Irregular piece? Cut out the waste before turning
I liked Dick Ayer's tip (December/January 2009/2010 issue) for using an acrylic disc to mark centers on odd-shaped turning blanks so much, I made one myself, and I added a few improvements.
Drill a hole large enough for a nail set or awl in the disc's center and on each of the concentric circles. Tap the nail set into the center and insert a pen or pencil through the hole of the circle that encompasses the largest area of fully workable wood. Rotate the disc, using it as a compass to mark the end of the blank. Cut off most of the waste wood on the bandsaw to save time on the lathe.
—Keith Jones, Epworth, Ga.