Longworth Chuck

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Project by QuarterSawn posted 607 days ago 5066 views 45 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wish I would have built one of these years ago. It would have saved a ton of frustration and some seriously destroyed projects. On my second attempt, I think I mastered the Longworth Chuck. The first one was “okay”, but had some wobble that made it annoying and it just wasn’t true enough for precise work. On my second at bat, I nailed it and learned some important lessons worth passing on to any turners that care to venture onward:

1. Use expensive or “solid” plywood, preferably Baltic birch but something without voids. Believe it or not, even the smallest void will render your chuck out of balance.

2. RTFM, or more politically correct, follow the instructions (I used those linked from a project posted by fellow Lumberjock “thedane”). You must cut your circles, screw them together, mount a faceplate, turn them true and then mark your true center. Then mark your circles and arcs and from there and you are golden.

My second attempt runs so true it almost brings a tear to my eye. Now I can pitch my worthless Cole jaws that never seemed to quite fit whatever I was attempting to reverse chuck. I haven’t lost a single piece from the Longworth chuck and I can’t count how many flew (or wiggled) off the Cole jaws.

-- Dwight

15 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


1233 posts in 1817 days

#1 posted 607 days ago

Looks great. I’ll have to build one… I have the same trouble with the cole jaws.

-- Allen, Colorado

View hhhopks's profile


564 posts in 1010 days

#2 posted 607 days ago

That is awsome!

Just a question. How do you ensure the object that is to mounted will be centered?
Can you expand on the materials used?

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View JJones98042's profile


225 posts in 886 days

#3 posted 607 days ago

Looks great! I have GOT to make one of these myself! :)

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View a1Jim's profile


112016 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 607 days ago

Great job ,a cool tool.

-- Custom furniture

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

604 posts in 1703 days

#5 posted 607 days ago

I also wonder how do you position the bowl so it centered?

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View tomakazi's profile


645 posts in 1916 days

#6 posted 607 days ago

very nice!! i could also use one of these!! thanks for posting.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 998 days

#7 posted 607 days ago

One of these is on my short term todo list.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View QuarterSawn's profile


7 posts in 2093 days

#8 posted 607 days ago

Here’s the link to the plans that I used and discusses the materials in quite a bit of detail:

I essentially went with the same materials list as described in the article. I do make my own faceplates via a Beal spindle tap. I also create a ton of jam chucks with the spindle tap and it has definitely been a worthwhile investment. The beauty of the longworth chuck is that as you rotate the plates it moves the stoppers inwards and self centers your bowl. You simply tighten your buttons/stoppers which in turn holds the bowl and cinches the plates together. I’ve found that it helps to tighten them in the same way you would lug nuts, meaning you tighten those opposite each other and at 180 degrees and move around the chuck. If you need to hold something really small, you can remove 4 of the 8 stoppers (in the short arcs). This seems to provide sufficient holding power since generally smaller diameter bowls are lighter.

-- Dwight

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1115 days

#9 posted 607 days ago

Very cool build. I’m lucky my cole jaws work very well. The longworth jaws can also be used in segmented bowl ring glue ups to center rings on top of each other on the horizontal. I’m building a set of these to center rings. Thanks for posting.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View thewoodworker01's profile


89 posts in 778 days

#10 posted 607 days ago

Very cool. I started to build one then found out my router with my router bit wouldn’t go deep enough when plunging into the chuck. Looks great. I might try to retry that sometime.


-- Most people say "Measure Twice, Cut Once." I say, "Cut Twice, Measure Once".

View Rustic's profile


3133 posts in 2229 days

#11 posted 607 days ago

I need one of these.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View hunter71's profile


1990 posts in 1820 days

#12 posted 607 days ago

On my “to do” list.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View stefang's profile


12945 posts in 1967 days

#13 posted 607 days ago

Looks like you did a great job on this Dwight. I have the plans, but haven’t yet got around to making one yet as I haven’t been turning much lately. I appreciate you comparing it’s usability to the Cole jaws (another thing I never made or bought).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View hhhopks's profile


564 posts in 1010 days

#14 posted 606 days ago

Thanks for sharing.
What did you used as the grippers?
They kind of look like rubber stoper type of material.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View bch's profile


217 posts in 1322 days

#15 posted 604 days ago

Beautiful “jig”. I am favoriting so that when I finally own a lathe, I will have this in my arsenal. Great job!

-- --bch

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