Wood Cole Jaws

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Project by trasner posted 05-11-2011 04:11 AM 5492 views 36 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a set of jumbo Cole Jaws for my Nova chuck. My mini Cole Jaws are too small and I didn’t want to buy the regular Cole jaws because they are pricey and they will only support a bowl up to 10 inches. This set, when expanded, are 15 inches which fit the 16 inch swing on my Jet 1642. This was a relatively easy project and they work great. I used 3/4 inch plywood, measured a circle with a compass, spaced vertical lines 22.5 degrees apart, placed my regular jaws on the center of the plywood to locate holes for drilling to attach jaws to chuck (M6 screws). I then cut the circle out on my bandsaw, screwed it into the chuck, and trued it up on the lathe. I cut shallow horizontal lines 1/2 inch apart with a parting tool. I then drilled holes at the intersections of the vertical and horizontal lines, cut into 4 equal segments on the bandsaw, sanded it down, and finally placed 8 rubber stoppers in the appropriate holes for my current bowl project. (I used the existing rubber gaskets from my Mini Cole’s but I had to get longer screws to pass through the 3/4 inch plywood. Spare gaskets can be purchased at Woodcraft, Rockler, etc). I used wingnuts to fix the gasket screws on the back. Overall, I had about 3 hours of work in this project, spare plywood, and about $5 worth of screws. Satisfaction for a good homemade jig is priceless.

Thanks for looking,

-- Todd

11 comments so far

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 05-11-2011 04:38 AM

Jezz, Thanks Todd, now you added another thing on my list to do !

No, really great job. When there is a will there is always a way.

-- So Many tools, So little time

View paplou's profile


324 posts in 3312 days

#2 posted 05-11-2011 05:03 AM

nice. I have seen te pattern for them but now I have a chuck to use with them. do you get much viberation with yours?


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20314 posts in 3074 days

#3 posted 05-11-2011 06:01 AM

Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!That is a really neat idea. Thanks for sharing. I may make one for my chuck!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bko's profile


118 posts in 2986 days

#4 posted 05-11-2011 04:31 PM

Nice idea—I have been planning something similar for my mini lathe for some time.


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4215 days

#5 posted 05-11-2011 05:25 PM

Nice jig, great idea, I don’t know why someone didn’t think of it sooner. Great unique concept.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2662 days

#6 posted 05-11-2011 05:28 PM

You, my friend, are a star. Very impressive, given Oneway’s demanding prices! :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View peteg's profile


4276 posts in 2791 days

#7 posted 05-11-2011 11:03 PM

Hey Todd, nice job, I posted a set some time ago (it’s under “lathes gadgets 1 & 2”) I wanted one that was independently adjustable for odd shape pieces.
You will get a decent size work on this one, :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2772 days

#8 posted 05-12-2011 02:21 AM

sweet idea. very nice. thnx for sharing

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jeffery Mullen's profile

Jeffery Mullen

345 posts in 2786 days

#9 posted 05-12-2011 06:11 AM

Good job and positive thinking on a jig like that.

-- Jeffery Mullen

View cranesgonewild's profile


344 posts in 2876 days

#10 posted 05-12-2011 11:19 AM

Great idea.
I just got into turning and now realize that I could use one of these.
This is an affordable alternative to a new one.
Thanks for sharing.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View trasner's profile


87 posts in 2876 days

#11 posted 05-12-2011 03:49 PM

Thanks for all the great comments. They work perfect. Cole Jaws in general receive a lot of criticism because of reports of bowls flying off the lathe. However, if used properly, the Jaws do exactly what they are made for which is only ONE thing: finishing off the foot or tenon of the bowl. The bowl should be completed except for the bottom before they are ever even chucked to the Cole’s. With the Cole Jaws in place, I also have my tailstock attached to do a majority of the bottom work. This obviously gives extra support. Once the final small tennon peice is separated, I remove the tailstock and do the final curves and smoothing of the bottom. I have never had a problem when using the Jaws this way.

-- Todd

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