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Thread: Screw chuck recommendation

  1. #1
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    Screw chuck recommendation

    I currently use a Nova four jaw chuck with their woodworm screw and that's been okay.

    I'd like to have a dedicated screw chuck and have read positive reviews of the Glaser product here. The threads look sharper than some other screws I've seen and it looks very well made but it's priced a bit high for me..

    Any other chucks you would recommend? How about the Craft Supplies screw chuck?
    https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p...=screw%20chuck

    Thanks
    RD

  2. #2
    For smaller bowl blanks I use the Craft Supplies dedicated screw chucks a lot, mainly the larger one. Never had a problem with them. I'd love to get the Vicmarc dedicated screw chuck because it offers a wider base, but it is expensive for my budget.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Don.

    This looks like it fits their chuck unless you have a different one.


    • The Jumbo Reversible Collar provides a 4-1/2" and 6-1/2" face that's ideal when chucking large bowls and platters. For use with the Precision Machine 3-in-1 Screw Chuck.
    • Machined from a solid aluminum billet

    https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p...ersible-Collar
    RD

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post
    I currently use a Nova four jaw chuck with their woodworm screw and that's been okay.

    I'd like to have a dedicated screw chuck and have read positive reviews of the Glaser product here. The threads look sharper than some other screws I've seen and it looks very well made but it's priced a bit high for me..
    Ö
    Richard, Iíve used several and for me the Glaser is worth the extra cost. I use one to start nearly all face turnings, bowls, platters, etc. In fact I like this chuck so much I bought a second one when Glaser Hitec finally produced them after Jerry passed away. I got the second one mostly as a backup since I would REALLY hate to be without it if I lost or broke the original (both unlikely, but hey) I got my first one directly for Jerry a bunch of years ago and it shows no sign of deterioration.

    The hardened screw is machined to have a very sharp thread which bits easily the wood and holds well. I drill a 1/4Ē hole in the blank. The woodworm screws that come with Nova chucks and other sources are crudely made in comparison.

    Note that you can save a little when you purchase from Alan Lacer instead of Hitec: https://stores.alanswoodturningstore...-screw-chucks/ Thatís what I did for the second one.

    I wish you were close enough that you could try one of mine before you decided. I have no experience with the one from Craft Supplies but Iíd like to try one to compare.

    JKJ

  5. #5
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    Richard -- I have the Precision Machine 3" Screw Center Chuck from CSUSA. It works very well. I got mine before they came out with their 3-in-1 chuck, which you linked to. Is the 3-in-1 chuck worth $30 more than the version I have? Maybe. I seldom turn smaller items using a screw chuck, so I don't know that I'd have much use for 1.5" and 2.5" versions of the 3-in-1 chuck. Instead, I often find I want one that is larger than the 3" version that I have. However, I have a few plywood disks that I use for this purpose. Generally, I find the length of the screw longer than I need. Adding a 3/8" plywood disk to the chuck increases the chuck's effective diameter, while still leaving plenty of threads on the screw exposed for work holding. YMMV.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  6. #6
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    My professional woodturning mate got one of those Glaser screw chucks from Jerry way back when... and he reckons it was the best he used for when he was doing production work. He and I both predate most modern innovations in woodturning chucks, so we have tried out most of the options as they have come along.

    I got my brother (a lecturer in fitting and turning at trade school) to machine one up with the same thread profile as Jerry's. It was better than the stock screws that come with most chucks, but not overwhelming so, IME, and certainly not enough to trouble him to make some more for me or buy some from Jerry.

    I use screw chucking on bowls up to about 16" and on larger platters. Above that and on deeper forms I use faceplate rings as I do all faceplate work outboard and without tailstock support, so need a firmer hold with those. I also find it easier to release larger pieces from faceplate rings than screw chucks as the torque on the screw with larger pieces makes them very difficult to unscrew without marring the completed outside of the piece.

    One of the benefits of the stock screws is that you get one with each chuck. I can have up to half a dozen pieces off the lathe secured to screw chucks waiting to go back on the lathe, so the cost for that number of dedicated screw chucks would be consideration for me.

    Another benefit of the stock screws is that they can be secured in almost any of the available chuck jaw sets, which provide a wide range of 'backing plate' sizes right up to 8".

    Before those, we had to make our own DIY screw chucks... it's not difficult, all you need is a block of wood and a lag screw. Make it with a S/S M12-1/2 lag screw and it won't let go in a hurry... 316 grade S/S has twice the tensile strength of mild steel. And, if that thread isn't 'sharp' enough for you, just grind out some of the thread flanks with a diamond burr in a Dremel.
    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...



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Richard, Iíve used several and for me the Glaser is worth the extra cost. I use one to start nearly all face turnings, bowls, platters, etc. In fact I like this chuck so much I bought a second one when Glaser Hitec finally produced them after Jerry passed away. I got the second one mostly as a backup since I would REALLY hate to be without it if I lost or broke the original (both unlikely, but hey) I got my first one directly for Jerry a bunch of years ago and it shows no sign of deterioration.

    The hardened screw is machined to have a very sharp thread which bits easily the wood and holds well. I drill a 1/4Ē hole in the blank. The woodworm screws that come with Nova chucks and other sources are crudely made in comparison.

    Note that you can save a little when you purchase from Alan Lacer instead of Hitec: https://stores.alanswoodturningstore...-screw-chucks/ Thatís what I did for the second one.

    I wish you were close enough that you could try one of mine before you decided. I have no experience with the one from Craft Supplies but Iíd like to try one to compare.

    JKJ
    Hi John, I hope you are well,

    The quality of the screw is what initially caught my eye. I agree that the Nova threads are coarse and a little difficult to get started sometimes. Screw lube helps. The Glaser/Hitec site states, "The screw grips tenaciously, even in end grain. . . "

    I assume this means a solid piece of hardwood but do you agree it has superior holding power in end grain?

    Thanks for the link,

    Richard
    RD

  8. #8
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    Thanks David,

    I can see myself using the smaller face for small ornamental items. The plywood disk is a good idea.

    Richard
    RD

  9. #9
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    Thank you Neil,

    I tend to use faceplates for things that fit but I like the quick change a screw chuck offers when turning multiple small to medium size items. I like the idea of a dedicated screw chuck but at Glaser's price point I can just about buy a decent four jaw chuck that's set aside for this.

    I have enough of the Nova woodworm screws to try your idea of sharpening the threads with a Dremel.

    Doc Green's book on chucks has several variations on shop made chucks and I've done this for small work. I find it's helpful sometimes to have a wood body chuck that lets you cut smoothly off the workpiece and into the chuck.

    Richard
    RD

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post
    Hi John, I hope you are well,

    The quality of the screw is what initially caught my eye. I agree that the Nova threads are coarse and a little difficult to get started sometimes. Screw lube helps. The Glaser/Hitec site states, "The screw grips tenaciously, even in end grain. . . "

    I assume this means a solid piece of hardwood but do you agree it has superior holding power in end grain?

    Thanks for the link,

    Richard
    They hold extremely well, even with unbalanced blanks and large blanks, even when cutting aggressively. They do hold on end grain but I donít know what size, weight, and any of imbalance can be handled. I usually stick to jaws compressed on a tenon for end grain pieces. I used the screw chucks on plywood and mdf.

    The Glaser comes with three interchangeable contact flanges (and an optional very large one available) depending on the size of the blank. I always mount on a flat spot. The threads cut into the wood so cleanly there are rarely any deformed fibers pried up at the circumference of the mounting hole. Sometimes I had to ďfightĒ with the coarser wormwood screws to get them started and threaded. And of course, like most screw chucks you can remount the piece later and it will be in perfect registration (an advantage over using chuck jaws on a tenon or recess, for those unfamiliar with screw chucks).

