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Forum topic by Woodstock posted 05-25-2010 03:15 AM 1334 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Woodstock's profile


253 posts in 3252 days

05-25-2010 03:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe question turning

Hi all,

I’ve got a question for all the lathe users. I have twice now bought new lathe chucks that were covered in grease or machine oil as removed from the box. I’ve wiped the outsides down but have had oil/grease get thrown out from the insides due to centrifugal force. (not surprising) on walls & myself and whatever I had mounted in the chuck.

Part of me thinks that a mechanical device such as a chuck need lube of some sort inside the gears/threads/jaws surfaces for lubrication as was well at to keep from rusting due to moisture from green wood.

But the other part of me doesn’t care to get a black “racing stripe” down the wall and myself. I could soak the chuck in kerosene to remove the grease/oil. But that seems to me to defeat the purpose.

Has anyone come up with a happy medium? Or is the lube really necessary once you’ve removed it from the box/bag?


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

4 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3491 days

#1 posted 05-25-2010 06:25 AM

Being new at turning, I cleaned my chucks with mineral spirits, submerged them then let them dry. In the past few months they have worked even better than when I first started using them. I don’t really know if I did right or wrong but they work great!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3015 days

#2 posted 05-25-2010 06:26 AM

I would be quick to remove the grease from around anything that directly touches wood, for finishing reasons of course. I would also remove anything from outside surfaces. After that, to avoid the black line of oil/grease, head over to your gym bag and put an old wrist/sweatband around the whole chuck. This makes the chuck bright and easier to see and a little softer on the hands should your hand come close to it. The wrist/sweatband also catches all of the grease before it lands on you.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3039 days

#3 posted 05-25-2010 01:59 PM

I give my chuck 4 tiny drops of oil every few months. I don’t know what they are called but the things that the jaws attach to slide in a groove. I direct the oil to those 4 grooves so that the movement in the groove remains smooth.

I’ve never had a problem with a “black racing strip” and I think it’s because I use a very little amount of oil. I’ve had my Oneway Talan chuck for over 10 years and I think it will last as long as I will.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#4 posted 05-25-2010 02:36 PM

I’ve had my Oneway Talan chuck for over 10 years and I think it will last as long as I will.

C’mon, Rich. At your age, how much of an endorsement is that? :-)

Seriously, I’m with Rich on this. And if you are worried about oil spinning off after lubrication, it would be easy enough to make a shield of some sort to hold over the chuck the first couple of times you started the lathe.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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