Hey, I’m Bob and I Like to Make Stuff. Today, I’m gonna make a cake plate. For a long time now my wife has been asking me to make her a cake plate, and it’s not something I really have ever even thought about how to do, but I’m gonna make myself do it, because right now I need to practice on my lathe. I found this piece of maple in my stock. It’s a little bit warped, but I think once I cut it down and make a plate out of it, it’ll be fine. And I want to contrast for the stand part, so I’m going to use some pieces of walnut and make some sort of a stand to put underneath it. This project’s going to be mostly wood turning, but it’s something I really need to practice. Let’s try it out. The first step here was to cut down the stock into some usable sizes. First, I needed the walnut down to a square so that I could easily turn it into a circle. Next, I cut the maple down into two pieces and then trimmed them to width on the table saw so that together they made up 11 and 3/4 inches. The maximum size I can turn on my lathe is a 12 inch piece. After gluing these together and putting them in the clamps, I found the center of the piece of walnut by drawing lines from corner to corner. Where they intersect is the center of the piece. At that location I glued in a block to be mounted into the lathe. I also squared up a piece of walnut to use for the stem, and found the center point of both ends of this piece the same way. I set the table of my bandsaw to a 45 degree angle and then push this stem piece through to cut off the corners. This just makes it a little bit less work to turn on the lathe. Then I checked it up in the lathe and started turning it down to get it round. First, I tried to get the whole thing down to roughly a cylinder and get rid of the hard edges. Then I thinned out the center section so it flared out toward the ends of it. Once I was happy with the shape, I slowed the speed down and used some sandpaper to get a nice smooth finish. I experimented a bit with adding some grooves in different locations to try to add some detail to this so it wasn’t just a solid shape. And eventually I used a parting tool to separate the piece from the piece that was in the chuck. I was a little scared to do this for the first time, I kept expecting the piece to fly off, but as I got closer to the center I stopped the lathe and used a saw to cut it loose. With that done, I pulled the other pieces out of the clamps and got them ready to turn on the lathe. I did this by cutting off the hard corners on the bandsaw. I got a little bit ahead of myself when I glued that block on there because it turns out that it was too big to fit in the chuck that I have for my lathe, and I also just don’t even need it. I went ahead and just cut it off with a bandsaw to get rid of it. I’m gonna screw it on to the faceplate instead, and then this side with the holes in it will just end up being the bottom. Luckily the X I had drawn was still on this piece of wood so I lined it up with the holes of the faceplate to try to get it centered as best as I could. In the end it got turned down to a circle regardless of how off-center it was to start with. First, I got rid of the hard edges and got it down to a perfect circle. Then, I rounded over what would be the top edge before flipping around the tool rest and flattening out what would end up being the top surface. The pieces of maple that I’d glued together for the top still had the warp and it was really obvious, so I ran this piece through the planer – luckily it just fit within the size of my planer. After one side of that was flat, I found the center point again, and then used that center point to draw a circle that I knew would fit on my lathe. If you wanted a plate that was larger than the capacity of your lathe you could just cut it out on the bandsaw and do your best to get it as circular as possible. But for me this project is mostly about lathe practice. So I turned the piece down to a perfect circle on the outside and then started flattening down the top of the plate surface. Once I did a few passes to get the surface flat, I went a little bit deeper starting at the center point all the way to the outside edge, but leaving a small rim around the outside of the plate. I don’t quite have the control enough to get a perfectly flat surface, so I still did have to do some sanding to get a nice, even surface on the top. Even though this is really beautiful wood grain, it didn’t quite have enough nerd in it, so I decided to laser on a small joke. If you know the video game “Portal” at all, you’ll know that “the cake is a lie” is a joke that runs through that, so I thought it would be fitting to put that on a cake plate. I drilled a hole up from the bottom of the base to drive a screw into the shaft, but I also wanted to make a mortise for this to sit in. So I used a Forstner bit to make a hole in the center of the top of the base and the bottom of the plate, and then put the stem in between those with some wood glue. I also drove a screw up through the bottom of the base into the shaft to hold those together and then added some weight to the top of this while it dried. I used spray lacquer to finish this, and just to note – any finish is food safe once it’s fully cured. Here it is all finished up, and to be honest the only thing I like about this is the top. I think the top is really pretty. I really like the engraving that we put on it. But the stand, I’m just not happy with. I don’t think the pedestal has enough detail, I think the base is way too plain, even though It’s a pretty piece of wood, it could definitely use some more detail to make it more interesting to look at. And I think that’s really just a condition of me not knowing my way around the lathe that well. It’s hard for me to picture ahead of time what the details are going to look like until I cut them in, so I’m a little bit apprehensive of actually doing a bunch of work on something like this. I was kind of worried that I would end up wasting this whole big piece of walnut, when in reality I definitely should have spent more time adding more shape and more curves to it. I also figured out another thing about the lathe that I’m really not comfortable with yet, and that’s just the order of operations. I haven’t thought through enough how these pieces need to be mounted so that I always know where the center point is on both sides of every piece just in case I need to remount it on the lathe. I haven’t figured out the most effective way to chuck things up and mount pieces yet. And I think that all just comes with experience. So even though I’m not really that happy with this particular project, it was another step towards me being more comfortable with the lathe and learning a little bit more of what I don’t know and in the end I set out to make a cake plate and I made a cake plate. Let me know what you think about this project down in the comments below and I’ve got lots of other types of projects that you may be interested in. Be sure to check some of those out here. And don’t forget to subscribe. That’s it for this one, guys – thanks for watching! I’ll see you next time.