How To Make Turn Plates

Poor folks have poor ways. After pricing turn plates I decided that I'd take a shot at building some type of workable setup from materials I had laying around the shop. I'd read about folks using metal plates with grease between them. I figured that would work but I wanted to mark the plates in degrees. That's when I remembered the spare 3/8 inch plexiglass left over from one of our club trophy making projects.

1 - Cut 4 squares of the plexiglass.

Mine are 18 inch squares. I'd say 12 inches would be a minimum.

2 - Use 2 plates for each front wheel.

I need to find the center of the bottom plate so I'll draw diagonal lines from corner to corner.

3 - Clamp 2 sheets together in a vice with the straight edges matched up.

They don't have to be identical squares but try to get one side matched up on the 2 plates.

Drill the center of both sheets. Use a bit the same size as an 10 penny nail.

4 - Print the degree wheel from this link:

Punch the 10 penny nail through the target center on the degree wheel.

Place this under the plexiglass and center it using the hole you drilled.

Rotate the wheel to get the 45 degree marks lined up on the centering lines and tape it down.

5 - With the wheel in place, tie a string or thread around the nail, grab a

Sharpie and start marking the straight, outside edge, one degree at a time.

6 - After marking the bottom plate with degrees, slide the top plate on, align the straight

edges drill one corner (bottom of photo) and insert a second 10 penny nail.

This will keep the plates "registered" to each other.

Then use a straight edge and the Sharpie to mark your zero line on the top plate.


7 - A good slathering of petroleum jelly between the plates is the glide.

Cut both nails down to make them flush with the plates.

Drive the car onto or lower it onto the plates using a jack.

Remove the register nail/pin and you're ready to go to work!

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