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Thread: Lathe Chuck Question

  1. #1
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    Lathe Chuck Question

    I own a small Delta benchtop lathe with a 1 x 8 tpi spindle.

    I want to make a pool cue stick which is basically a tapered spindle from 1 1/4" to 7/8" dia. I will need to do some end boring too.

    I am not interested in bowl making, making larger spindles or pen making. So, the intended use of my chuck is very specific.

    I like the Grizzly H8042 5" 4-jaw lathe chuck because it reminds me of a standard drill press chuck, just larger. Pic below.

    I was also looking at offerings like the Nova G2, Apprentice, etc. which use removable jaws. However, I like the idea of just tightening the chuck to the object's diameter without the making a specific tenon to receive the chuck. So, the H8042 seems like a good solution.

    What is the downside of the H8042 chuck regarding holding power or vibration? I cannot find any info on SMC, the internet or Youtube on them or chucks like them. Amazon has some remarks on the H8042, but they are quite mixed. Any thoughts are appreciated.


    cheers, Jeff

    Chuck.jpg
    Thank goodness for SMC and wood dough.

  2. #2
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    Hard to see in the photo but are those jaws pointed where they grip? If so, that is great for metal but not so good for wood since the points can compress the wood and dig in. I can't imagine them holding very well compared to the jaws on the Nova, etc. Regardless of what you plan to turn, chucks with replaceable jaws are nice since when you decide to make something else you can just get some different jaws.

    Jaws that are made with circular bores hold very well when the tenon is sized just a hair over the inside diameter of the jaws when fully closed. They don't dig in. It's usually no problem turning the tenon - put the blank between centers and turn with anything, even a parting tool, using a caliper of some sort for sizing, takes only 30 seconds or so. You can also use jaws like that on square blocks, fitting the corners between the jaws. I very often hold spindle blanks that way instead of cutting a tenon. If the block doesn't fit with the jaws all the way open, I might even reduce the size of the square with the bandsaw. You might be able to see the square block being held in one of the Nova jaws in the upper part of this photo.

    crop_handle_detail.jpg

    For long spindles I like the jaws that are fairly deep in the center, about a inch or so. I have some that are "long nose" which grip square or round spindles extremely well:
    https://www.amazon.com/NOVA-6017-Nos.../dp/B0064JJBS8
    long_nose_jaws.jpg

    Also, the one shown looks like a "tommy bar" chuck, using the two rods to tighten. People have been using these for a long time but a scroll chuck with a key to tighten (such as the Nova G2 or Supernova is a lot more convenient.

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    I would skip the Grizzly chuck, in my opinion it is a metal lathe chuck. I also recommend studying about making pool cues before investing any money in tooling. One of the guys I know is a cuemaker, and he uses specialized lathes and other stuff that resembles wood lathe tooling, but that is about all. Can a pool cue be made on a Delta Midi? I suppose so, but for a quality cue, without the proper equipment it will be a difficult "trip".

  4. #4
    I worked at Grizzly. That chuck is made for wood...

  5. #5
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    That grizzy chuck looks excessively large and heavy for such a light object and expensive also.

  6. #6
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    Another thing to consider is that Grizzly chuck uses Tommy bars for tightening. Depending on when you are trying to grip you may need a third hand to get things tight. I would spend a little more and look for a chuck that uses a wrench for tightening....
    Doug Swanson

    Where are John Keeton and Steve Schlumpf anyway?

  7. #7
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    Regardless that it is made for wood it would be a bad choice for wood as John K points out. I cannot think of any case where that chuck would be useful on wood. I also think research into the making of pool cues would be very helpful. The cue maker I know uses a lot bigger lathe and a specialized lathe to boot.

  8. #8
    Jeffrey, other then for the size of your lathe, that chuck would do what you need. But you would need to add a proper set of jaws, then you could use it. As it is shown it is in need of a set of jaws, I think that all your seeing in the picture is the jaw sliders. I don't care for that style of chuck, I don't like using the tommy bars. I would spend a little extra to get one that uses a chuck key, I find them much easier to use.
    Len

  9. #9
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    This is the Grizzly chuck, and no good for holding wood, these jaws are maybe suitable to hold metal or similar hard material.

    As for making pool cue, or pool cue stick, that is possible, you just need the ability to do it, but not with that chuck, good luck.

    H8042 5%22 4 jaw chuck.jpg
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 05-03-2018 at 1:24 PM. Reason: fat fingers


    Have fun and take care

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Mullin View Post
    ....But you would need to add a proper set of jaws, then you could use it. As it is shown it is in need of a set of jaws, I think that all your seeing in the picture is the jaw sliders. ...
    The picture here shows it much better: http://www.grizzly.com/products/5-4-...-x-8-TPI/H8042

    grizzly-chuck.jpg

    It looks like the jaws are built in and are reversible, like those on a chuck I have for my metal-cutting lathe. The ad claims to they are for wood and will hold square stock securely.

    Regardless, I would not want one, especially for holding a long spindle like a handle.

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Beitz View Post
    I worked at Grizzly. That chuck is made for wood...
    That chuck is like a lot of chucks that were metal lathe chucks that ignorant companies converted to wood lathe chucks without enough knowledge to do it correctly. The metal lathe version of this chuck has a thicker body but the same jaws that have little or no holding power on wood.

  12. #12
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    if you left the wood square where the chuck jaws lie it would be better that a spur drive that a lot of us started with

  13. #13
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    Upon watching many cue making videos on Youtube, and talking with small custom cue makers at a national expo last month, it appears that the lathe(s) of choice are metal working lathes for cue making, not woodworking. So, I'm looking to do a hybrid thing with a wood lathe as I'm just a hobbyist.

    Small cue makers appear to use metal jaw-type chucks to hold the hardwood stock. Often, they use a plastic bushing to protect the finished cue end while the other end is being worked on. A metal chuck accepts a finished cue end while the other end is being worked on. So, a drive spur is not used.

    As a side note...I also believe they use a metal lathe because much of the turning is done with a live tool (aka, spindle router) to cut the many materials that in a custom cue spindle, as well as effectively cut the thin shafts (i.e., the front part of the cue) absolutely true. The tool is on a powered linear worm feed for smooth movement, as well as for making threaded joints. They also use an X-Y tool feed that a metal lathes offer to do precision machining of the cue's ferrules, and for boring and threading operations. However, I think I can get around these things with my little wood lathe and the cue design I came up with. I'm also going to buy a production composite shaft.

    I agree that the Grizzly chuck is like a metal chuck. However, the jaws are short as some folks pointed out even for a metal chuck. I don't think they are serrated either. Therefore the holding power may be compromised when using with wood. And, if it's poorly made, it may also have run-out to further aggravate its gripping power.

    Has anyone used this chuck? A 'real' metal one won't adapt to my woodworking lathe (1 x 8 tpi). And, a typical wood chuck like Nova, Apprentice, etc., requires a tenon on the spindle which inhibits boring operations and finishing operations.

    -Jeff
    Thank goodness for SMC and wood dough.

  14. #14
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    A metal chuck can have a backplate that fits your lathe spindle.

    The use of a metal lathe is for the precision and having the ability to offset the tailstock to get the exact taper when machining with the carriage moving along the ways with the tool held in the tool post and with the help of the follower to prevent deflection of the wood.

    The biggest problem with cue making is keeping the wood straight, having straight wood and keeping it that way when drying.

    I know that I would not use that kind of a chuck to turn any wood, but you can try, there are different ones if these won’t do it, makes a good door stop then


    Have fun and take care

  15. #15
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    I suppose that if the plastic bushing was square on the outside that it might work. In fact, I suppose that if you used a plastic bushing that you could tighten the chuck enough so that the wood wouldn't slip/spin/pull out and the plastic may not dent from the concentrated force of the ends of the jaws.

    But, if you are on a tight budget and are just looking for an entry-level/cheap chuck, consider the Griz G8784. It only costs $69. But it also only has one set of jaws. I used the 3/4 x 16 version for a few years when I first got started. I even made some different sized jaws for it to expand its capability.

    The Nova (a few bucks more but still a less expensive chuck) might be a better choice. It seems extremely similar physically to the Griz G8784 IIRC. The benefit of the Nova is you can buy a variety of other jaws for it. They even have a set of soft jaws that may work well with pool cues.

    I'm curious... you mention that you own a small Delta midi lathe. How are you going to handle a 57-59" long cue on such a short lathe? (BTW, plan to build a steady rest to keep the cue from whipping in the center...).

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