For most workshop owners, using the faceplate will be amongst the most feared tasks,
for many, the most feared. These pictures show just a small range of setups, the
possible number being very large, much more than using the lathe’s chucks The faceplate,
Photo 1, has a facility for adding a central spigot which is used as a reference
for locating parts accurately. In this case it is an angle plate on which a casting
is to be fitted for boring, Photo 2. LINK
Photo 3 shows a lathe’s centre being used as a reference to position a fence for
positioning a bearing block, Photo 4. The fence ensures subsequent blocks are bored
at exactly the same height. The setup uses faceplate dogs which enable sideways
adjustment to set the bore central. LINK
Again a centre is being used as a reference, this time to set two fences,Photo 5.
The spacer is equal to the centre’s diameter, ensuring the fences are parallel and
concentric with the lathe’s spindle. Photo 6 shows they are being used to position
a round workpiece which is being bored through its centre. Note the longer stud,
photograph 5, is being used to clamp the workpiece. LINK
Photo 7 shows a soleplate for a steam engine being bored and as there was insufficient
room for an angle plate to support it. a block of steel was machined as an alternative.
The bar on the faceplate is there just to help balance the assembly. LINK
A Con Rod, Photo 8, having been centre punched, is being positioned on a locating
plate using the lathes tailstock centre. It is held there temporarily using double
adhesive until it is clamped and bored as seen in Photo 9. LINK
If a piece of metal is too large for the lathe’s chucks then a Keats Angle Plate
is an alternative, Photo 10. Unfortunately, getting it to run true on the lathe can
be quite difficult as gravity will not be helping. Photo 11 shows it horizontal on
my Faceplate Balancing Fixture which permits the workpiece to be positioned and then
moved to the vertical position for balancing. LINK
Machining a largish flywheel is a typical task for a faceplate, at least initially,
Photo 12. It may then benefit from being lightly machined whilst mounted on a stub
mandrel ensuring that it runs true relative to its bore. LINK
If a centre punch mark, or a centre drilled impression, is made on the workpiece,
then this can be centred onto the faceplate using a centre finder, Photo 13. Where
a precise result is not required the the faceplate can be rotated manually and adjustments
made to the workpiece until the centre finder appears stationary. For a precise result
a dial test indicator can be used as seen in the photograph. LINK
Photo 14. A Tee slotted faceplate has advantages over a normal slotted plate, typically.
1.Only one hand is needed to secure the workpiece the other hand is then free to
hold and position it during the process.**
2. Fixing studs or screws can be positioned nearer the edge.
3. Normal faceplates can bend when the workpiece is clamped, but with the heavier
construction of the tee slotted plate this will be much less.
4. The plates heavier weight minimises the effect of any out of balance that results
from the position of the workpiece and its clamps.
** Of course, tee nuts can be used with a normal plate but prevents the fixing being
at either the outer or inner end of the slot.
The faceplate is actually the base for my Four Jaw Chuck Alternative. LINK
See all my pages on Using the Faceplate