Grizzly lathe chucks... is bigger beter?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by JoeinGa posted 01-21-2016 01:53 PM 2189 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2004 days

01-21-2016 01:53 PM

I have finally reached the point where I can order a chuck for my lathe. I have the Grizzly G0733 lathe and have been doing research for MONTHS trying to figure out which chuck will be my first one. I was leaning heavily towards the Nova Infinity, but for a beginner I’m thinking I can get a bit more bang for my buck if I go with something else that has more accessories for less money to get me started.

The chuck that has been my 2nd choice on my short-list is the Grizzly T10809 set. This morning I started looking at the other sets Grizzly has and I see there’s also a T10810 and a T10811, any of which is a big savings over the Nova price. From looking at all three sets, they basically look the same except the chucks themselves are different sizes. The three sizes are 3.75” , 4.5” , and 5.5”.

So far, the biggest thing I have turned has been about 12”. The specs for my lathe say it will do about 18”, but I’m thinking that’s a pretty far off day till I’m ready to try something that large. Most of my turnings are in the 6” to 10” range so far.

So for those of you who have experience using chucks (no matter which brand you chose)... is there any reason to get the biggest one? or the smallest one? And is there anything else (besides the threaded adapter to fit my model) that I will need right off?

For someone just starting out, is a bigger chuck really better?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

14 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1174 days

#1 posted 01-21-2016 02:19 PM

I am just a beginner with the lathe but when I purchased mine and my chuck I was warned about keeping tools away from the chuck. So I would suggest you consider trying to turn a small object with a large chuck getting in the way of your tools. Could you turn the left side of a bead on a 1 inch diameter piece that is chucked into a 6 inch diameter chuck?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Dutchy's profile


2920 posts in 2166 days

#2 posted 01-21-2016 03:21 PM

I would go for the largest, and when he is to small maybe this is a solution:


View terryR's profile


7137 posts in 2306 days

#3 posted 01-21-2016 03:29 PM

Joe, congrats on getting a chuck for your sweet lathe.

Those 3 packages from Grizzly look as though they contain all you need to get started…except the adapter. Actually the size difference looks small to me, so I’d choose the middle size. Those included jaws look like the most common ones I use. Of course, we all turn different stuff, so you’ll need time to see which jaws fit what tenons, etc.

For the future, plan to buy a second chuck! LOL. You’ll want it. So, if you start with Grizzly chucks, stay with them so all the jaws will be interchangeable. I have 2 Nova chucks, and wish for another as silly as that may sound. When a workpiece needs super glue, or work off the lathe, I prefer to leave it in the chuck so it will be centered better when placed back on the lathe…that why I use more than one chuck.

Securing wood to the lathe is the most difficult challenge. Yesterday I turned a piece of brass 1” in diameter while being held in my largest chuck (SuperNova). Don’t know the diameter of the chuck, but keeping tool and fingers away from spinning lathe parts is crucial regardless of the chuck’s size. You just have to learn a method to keep yer fingers safe. I placed a cylinder of oak 1.5” in diameter and 3” long in the chuck, and attached the brass with tape to the oak so I could turn beads, but stay clear of the chuck.

So, yes, there’s a way to turn tiny stuff in a large chuck. It’s the flexibility of different jaw shapes you want to add to your shop. The Grizzly kit looks nice.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View doubleDD's profile


7383 posts in 2040 days

#4 posted 01-21-2016 03:47 PM

Most of my chucks are in the 4’’ range. Like Terry I may have a couple turnings going at the same time. I like to keep a chuck dedicated to each size jaws. I think the important question is how large can the jaws be open to. They are not showing those specs. Looks like the grizzly sets have a good range though.
You can always make the tenon longer or add one if necessary. I would guess the 4.5’’ one is the way to go.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3958 days

#5 posted 01-21-2016 05:38 PM

I have the 3 3/4” Grizz chuck on my G1067Z lathe. It has been a very good chuck. I would buy it AGAIN.


View Nubsnstubs's profile


1286 posts in 1727 days

#6 posted 01-21-2016 06:16 PM

Joe, if you know for certain this is your last lathe, match up a chuck to fit it. It’s that simple. If you aren’t sure about it being your last, get the next size up. Never go smaller…........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View LeeMills's profile


542 posts in 1298 days

#7 posted 01-21-2016 07:23 PM

I think I would go with the 4.5, that is a little larger than the Nova SN2 and should handle most anything (the Infinity uses the same body as the SN2).
I have Nova G3’s, SN’s, and SN2’s. For smaller items it really doesn’t matter but a smaller chuck is easier to handle. I’m not sure why you would get a tool into the chuck unless the jaws are extended beyond the body (Nova has a pin so that can’t happen). You normally want the jaws closed to just over a complete circle if possible.