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    Richard,

    I will tag onto Mr. Strongís statement about making your own screw chuck, and Mr. Walserís thoughts on smaller pieces. Before you spend all that time grinding, you could probably make three or four screw chucks using the following sequence:



    Put a 2Ēx2Ēx4Ē (50x50x100mm) or so piece of hardwood (maple, oak, mesquite, etc.) between centers and turn a tenon on one end to properly fit in your chuck of choice. Then put it in the chuck, turn it to final shape, with whatever diameter you want on the exposed end.

    Drill a pilot hole in the exposed end for whatever screw you intend to use. I usually measure the shaft portion of the screw, between threads, with my calipers to find the right-size pilot bit.

    Then, if youíre using a sheetmetal screw like that shown in my photos, put a Phillips screw driver bit in your Jacobís Chuck. Put the point of the screw in the pilot hole and slide your tail stock with the driver bit in the JC up to the whole thing and lock down the tail stock, putting just a little pressure on the screw.

    Now, manually, simultaneously turn your block of wood toward you with your left hand (spinning ccw) and your tail stock handle away from you with your right hand (spinning cw). Turn them 1/3 - 1/2 of a rotation each time, thus advancing the screw into the block of wood while keeping it perfectly aligned and running true with the tail stock bit!

    When itís in to whatever length you require/desire, keep everything as is and get your hacksaw (or port-a-band) out and cut the head of the screw off (a lot of elbow grease with a hacksaw ). The driver bit/tip in place will help keep the screw from wanting to move back and forth or vibrate as you cut. No need, IMO, to grind a point on the exposed end of the screw, because youíre going to be inserting it into a pilot hole youíve drilled in whatever piece youíre mounting on your custom made screw chuck!

    If youíre using a lag screw (for bigger diameter necessities), use a socket of the correct size in a hex-to-square adapter in your Jacobís Chuck.

    I apologize for the photos being a little out of sequence, and not inserted within the text as I would rather have had them!

    Best of luck to you, whatever route you choose. Stay safe, both within your shop and outside of it.






    Best of luck to you, whatever route you choose. Stay safe, both within your shop and outside of it.
    Don't let it bring you down,
    It's only castles burning,
    Just find someone who's turning,
    And you will come around

    Neil Young (with a little bit of emphasis added by me)

    Board member, Gulf Coast Woodturners Association

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post


    I like the idea of a dedicated screw chuck but at Glaser's price point I can just about buy a decent four jaw chuck that's set aside for this.


    My thoughts exactly, Richard.


    JKJ, I have no doubt that the Glaser is the best screw chuck on the market, but it is very 'exxy' for a small lump of machined metal and a custom made screw, especially when compared to the many other offerings available for around one fourth the price, eg...


    https://www.popsshed.com.au/Product_...id=26&pid=7259


    https://www.thewoodturningstore.com/...uckn-1-x-8tpi/


    https://www.ronbrownsbest.com/index....product_id=455


    https://www.pennstateind.com/store/CF3SC.html


    https://www.axminstertools.com/globa...il-jaws-810383


    Looking at the screw for that Axminster it seems to me to be not much different to the Glaser and way way cheaper...

    https://www.axminstertools.com/globa...e-screw-910466



    But. if anyone definitely prefers the screw on the Glaser then perhaps just buy that component and add it to one of the above backplates (or make your own as Walter has done)...


    https://glaserhitec.com/product/1-2-...acement-screw/


    Although, at US$50 for just the screw component, that is one very expensive small bit of machined metal... orthopedic titanium bone screws are cheaper... :~}
    Last edited by Neil Strong; 05-22-2022 at 2:17 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...



  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread!

    John,
    The Glazers sure look sharp - much nice than the Nova woodworm. Iíve struggled with them at times and have noticed that they do seem to tear up the wood - especially softer woods like ambrosia maple. Thatís got to somewhat reduce how well they hold.

