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Turning a bracelet

Here is my description of a way to turn a bracelet that doesn't require much special turning equipment.

1. A screw chuck is used to mount the wood. First, at thin slice of scrap wood is mounted on the screw chuck to protect the chuck and the gouge. The wood for the bracelet is cut to a square piece a little thicker and wider than the desired size of the bracelet. The grain in the wood should be parallel to one of the sides of the square. A hole is drilled in the centre and the wood is screwed onto the chuck. It doesn't matter if the screw penetrates the wood.
    The large surface of the wood is trued up using the gouge as a scraper as desribed on the page 'Turning a bowl from dry wood'. It isn't necessary to true up the inner part of the wood near the screw / screw hole.

2. The square is now turned round. The more skilled may start turning directly on the corners. An easier way is to place the gouge on the inner part of the square pointing towards the edge of the square and with the bevel resting on the wood.
    If the chuck is small (as in the illustration), it is also possible to turn the square round from the very edge as done in spindle turning.
    The midlle and right side of the front part of the bracelet is turned. It is also possible to make the left part, but that requires turning against the wood fibres, which only can give acceptable results using gentle cuts with a very sharp gouge and not very easily on all types of wood.

3. Now the inneer part of the bracelet is shaped, at least a little deeper than the middle of the thickness of the bracelet. But leave sufficient material to hold the bracelet. The bracelet is then sanded on the right half.

4. The bracelet is parted off with the gouge or a parting tool, by turning through the wood on the inner side slightly further in than the bracelet. The thin scrap wood prevents the gouge from hitting the chuck.
    If the gouge is used for releasing the bracelet, a larger opening is required than shown on the drawing.
    If you feel confidential with holding the gouge with one hand, it is best to use the other hand to catch the bracelet, so that it isn't damaged when it gets loose. You may also fasten it with adhesive tape.

5. If it is the plan to make more than one bracelet, it is best to stop here and turn the other bracelets to this stage too, that will save some work and wood.
    Now a jam chuck (more information here) has to be made for holding the bracelet while turning the other side. A piece of scrap wood at least as wide as the bracelet is mounted in the lathe using the screw chuck or another method. The wood i trued up, the corners are turned off, and a jam chuck to hold the inner side of the bracelet is made. It should be half as high as the thickness of the bracelet or a little less. The surface holding the bracelet must be cylindrical and not conical to hold the bracelet well.
    The bracelet is mounted in the jam chuck and the rest of it is turned in the same way as the first part of it.
    If more bracelets are made at a time, turn them in sequence from the largest to the smallest inner diameter so that the same jam chuck can be used for all of them just reduced a little in diameter for each smaller bracelet.

Back to 'Introduction to woodturning techniques'

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