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Doc Green’s Woodturning Site
Disk Set with Holder
(An original design)

A set of disks of various diameters is quite useful when cutting bowl blanks from sections of logs.  A disk is much easier to use than a compass for determining how the cut should be made.  If an assortment of disks is at hand, you can switch from one to another to get the best fit.  The disks are cut from thin plywood or paneling, and each disk has a small hole (about 3/16”) at the center.

A bit of a problem, once you have the disks, is how to store and keep them organized so any disk can be picked out of the pack quickly.  Here is my solution.

Each disk has a hole drilled off center so that the disks can be stacked on a peg attached to a small stand.  This keeps the disks organized, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem of quick access.  There is more . . .

Note that the peg that holds the disks is sharpened to a dull point. Also, to the lower right of the disks in the photo above, you can see something else: another peg mounted on a handle.  I call this the “picker.”  

Here’s where the clever comes in.  The end of the picker peg is hollowed out so that it matches the dull point of the peg on the stand that holds the disks.  To select a disk from the middle of the pack, press the picker against the point of the peg holding the disks, and then pull disks off the peg onto the picker until you get to the one you want.  Lay the picker with its load of disks aside while you use the disk you selected.  

To return the disks to the peg for storage, simply place the picker against the peg and push the disks from the picker onto the peg.  Then, drop the picker into the rack where it stays, and the deal is done.  

The stand has a grip at the top so it can be moved about easily. Two nails and a marker are kept at the bottom.

Uses for the disks.  

1.  Draw a circle on the face of a half log.  Position the disk and then use a felt-tip  pen to draw a circle around the disk.  

2.  Find the center of a blank.  Select a disk slightly smaller than the diameter of  the blank.  Locate the disk on the blank (eyeball method) so that it is centered.   Stick the point of a pencil, pen, nail, or awl through the small hole to mark the  center on the blank.

3.  Use the disk as a guide when bandsawing the blank.  Mount the disk on the  blank using a nail inserted through the hole at the center of the disk. Drive the  nail in just far enough to hold the disk.  Then go to the bandsaw and cut around the disk.  Keep the cut away from the edge of the disk by at least 1/4”.  If the disk  tends to tilt off level, just keep on cutting; the tilt will make very little difference.