    This Axminster product looks pretty sharp too:
    https://www.axminstertools.com/us/ax...e-screw-910466

    Thinking about a way to mount this without losing too much thread.

    Walter,
    Thanks for the very detailed post!

    These are similar to Doc Greenís shop made chucks.
    https://www.docgreenwoodturner.com/screwchuck.html

    I hadnít thought of screwing in a bolt or screw and then cutting off head. Iíve been mounting from the back and trimming the tip. This means I can have any shape or size (solid) base since the screw doesnít start at the back of the base. DOH!

    Neil,

    These are some very nice alternative sources youíve provided.

    The Axminster looks very nice but it looks like itís looks to be geared to their jaw sets. As I mentioned to John, Iím wondering if I might be able to adapt the screw somehow. I agree that it looks to have very sharp threads - similar to the Glaser.

    I know an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe he can get me some cut-offs!
    RD

  14. #14
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    Trying to lock this down. My ever supportive wife feels like I should get what I want if I agree to stop talking about it. Seems reasonable.

    Iíve come down to two possibilities
    The Glaser gets universal praise except for its price.
    Vicmarc has a 3 in 1 and I know many turners feel they make excellent chucks.
    https://www.packardwoodworks.com/118130J.html

    Does anyone have experience with the Vicmark 3 in 1 screw chuck?
    It looks pretty good and the screw threads appear sharp. As far as I can tell it has only one screw option where the Glaser has the stock screw with 3/8Ē and 1/2Ē options. I donít know if thatís an advantage. If you want a larger screw for larger work shouldnít you be using a faceplate?

    Thanks
    RD

  15. #15
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    I never measured the Glaser screws. From what you say my two are prob 3/8” with a 1/4” center shaft since I drill a 1/4” hole and screw directly into that.

    I have never felt the need for a larger screw. The stock screw has held everything I’ve turned from 19” platters to a large 16” walnut bowl, turned green. I do flatten the contact area with the chuck before drilling and fastening. I have never had one loosen even a bit. Of course, someone who is an expert at getting catches might have another story. Most of my use is with dry wood, mounted balanced.

    I’ve never seen the Vicmark 3 in 1. From the pictures it looks like a license/copy/ripoff of the Glaser with some minor differences. It comes standard with the same reversible/removable cone base to provide 3 sizes of contact area plates. (The Glaser does offer an option for an extra large contact cone but I personally wouldn’t have a use for that. Even the machined screw looks the same. (I found one forum description which said the Vicmark uses the actual Glaser screw. Don’t know the facts.)

    One small disadvantage of these screw chucks is you have to buy it threaded to fit your lathe spindle. If you change lathes later to one with a different spindle thread you might have to buy another or use an adapter (which I would hate to use.) My three primary lathes and all those in clubs where I’ve done demos all use 1-1/4”x8 tpi spindle threads.

    Here’s an idea: If you buy the 1-1/4x8 Glaser (from Alan Lacer) and don’t like it for any reason list it on Classifieds and I’ll buy it (if someone doesn’t beat me to it!). On occasion I wished I had three.

    Hey, your wife sounds like mine! “Just get it already so I can get back to reading/gardening/cooking/whatever”

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post
    Trying to lock this down. My ever supportive wife feels like I should get what I want if I agree to stop talking about it. Seems reasonable.

    I’ve come down to two possibilities
    The Glaser gets universal praise except for its price.
    Vicmarc has a 3 in 1 and I know many turners feel they make excellent chucks.
    https://www.packardwoodworks.com/118130J.html egri

    Does anyone have experience with the Vicmark 3 in 1 screw chuck?
    It looks pretty good and the screw threads appear sharp. As far as I can tell it has only one screw option where the Glaser has the stock screw with 3/8” and 1/2” options. I don’t know if that’s an advantage. If you want a larger screw for larger work shouldn’t you be using a faceplate?

    Thanks
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 05-30-2022 at 7:30 PM. Reason: typo

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