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

View terryR's profile


7137 posts in 2306 days

#8 posted 01-22-2016 03:23 AM

Oh my…just re-read my post, and I must have been smoking some good coffee beans this morning? I’ve never attached brass to double sided tape. Antler…yes.

I had the brass ring in expanding jaws in the SN chuck. Still, shaping close to spinning jaws, but workable with care.

Lee has an excellent point, jaws should be nearly closed when clamped on workpieces.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3660 days

#9 posted 01-22-2016 04:08 AM

Joe … If memory serves me right, the G0733 has a 1 1/4” x 8tpi spindle. Judging from Grizzly’s website, the three chucks you provided links to require a 1” x 8tpi spindle. If that is true, the only way you would be able to use these chucks is with an adaptor.

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

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4541 posts in 2406 days

#10 posted 01-22-2016 04:30 AM

Just ordered my G3 this week for my JET10×14 after many years of not having one at all. Looking forward to this upgrade.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#11 posted 01-22-2016 11:08 AM

Wish folks would request free catalogs from Craft Supplies & Packard Woodworks, both carry lot of information various brand name & economy chucks.

Craft Supplies USA 1-800-551-8876

Packard Woodworks 1-800-683-8876

Can only echo what Gerry told you about needing 1” x 8 TPI male to 1 ¼” female spindle adapter for any of those Grizzly chucks. If had an odd size thread spindle adapter are a godsend. Adding spindle adapter may or may not increase run-out, or increase vibrations while turning.

The jaw set that comes with your chuck will handle 99% of what you want to turn. Two important features want to know any jaw sets is min-max external compression (griping size for tenon) & internal expansion (expansion into a recess). If not listed online or catalog your chuck manual gives those numbers.

Getting an assortment of extra jaw sets with your chuck might not be the bargain you think.

Packard has SN2 chuck on sale for $150 until 3-31-2016 need to add $21 threaded insert (1 ¼” x 8 TPI) plus whatever shipping cost.

-- Bill

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2512 days

#12 posted 01-22-2016 12:59 PM

Joe, I know money is always a factor, but when I bought my chuck for my Powermatic years ago, I went with the best and biggest I thought I would ever use, a Oneway Stronghold. Still rock solid after 14 years. This one that I bought is 1 1/4 X 8TPI. Over the years I bought a couple of extra chuck sets, including an expandable face plate as time went on and I needed them.

Ironically, when I needed small items, a couple years ago I decided that I could get that 10” by 18” lathe from HF and add a low end Grizzly chuck for about $65. It all worked out well and a few things from the Powermatic, (like the tailstock livecenter), work on the HF. I make my pens and guitar knobs on that lathe, bowls and other things on the Powermatic.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2004 days

#13 posted 01-26-2016 12:53 PM

Yesterday I woke up and decided that “Today will be the day that I would order a chuck … no matter what!”

I was determined to FINALLY make a decision! I have been agonizing over this for several months, looking at web sites, comparing different brands and models, and had gotten myself so wrapped up in the “what if’s?” that I was crippling myself from making a decision !

One of the main deciding factors was getting a chuck that would be a direct fit for my 1&1/4” X 8tpi shaft and wouldn’t need the threaded adapter to fit my lathe. I have read so many reviews about people who swear the adapter adds to run-out that I just didn’t want to take the chance.

So this Grizzly is on the way. Hopefully it’ll be here soon !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3660 days

#14 posted 01-26-2016 03:16 PM

One of the main deciding factors was getting a chuck that would be a direct fit for my 1&1/4” X 8tpi shaft and wouldn t need the threaded adapter to fit my lathe. I have read so many reviews about people who swear the adapter adds to run-out that I just didn t want to take the chance.

I think you are talking apples and oranges.

The adaptors that often cause trouble are ‘spindle adaptors’ that are typically used to mount direct-threaded chucks on a lathe with a different size spindle (e.g. using a 1”x8tpi chuck on a spindle that is 1 1/4”x8tpi).

The other option is a chuck that requires an ‘insert’ to mate the chuck with your lathe’s spindle. There are some knock-off inserts that can cause problems, but a long as you stick with inserts from the chuck’s manufacturer you aren’t likely to have any problems. The major brands (Nova, OneWay, Vicmarc, etc.) offer inserts for a wide range of spindles so you can use their chucks on virtually any lathe.

That being said, enjoy your new chuck … now go make some shavings!

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics