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Thread: Quality Chucks/Jaws

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
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    1,264
    Wait a minute, I don’t think there is a unanimous vote that the Vicmarc is the best chuck in the world or the best quality. It is a quality chuck, but so are OneWay and Axminster chucks. Sorry, but I wouldn’t trade my Axminster chucks for a Vicmarc.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Lummi Island, WA
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    581
    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers;[URL="tel:3110073"
    3110073[/URL]]Wait a minute, I donít think there is a unanimous vote that the Vicmarc is the best chuck in the world or the best quality. It is a quality chuck, but so are OneWay and Axminster chucks. Sorry, but I wouldnít trade my Axminster chucks for a Vicmarc.
    Agreed - Vicmarks are nice, but certainly not better made or designed than Oneway or Axminster. Any of these chucks will hold work securely and last for decades of heavy work. These are the only three I've got direct experience with, and all my chucks are Oneway either Strongholds or Talons (also have an older Oneway tommy-bar chuck that I still use regularly for smaller work). The happy talk about open back vs closed back is not relevant, in my opinion - one person's problem is another's benefit. Open back chucks are easily inspected for dust and just as easily cleaned when necessary without having to remove a back.

    There's one thing for certain - Everyone has an opinion, that doesn't make them all valid, just different. If you've got a dealer handy, or you're in a club, take a look at them before you decide.

  3. #18
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    Jan 2013
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    sykesville, maryland
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    683
    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers View Post
    Wait a minute, I don’t think there is a unanimous vote that the Vicmarc is the best chuck in the world or the best quality. It is a quality chuck, but so are OneWay and Axminster chucks. Sorry, but I wouldn’t trade my Axminster chucks for a Vicmarc.
    Come on guys! Don't take things so literally. Geez! You miss the point.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    1,472
    Vicmarc is the best because I own one, lol. Just kidding. What it really comes down to is how much do you plan on investing in turning. I own just one chuck, a VM120 and it's never let me down. Others here have multiple chucks so they can just change the chuck vs the jaws. If you plan on owning a dozen chucks then going to a Vicmarc or Oneway is a major investment over the less expensive brands. If you are already invested in one brand and like that brand I see no reason to change as long as the jaws will work.

    As for a chuck being too heavy for the bearings? I can't see that being an issue. The out of balance rough blank is going to be much harder on them than a few extra pounds of a balanced chuck. Think about it. That 16" diameter oddly shaped log that's spinning just slow enough so your lathe doesn't walk away that's banging as you jab your bowl gouge into is far worse. I guess it could be an issue if your lathe has a VFD speed controller and people just turn the speed control to zero as fast as they can. It could sense the overload of current needed to stop the chuck from spinning and shut off. But that's just poor technique.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    692
    Speaking of the PM3520. I was considering the 2020B, which is identical to the previous generation of the 3520 except with a short bed since I don't turn spindles and for other reasons. However, the minimum height spindle to floor is 44" on this model (as it was on the 3520B) which is at least an inch higher than would be the maximum spindle height for me. I've tried 43" on my current lathe and that's pushing the comfortable turning position for me. I could buy the 3520C which starts at 40 5/8" and is adjustable upward to much more than, depending on whether you add the feet only or both the feet and the riser block. However, that is really much more lathe than I need and I have started to look at other options. I know this is change in thread subject but, other than lathes like OneWay, Robust, and Harvey (some of which also have minimum heights of 44"), any suggestions? I'm guessing this could bring a flood of posts and I know there are other threats like it already, but I do want a high quality lathe and the price range of the 3520C is OK, just more lathe than I think I need. I really do only turn bowls and am primarily looking for a lathe with significant more over bed capacity than the 12" on my Nova midi.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
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    1,637
    Randy -- If you really like the PM 2020, and I agree it sounds like it fits your needs perfectly, couldn't you simply make a short platform to stand on at the lathe? A 2x4 frame with a 3/4" plywood top would raise you up just over 4" -- making the effective spindle height only 40".
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Hoschton, Georgia
    Posts
    116
    Here's the answer to your lathe height problems:

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    692
    Sure, I could do that and thought of it. It was even suggested by Powermatic support staff. However, I don't really want to do that. It would need to be around at least the front and the tail end; maybe the head stock end also. It just seems like, when spending as much as the 2020 cost, it shouldn't be necessary. Plus, whenever I step away from the lathe I wpil;d need to be conscious of the 2" step down. Just doesn't seem right to me. I was actually shocked that Powermatic had been selling a lathe for as long as the 3520B and 2020B have been sold that the height couldn't be adjusted downward even a couple of inches. Then I found out that there are other lathes of that caliber that have a minimum height of 44"; like Harvey, one model of Robust, and I found one other but can't remember the brand. I'm 5' 8" which I guess is 1" below average. Even if I were 5"9", which is average height for the US, it still would likely be about an inch too high. The 3520C would certainly work for me. It's just a little bit larger than I need or fits well or than I wanted. I'm still looking and deciding.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Heinemann View Post
    Sure, I could do that and thought of it. It was even suggested by Powermatic support staff. However, I don't really want to do that. It would need to be around at least the front and the tail end; maybe the head stock end also. It just seems like, when spending as much as the 2020 cost, it shouldn't be necessary. Plus, whenever I step away from the lathe I wpil;d need to be conscious of the 2" step down. Just doesn't seem right to me. I was actually shocked that Powermatic had been selling a lathe for as long as the 3520B and 2020B have been sold that the height couldn't be adjusted downward even a couple of inches. Then I found out that there are other lathes of that caliber that have a minimum height of 44"; like Harvey, one model of Robust, and I found one other but can't remember the brand. I'm 5' 8" which I guess is 1" below average. Even if I were 5"9", which is average height for the US, it still would likely be about an inch too high. The 3520C would certainly work for me. It's just a little bit larger than I need or fits well or than I wanted. I'm still looking and deciding.
    I remember that height was important to me also. I ended up wit a Robust AB. I wanted 43”. Both the AB and Liberty are adjustable from 42” to 49”. So what Robust lathe are you talking about that is 44”?
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    692
    I guess it wasn't Robust since both the Sweet 16 and AB do, in fact, have minimum heights of 42" which would work for me. There were at least 2 brands I researched that started at 44". Anyway, it's getting a little late in life for me to spend over $7,000 on a lathe, especially when the Powermatic 3520C is priced much less, is adjustable to the height I require, and is also considered top end by most. The only downside would be the extra weight (getting it down into my shop) and the extra length. I most to hire local movers to move it in pieces into my shop and, since I would rarely need to park the head stock at the very end of the bed, it wouldn't take up too much more space than the 2020 in my shop and then, only while using it with the head in that position.

  11. #26
    What Jaws would be a good starting point for with a VM120 chuck?

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Mattsen View Post
    What Jaws would be a good starting point for with a VM120 chuck?
    It really depends on what you would like to do with them. I run the VM100 chucks (3) and have almost the complete jaws available, but for larger and/or heavier stuff, I use my single VM120 chuck.

    The standard jaws (if you purchase the chuck with jaws) have a minimum 48mm contraction (I work on 50mm) with expansion minimum at 68mm. The chuck has 48mm expansion which is quite a reasonable range.

    I also have dovetail jaw 105mnm part No. V00676.

    Dovetail jaw 128mm part No. V00677.

    Dovetail jaw 173mm part No. V00679.

    With these four jaw sets I have a reasonably wide range of clamping and expansion possibilities for most of the work I do. I also have the complete set of faceplate rings (four available) and utilising the VM100 and VM120 chucks I can use all four of these faceplate rings.

    As you go wider, the jaw sets have deeper dovetails. The standard jaws have 12mm deep dovetails, then a couple of jaw sets larger, the dovetails are 14mm deep, then 16mm a couple more jaw sets larger with the largest jaw set having 18mm deep dovetails.

    I have seen their largest jaw set, dovetail jaw 223mm part No. V00682, positively huge. This would probably be perfect for turning coffee table tops or wall hanging platters.

    Below is my VM120 chuck with their largest faceplate ring holding a very heavy very wet blank, that I was getting ready to core.

    Mick.

    600mm_Wet_blank_Web_003.jpg

  13. I have only used Oneway Stronghold chucks on my GO800 and they have never failed me.

  14. #29
    I tried to buy some Vicmarc chucks but everyone was out. I ended up purchasing two Axminster Evolution SK114 chucks. I am amazed at their quality. They donít require an insert, are a closed back chuck and have quite a few jaws sets available. I like that they donít have a drill press-style chuck, which it seems I always struggle to get aligned on the first attempt. I like the fact that they are made entirely in the UK and not in Asia.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Posts
    2,549
    I did not see anyone suggesting getting a spindle adapter to be able to use your existing 1" thread chucks on the 1-1/4" thread of the 2020. I use spindle adapters on a regular basis to use chucks and faceplates from midi lathe on my Powermatic 3520B and also use a spindle adapter to use the 1-1/4" thread on the 1" midi. I do not like to change inserts, and have been happy with some 1" direct thread chucks. I like to use the little 2" face plate with 1" thread from PSI is one of my favorites since I can face with 2-1/8" Forstner bit, and it gets used as a drive with the live center for support on some fairly good size green wood on my Powermatic using a thread adapter. Also cheaper than inserts.

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