Rough out turnings at the router tableIf you bring your square blank closer to a cylinder before you start turning, it's easier.
Most wood turners create cylinders entirely on the lathe, starting with square stock. This requires a fair amount of rough turning and several adjustments to the tool rest until they get close to a circular section. After marking centers as usual, I speed up the process by making four preliminary passes over a chamfer or a roundover bit on the router table, one along each corner. For best results use a bit that’s a little smaller than half the thickness of the turning blank, say a 3/4-in. roundover bit for a 2-in.-sq. blank, and be sure to use push pads and sticks to keep your hands safe.
—BILL CHRISTIE, Brevard, N.C.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #304