Giant plate easel

There goes Glowforge solving problems again! This weekend I finally completed my largest lathe turning ever. My lathe has 16" of swing and this platter takes up 15 7/8 inches of it. Problem is, when it came time to take photos none of our plate stands fit it. For that matter, the photo booth-in-a-box barely contained it.

Glowforge to the rescue! I took a cutfile for a normal plate easel and Frankensteined it until the joint cutouts, sized for 3mm wood in the original, fit my 5mm Walnut stock. So maybe 160% over the original.

And it STILL was a bit small. I still haven’t decided if it is a giant-plate easel or a giant plate-easel. It’s awesome to identify a need for something then have the skills and tools to crank it out in a matter of minutes.

Anyway, you can see the easel here peeking out from under a platter so big it could double as a hub cap on a big truck.


I like how you fancied up the easel a bit - but I love that platter! Is that mother-of-pearl inlay?


Thanks but the embellishments in the easel were in the cutfile when I bought it. I only just learned how to make a cartoon text bubble in Inkscape. Those little spiral-tipped flourishes are still way out of my league. But I like that you thought I did that. Maybe someday I will be able to.

Abalone for the inlay. It came as a bag of small flakes but I screened it and ground up several of them. I used that to lay down a bed of fines, then arranged the flakes over top. Not the best but pretty good for a first try. Next one will be better.


The color of your giant plate is extraordinarily lovely.


Beautiful! Is that purpleheart? I’m a noob turner myself – Hubs got me a lathe for our 25th anniversary in November. We live out in the Texas boonies, so I haven’t found a nearby place to go take lessons yet, but I’m muddling along with the help of YouTube and having a lot of fun!



Yup! Found a large kiln dried board at Woodcraft and bought enough to make three 16x16x2 blanks so there will be a couple more of these. Won’t show them here though. This post was really about the plate easel and on-topic for the first post. Y’all hijacked it!

I’ve been learning on YouTube as well. Main takeaway is safety! Also, if you are thinking about a back-pack style respirator, read this before buying and get the upgraded filter. Trust me.


It’s what we do here. We don’t believe in “on-topic.” :slight_smile:


Very fine crafting there man, thanks for sharing! I think the inlay rocks. Nacre is a great material choice for inlay.


OK, you made me Google nacre and now I see the answer to the first reply above was technically “yes”. Never heard of nacre and I thought mother-of-pearl was something distinct from abalone and not the parent category. Sooooo…thanks y’all for teaching me something new tonight!


I was just admiring your work again, I love both of those organic materials, and combining them created a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Over 30 years ago I built my jewelers bench out of that wood. A cabinet maker vacated his space and left a large pile of cut-offs in the middle of the space. I was thrilled with the purple heart I found there.

Google Photos

(The darker color is due to my wiping the exterior with the only thing I had, Watco light walnut. That was stupid)

I sawed it up into my requirements for drawers and doors and stacked it up for the next day. When I cut it I was surprised the interior looked like black walnut. I though it had been dyed.
The next day I was surprised again when I found the cut surfaces that were exposed were purple, while those surfaces covered in the stack were still brown! I speculate oxidation…?
Did you have a similar experience working that wood?

Anyway, that plate/platter of yours is in the same category as jewelry. You should be proud of that. :sunglasses:

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Purpleheart will turn brown over time unfortunately. It is beautiful before it turns and is a strong stable wood.


Love the easel. Nicely done.

That said…

Okay, I’m a wood turner too. Beautiful bowl. My lathe’s swing is only 12 inches, so large projects like that are impressive. Beautiful wood and nice inlay.


I take it your headstock doesn’t swing 90° to the bed for bowl turning larger material?


Unfortunately, no. I would love to have that feature, but it’s only available on larger lathes anyway, and I probably wouldn’t use it much. I mostly turn Christmas ornaments, pepper mills and lidded boxes.


So is this a flat plate? How deep and total thickness is it? I love that purple heart


Well, flat-ish. The blank was nominally 2" thick. Finished it is about 1.5" thick. The interior slope matches the exterior so it’s definitely NOT a cutting board or charcuterie board.

This was my first time turning a piece that large and I was nervous about cutting through the bottom so I left the foot a tad tall. On the next one that rise at the rim of the foot would be maybe 1/8" and I’d lose 1/4" or so of rise sloping up to the rim. Still not flat but a much lower profile would be possible.


That is such a beautiful turning. The purple heart is stunning. :blush:


And this is why I love this board!! “Wood turner”…“lathe”…these are terms that honestly have never been on my radar. And now I get to nerd out and learn all about new (to me) creative processes. :smile: With that said, great job on the easel! And the plate is gorgeous.


I occasionally binge-watch wood turning videos. This plate takes the cake! :birthday: And the stand is just what we need lasers for.