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Thread: The automatic woodturning chuck

  1. #1
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    The automatic woodturning chuck

    Thought I would show you my 'press button' automatic woodturning chuck... just press the button and the jaws open or close...

    If I was selling it I would say something like, this is the next big step in the development of woodturning equipment...



    • With just the press of the button it opens and closes the chuck jaws
    • It provides a fast automatic one handed chuck operation
    • It can be easily retrofitted to most modern chucks
    • Can finely adjust the contraction and expansion tension applied to blanks
    • You will no longer have to go looking to find the chuck key in the shavings
    • Reduces the risk of not seeing that you have left the key in the chuck


    And the good news is that you probably already have one... at no extra cost!

    ---- > https://youtu.be/TyglfOYVNYI

    I've dedicated my old 12v battery drill for this and have it within reach next to the lathe. It considerably speeds up the opening and closing of the jaws on scroll chucks and the tension applied to dovetails and tenons is set with the screw dial on the drill.
    Last edited by Neil Strong; 05-15-2022 at 5:56 AM.
    Neil

    About the same distance from Steve S heading East or West.

    It's easy to see the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others, but a bit of a conundrum when it comes to yourself...



  2. #2
    Join Date
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    It sure doesn't take much time to release the grip of the chuck with the wrench, like maybe 3 seconds? I also try to hit a certain diameter so the next bowl is within 1/8" from the last bowl for that best grip with Oneway chucks. But glad you like it.

  3. #3
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    Neil -- I'll keep that technique in mind should arthritis make it too painful for me to turn the chuck key by hand. Of course, when that day comes, I probably won't be able to hold a turning tool...
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I also try to hit a certain diameter so the next bowl is within 1/8" from the last bowl for that best grip with Oneway chucks.
    Understood, Richard.

    I prefer to work in a different way myself, matching the diameter of the tenons and recesses to the design requirements of the piece and that is dictated by each blank from the tree, which are all different, so few diameters are the same. This means that I need to have many different sized jaws on their dedicated chucks. I do turn in batches but not clustered around diameter.

    I don't have any Oneway chucks, so I'm not familiar with those, but do have quite a few Novas and Vicmarcs, about half a dozen of each. So, I'm unlikely to diversify further into Oneways, but I do understands that they are a quality chuck...
    Neil

    About the same distance from Steve S heading East or West.

    It's easy to see the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others, but a bit of a conundrum when it comes to yourself...



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walser View Post
    Neil -- I'll keep that technique in mind should arthritis make it too painful for me to turn the chuck key by hand. Of course, when that day comes, I probably won't be able to hold a turning tool...
    ...

    Yes, very easy to use and far quicker, which is what I like most about using this on my chucks. I rack my chucks with the jaws fully closed (a safety measure help the jaws survive should I drop the chuck) so there is quite bit of travel to get to the max position in contraction mode or close before returning to the rack.
    Neil

    About the same distance from Steve S heading East or West.

    It's easy to see the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others, but a bit of a conundrum when it comes to yourself...



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Strong View Post
    ...

    Yes, very easy to use and far quicker, which is what I like most about using this on my chucks. I rack my chucks with the jaws fully closed (a safety measure help the jaws survive should I drop the chuck) so there is quite bit of travel to get to the max position in contraction mode or close before returning to the rack.
    You are the first person I've heard of doing that. Have you damaged a chuck that way in the past?

  7. #7
    Well, I haven't done this, yet. Main thing I would stress about this is having a good clutch on your drill. I do have an old Dewalt drill, 25 or so years, and it has the best clutch of any I have used. The newer ones seem to be 'self adjusting' which can have a negative side effect of breaking off screws. I learned a long time ago to use just enough clutch to set the screw, but not enough to break it off. Hated removing broken screws from face plate bowls...

    I did just get an Easy Chuck, and have yet to put it to the test....

    robo hippy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    You are the first person I've heard of doing that. Have you damaged a chuck that way in the past?
    Not irreparably, Richard, but I've been using scroll chucks of one sort or another since they first became available so it's inevitable with handling them many thousands of times that one or two have slipped away from my hands over that time. The chuck bodies are fairly indestructible... it's the jaws that are more vulnerable. Closing them up before removing from the lathe at least provides support from the adjacent jaws when the inevitable happens.

    I have 're-machined' jaws to restore their dovetail edge... by placing an insert in the jaws to hold them firmly in their true circle position, then filing with jigs held in the tool post. If a lot of metal had to be removed I have also used fresh TC tips and very very fine cuts (one of the few uses I have for those). The advantage of doing the restoration on your wood lathe and not on a metal lathe (if you have access to one) is that there will be no issue with runout when you mount the chuck back on the spindle of your wood lathe.

    Nowadays I have thick rubber mats on the floor, mainly to save my feet from the hard/cold concrete floor, but it also helps a bit to spare my turning tools and chucks from drops, as well as the occasional half finished escapee from the lathe, although they inevitable clip the lathe on their way through to somewhere else in the workshop!

    If you are interested in a little history on the development of the modern woodturning chuck I ran a thread on that elsewhere...

    https://www.woodworkforums.com/f8/de...g-chuck-240458

    I think you can see the images in those posts even if you are not a member.
    Neil

    About the same distance from Steve S heading East or West.

    It's easy to see the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others, but a bit of a conundrum when it comes to yourself...



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    Well, I haven't done this, yet. Main thing I would stress about this is having a good clutch on your drill. I do have an old Dewalt drill, 25 or so years, and it has the best clutch of any I have used. The newer ones seem to be 'self adjusting' which can have a negative side effect of breaking off screws. I learned a long time ago to use just enough clutch to set the screw, but not enough to break it off. Hated removing broken screws from face plate bowls...

    I did just get an Easy Chuck, and have yet to put it to the test....

    robo hippy
    That Easy Chuck looks like it is a hybrid between the Vicmarc VM150 chuck and the (discontinued) Nova Infinity Quick Change jaw system. The VM150 provides both quick open and closing with levers and also tightening up with a T-hex key. Nova brought out its Infinity Quick Change jaw system (30 sec jaw changeover) to speed up the process and overcome the looking for screws in the shavings issue. Not sure why it was discontinued.

    Like the Easy Chuck, the VM150 isn't cheap, but with the fast open and close provided by my battery drill (yes, you need a one with a good clutch and not 'self adjusting') I didn't need that feature at extra cost.

    As for the quick jaw changing, I went with a dedicated chuck for each of my regularly used jaws sets. With over a a dozen chucks that wasn't cheap, but they have paid for themselves probably several times over by now.

    If it works well, the Easy Chuck looks like an interesting hybrid. The jaw range would be too limiting for my purposes, but may be sufficient for many other turners.

    I look forward to reading your impressions of it Reed.
    Neil

    About the same distance from Steve S heading East or West.

    It's easy to see the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others, but a bit of a conundrum when it comes to yourself...



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