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Thread: Basic Lathe Chuck Questions

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Vadnais Heights, MN
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    1,610
    I have two recommendations:
    1. Spend the extra $10-20 on a chuck that uses a key for closing. Tommy bars are a pain and there are times when you need a third hand to use them. The key makes things easy.

    2. Look for a chuck that uses an insert. There is nothing wrong with direct thread chucks but they are all for 1"-8 lathes. If you have a direct thread chuck and you ever upgrade your lathe to a 1-1/4"-8 lathe you'll need an adapter and that can lead to runout issues. If you have an insert chuck all you have to do is swap the insert. I ended up selling 4 direct thread chucks when I bought my new lathe because I didn't want to use an adapter.
    Doug Swanson

    Where are John Keeton and Steve Schlumpf anyway?

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
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    3,229
    I also recommend splurging a bit for a quality chuck. If you do, you will find the task of turning your projects much more fun and perhaps you will find that turning is LOTS of fun and may fall down the slippery woodturning slope into the vortex...... I do own 2 Nova Tommy Bar chucks, and they are fine, a bit of a pain to use, but that can save you a few bucks.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    612
    I second the opinion of getting a quality chuck with an adapter. One caviat - check the adapter once in a while. A while back, a demonstrator mentioned that its good to check the Oneway tapered adapters every now and again. a quick thump on the backside before mounting, then check the screws. He took two strongholds and gently bumped the adapters together. I was amazed that they needed tightening every now and again.
    Tommy bar chucks work fine - even better if your lathe has a spidle lock that stays engaged. It becomes a one-handed operation. I prefer them for smaller diameter pieces and most spindle work.
    Last edited by Jeffrey J Smith; 02-17-2018 at 12:59 AM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    11,658

    tapered adapters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey J Smith View Post
    I second the opinion of getting a quality chuck with an adapter. One caviat - check the adapter once in a while. A while back, a demonstrator mentioned that its good to check the Oneway tapered adapters every now and again. a quick thump on the backside before mounting, then check the screws. He took two strongholds and gently bumped the adapters together. I was amazed that they needed tightening every now and again.
    I didn't know Oneway used a taper for it's adapter. I see it's held in with three screws (and has jack screw removal built in - excellent!) But how can an adapter loosen when held by screws, do the screws vibrate loose? If so, would it not be best to use a drop of thread locker such as Loctite on the screw threads, at least the removable blue type?

    For the OP: A well-machined tapered adapter is potentially more precise than a threaded adapter. The Nova chucks use threaded adapters which seem to work fine in my experience. (I have 16 Nova chucks in four models and have had no problems with the adapters.) With all adapters it is recommended to remove any burrs and clean well before installing.

    JKJ

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
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    612
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    But how can an adapter loosen when held by screws, do the screws vibrate loose? If so, would it not be best to use a drop of thread locker such as Loctite on the screw threads,JKJ
    John - I can only assume they vibrate loose over time - I generally strip and clean all my chucks a couple times a year and have made it routine to check the adapters in the process. not all require tightening, but the ones that see the most off-balance blanks appear to need it once in a while. We’re not talking about being in danger of falling out, just a quarter turn or so...after a little bump on the adapter to seat it fully.
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 02-17-2018 at 2:09 PM. Reason: fix quote, missing bracket

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    11,658
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    ...Serrated jaws are not that great for face work on a short tenon but are perfect for spindle stock. (I prefer the serrated jaws for spindle squares.)
    I should say the serrated jaws I'm thinking of are the Nova jaws, not the Oneway. I looked at the Oneway jaws and the way they are made I'm guessing they would not be good for square stock.

    JKJ

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Posts
    2,576
    The little Apprentice Mini Chuck from Craft Supply is also a good little chuck for small items. It is a 4 jaw with key and comes with some additional items. Only comes with 1"-8 thread but that is fine for most mini/midi lathes. A lot less bulk.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    564
    There is nothing wrong with Tommy Bar chucks as they are fast and do as good a job holding your work as the keyed chucks do. If you have a spindle lock it is even faster. If no spindle lock making a long tommy bar that will rest on your lathes bed is another way of using the chuck. At any rate getting a good chuck (Nova, Vicmarc, Oneway or Axminster to name a few) is a good step towards a happy turning experience.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pleasant Grove, UT
    Posts
    1,503
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet:

    If you have a small lathe, i.e. a mini or midi lathe, it would be best to avoid a 5" chuck. While it will work, such a big honkin' chuck will stress the machine, and nothing you CAN turn on a small lathe is likely to need a chuck that large. So save the dough and get a 4"
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

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