use a 12” machinist ruler or and straight edge will work using same procedure too. While not a machinist ruler something like this will work too.

-- Bill

View gwilki's profile


306 posts in 1896 days

#6 posted 06-18-2019 01:13 PM

@karda: The centre finder that Bill posted works well on irregular shapes. For shapes with “square” corners, simply use the finder to draw lines from all four corners. You will end up with a very small rectangle that you will easily be able to find the centre of. For round shapes, you use the other side of the finder and you simply rotate the finder around the piece, drawing several lines. Again, you will end up with a very small spot between the meeting point of the lines. You will easily be able to punch the centre.

As for tool handles, FWIW, I drill the hole as close to the centre as possible, but not worrying too much about being spot on. Then, I mount the handle between a steb centre in the head stock and a cone in the tail stock. The cone presses into the hole. Then, I turn the handle to the shape that I want. That way, the hole has to be in the exact centre of the final handle.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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