Turning a Platter + tips for turning highly figured wood


Mike turns a platter from a piece of highly figured walnut. The blank starts out wet and Mike shows how to rough it out and let it dry, then explains step by step the process of turning it to a finished piece. Design considerations for a high-figure blank are explained.

Products Used

3/8" Bowl Gouge

5/8" Bowl Gouge

3/4" Skew Chisel

Screw Center Chuck

VM120 Chuck

Vicmarc 5" Dovetail Chuck

Outside Calipers

Deerfos 2" Sanding Discs

Mirlon Pads

Thin CA Glue

Thick CA Glue

Aerosol Activator

Heavy Scraper

Mylands Sanding Sealer

Tried & True Varnish Oil

Dr. Kirk's Scratch Freee

Mylands Clear Wax


  • George

    I very much appreciated the video. Unlike Mark, I like the detail that Mike provides. It is always important to see the way others do what you may have been struggling with. It seems turners approach drying wood in different ways, and there numerous ways to approach a platter. So thank you Mike!

  • Granville Quinan

    Can you purchase tools with the verious grinds often used or do you have to change the grinds of purchased tools to suite your needs?

  • Michael

    Your work is always so beautiful and you are very much a perfectionist that takes great pride in your work. That is an absolute astonishing piece of art. I don’t think I could use that platter, it would be displayed on a wall. Excellent work.

  • Ben Downing

    You started with a tenon on the bottom of the platter to fit into your chuck jaws but wanted to end up with a recess for the finished piece. Is there a reason you didn’t start with a recess to fit the outer side of the jaws? Wouldn’t that have saved having to remove the tenon and loosing some of the working thickness of the platter?

  • Mark Nienstadt

    2+ hours is just too long.
    The average club demo is 60-90 minutes, and much of that is taking questions.
    This should be edited down to about 30 minutes.

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