Harold Hall

Workshop Projects


Quick Set Face Plate, (Hemingway Kits), Harold Hall

The suppliers catalogue states for this item "A faceplate provides the ultimate versatility in accepting irregularly shaped jobs for boring and facing. But oh don't we wince when we know that a component requires this treatment!". With those sentiments, they obviously feel that this faceplate will go some way towards easing the task. Interestingly, these thoughts are much like my opening comments in my process pages for "Lathe’s Faceplate, Methods for Using"


The kit, seen in Photograph 1, includes both the faceplate and angle plate castings together some pieces of mild steel, the purpose of which will become apparent later, plus some hardware items. The method for machining these includes the use of a milling machine but if you do not own one then the supplier suggests a method using just a lathe.


The main feature of the faceplate is that its slots are arranged differently to the normal radial slots of a conventional faceplate as is apparent from the Photograph. The plate is 7-3/4" diameter and would therefore suit any lathe with a centre height of 4" or more. Smaller lathes having a gap bed would also accept the faceplate providing the height in the gap was sufficient. It is a substantial casting and appreciably more robust than my standard 6" faceplate.



First grind a chamfer of about 1 to 2mm around both sides of the outer diameter and around the boss on the rear. The purpose being to reduce the problems with machining away the casting's skin that may possess some hard spots, as this, permits the machining to approach via the edge of the skin which is much easier than having to break through it.


Ideally, use an angle grinder outside for the task as the will avoid the air born dust reaching all parts of the workshop if done inside. In any case, access to the boss is likely to be very difficult if attempted using the off hand grinder.

I do realise that non UK viewers may find the transport costs for the castings that make up this kit prohibitive, as a result, making this project a non starter. However, I would though suggest that the project is worth studying as some of the methods, and the principle behind the design, may be of interest. For those interested, details of the castings can be found on the "Hemingway Kits" web site.

Face Plate, Quick Set


All pictures can be clicked on to provide a larger view