In roughing out the center for Napkin Rings, Jewel Boxes, etc., the quickest method is to work it out with a small gouge.
Place the gouge on the rest parallel to the bed of the lathe, having the point even with the center of the stock.
Force the gouge into the wood until a hole is bored to the depth required. If the hole is deeper than 1", remove the tool often and clear out the shavings in order not to burn the point.
In order to enlarge the hole to the proper size the point of the gouge is pressed against the left side of the hole a little above the center and a shearing cut is taken. To obviate the danger of the tool catching, all cuts should start from the back of the hole and proceed toward the front.
After the sphere is turned as nearly perfect as is possible when working between centers (Steps 1 to 4) it is cut free from the waste stock and is centered in a chuck.
The chuck is made of any soft wood and should be cut in the end grain, which will insure equal pressure on all sides. Equal pressure cannot be obtained if the Chuck is cut in cross grain wood, owing to the tendency of side grain to give more than the end grain. The sphere should be forced into the chuck with slightly over half protruding. Very thin cuts should be taken and the sphere should be revolved one-quarter turn after each until true. As the sphere becomes smaller during the cutting, it will be necessary to cut the face of the chuck down and bore the hole deeper and smaller in order to keep more than half of it protruding at all times.
To remove the sphere tap the chuck lightly with a hammer just above it, at the same time pull out on the sphere.