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Choosing a GOOD chuck from a short list

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 09-24-2015 03:37 PM 1789 views 0 times favorited 53 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


09-24-2015 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe chuck

I am ready to purchase my first chuck for my new old PM #90. I spent a few hours this morning pouring over the offerings, trying to make sense of something I have no experience or insight into yet. I’d love to hear of any actual experience with some of the better offerings to help me make my purchase.

First off, the #90 has a 1 1/2” spindle, which limits me in some ways. I believe that I want to get a $30 adapter down to 1” and to then buy a one inch chuck. The theory is that 1” is more common and if I ever change lathes I’d have a higher chance of compatibility with 1” accessories. Even (most/all) chucks that rely on adapters don’t seem to offer 1 1/2”, which I find to be quite odd.

While every dollar that I don’t spend on the chuck will go into other needed tools (sharpening), I want to buy it once since the max difference isn’t THAT much in the bigger picture.

So far, I think in the running are:

Nova G3 for $150
Super Nova 2 for $190
Hurricane HTC125 for $200
Sorby Patriot for $220
Nova Super Infinity Quick Change for $250.
Oneway Stronghold for $290
Easy Wood Easy Chuck for $400

Wow, this is a lot to try to boil down! Not knowing what to even look for makes this very difficult for me to evaluate. For instance, I read one mention of quick versus slow adjustments with the locking tool. Heck, I’m not even sure what SIZE is right, including the jaws. I want to try my hand at bowls and definitely interested in small boxes and whatnot. Oh, and accessories (jaws) for some of these seem to be quite a bit more expensive, as well. All factors, I guess.

If the quick change is really worth it, that would narrow my choice down considerably.

Thanks for any insight!


53 replies so far

View soob's profile

soob

223 posts in 673 days


#1 posted 09-24-2015 05:22 PM

You can do a lot with smaller chucks and jaws if you use the expanding (inside recess) jaws. If I’m not mistaken a 2” jaw is considered big enough for a 10 or 12” bowl.

Most chucks come with a screw insert too and that and the default jaws are basically all you need to turn a decent-sized bowl.

I think they’re all capable and would make my decision based on the overall package cost. A $150 chuck gets expensive fast when the jaws are $50 per set. But if you’re not planning to get a bunch of extra jaws it’s fine.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#2 posted 09-24-2015 05:36 PM

I have been using two Nova G3’s for about 3 years now. I recently acquired a Nova Infinity, and upgraded the two G3’s to use the Infinity quick change system. All three are great chucks … no complaints at all, and I like the ability to swap any of my jaw sets on any of the three chucks.

I don’t own the Oneway Stronghold or Easy Wood chucks, but have turned with both. IMHO, you wouldn’t be making a mistake by going with any of the Nova, Oneway, or Easy Wood options.

I have never laid eyes on the Sorby or Hurricane chucks, but I have heard/read good things about them.

One word of caution on spindle adapters … don’t go cheap. Some of the low-cost ones have so much run-out the chuck appears to wobble. A good source for spindle adapters is Best Wood Tools … http://bestwoodtools.com/ They may cost a few bucks more, but they are precision machined and the owner stands by his work.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


#3 posted 09-24-2015 06:14 PM

Can you imagine a company who can’t even answer a sales call? Couldn’t get through to Nova. ugh.

I believe the Infinity with the #3 jaws is 1.8” – 2.48” clamping and 2.67” – 3.45” expanding. While they have smaller jaws listed the one on Amazon comes with the #3. Also, I don’t see a “large jaws extension” type set up for the infinity. I assume I’ll be wanting that soon enough. Hmm.

The Easy Wood is a “Nova G3” higher in cost than the Infinity, which is $100 more than the G3. ;)

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#4 posted 09-24-2015 06:28 PM

I believe the Infinity with the #3 jaws is 1.8” – 2.48” clamping and 2.67” – 3.45” expanding.

That sounds about right. I have a bowl-in-progress mounted on mine now or I would run out to the shop and measure them.

While they have smaller jaws listed the one on Amazon comes with the #3. Also, I don t see a “large jaws extension” type set up for the infinity. I assume I ll be wanting that soon enough.

They have a Smooth Column Jaw series of 3 jaws … I have the #1 set (SKU 8321) and they work like either extended jaws or ‘pin’ jaws. See: http://www.novainfinitychuck.com/page10.html

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


#5 posted 09-24-2015 06:34 PM

Gerry, are we talking about the same thing? I was thinking about something like this.

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#6 posted 09-24-2015 06:50 PM

Gerry, are we talking about the same thing? I was thinking about something like this.

Nope … you are talking about ’Cole Jaws’ ... http://www.teknatool.com/products/chuck_accessories/cole.htm

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1886 posts in 1599 days


#7 posted 09-24-2015 08:12 PM

JMHO, would go with Oneway Stronghold or Vicmarc VM120 because can buy a threaded adapter to fit chuck and your lathe spindle. You will not need an additional spindle adapter. The closer you mount accessories to headstock safer and less chance of run out from the accessory.

Do not see any of the other chucks you mention with a thread chuck adapter to fit your lathe. At one time Nova had threaded adapter for their chuck that would fit PM 90 might need to special order.

Stronghold $260 + $25 for threaded adapter looking at $285+ shipping.

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=lathes-acc-fourjaw-1ow-strong

Vicmarc 120 $260 + $30 for threaded adapter looking at $290 + shipping.

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=lathes-acc-fourjaw-vm-vm120

Not a big fan of cole jaws if rim of the bowl is uneven althought with skill & tailstock support no problem. Rather use a jam chuck with tailstock support for reverse turning.

-- Bill

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


#8 posted 09-24-2015 10:04 PM

So I have to decide (somehow!) whether I buy into the blanket belief that thread adapters are evil and to be avoided. This is a tough one and I’m sure debatable. While technically you’re probably right what I have no way of determining is HOW right. Could I even measure a difference? Or notice?

The “bestwoodtools” link above leads me to believe that they make high quality adapters.

How funny is that Nova doesn’t seem to make an insert of 1/2” (a $50 item retail) but Vicmarc makes a chuck dedicated to that size!

Is it possible to change out my spindle to a 1”? Crazy thinking???

Actually, perhaps another reason to avoid an adapter is that I’d love depth for wider bowls because it would eat into the missing channel in the bed?

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 766 days


#9 posted 09-24-2015 10:46 PM

I haven’t used a PM 90 but are you sure the spindle is 1.5”? That is really huge; could there be an insert left on it? Most inserts are about 1.5” outside.
These days most mini/midi lates are 1 and larger lathes 1.25 spindles.

Not sure where you shop but at ToolsPlus …with free shipping
G3 $119
SN2 $159
Infinity $199

I have not used a Hurricane 125 but I do have a HTC100. It is heavier than the Nova SN2 and every bit as good as far as I can tell. The 125 is a monster…like the Nova Titan.

You can use Cole Jaws with the Nova Infinity but you will need to buy the upgrade jaw mounts ($40). I assume Gerry had to upgrade his jaw sets to go with his new chuck upgrades.

Over the years I have acquired 7 chucks and jaws. The quick change may be a better option for many folks even though the initial price is a little higher.

Lastly, I would go with insert type chuck instead of direct threaded. Makes it easy to move to a different lathe with a different size spindle.
Toolsplus link
http://www.tools-plus.com/nova-chucks.html

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


#10 posted 09-24-2015 11:01 PM

Yes, it’s definitely 1 1/2”. The manual states it as so and I’ve confirmed it.

Every one of those would require a spindle adapter. I have to mull that over a bit. I don’t understand that Infinity listed on their site. It’s $50 cheaper than elsewhere. I’ll have to study that more.

I wonder if I’m making too much of this? If I should just grab either the Stronghold of the V 120 and call it a day. I guess I was just hoping to find a way to get into quick change from the ground floor.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 766 days


#11 posted 09-24-2015 11:44 PM

I had just never heard of that (and couldn’t find specs). Even the 3520 is 1.25. Learned something new today.
ToolsPlus often beats others or has special deals.
The Stronghold should certainly do the job for you.
Hurricane also offers a 1.5 X 8 included in the $199 price. They don’t have as large selection of jaws yet but they should cover any needs and the price is not bad either.

I do agree with Wildwood on the Cole jaws but some folks love them. I have a set that came with a G3 and three years later they are still in the package. A friction chuck does what I need.

I went back and checked, the Huricane HTC100 is also offered for $169 with 1.5 X 8 insert included.
Unless you plan on doing something huge the 100 should do, it is a little larger than the SN2 or Infinity.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View lew's profile

lew

11340 posts in 3220 days


#12 posted 09-25-2015 12:28 AM

Not to change your mind but if I had $400 it would definitely be the Easy Wood Chuck. Absolutely the finest chuck I’ve had the pleasure to use.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2469 days


#13 posted 09-25-2015 12:32 AM

Lew, I value your opinion. I don’t think the EW is offered in 1 1/2. I’ll keep researching.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#14 posted 09-25-2015 12:51 AM

The manual says 1-1/2” inboard, 1-1/8” outboard, both 8tpi.

Grizzly has one
https://www.grizzly.com/products/H7820

Hurricane does with an insert
http://www.thewoodturningstore.com/categories/Hurricane-HTC125-5-Chuck-5_6.html

There are 2 kinds of adapters: Female threads on one side, male on the other; these go between spindle and chuck. And female threads only that fit inside the chuck body.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View xmastree's profile

xmastree

43 posts in 445 days


#15 posted 09-25-2015 01:15 AM

I’ve been quite happy with my Barracuda2 system, but I must say that Grizzly looks pretty nice.

-- Every tree is a Chistmas tree with its gifts hidden inside.

showing 1 through 15 of 53 replies

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