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Forum topic by John posted 10-21-2016 12:06 AM 1063 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John

223 posts in 1415 days


10-21-2016 12:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: turning chuck

As the title says, I’m new to turning. I own a HF lathe and a complement of tools that I have aquired through yard sales, and some have been purchased new. I am a competent woodworker but I have been wanting to get more into turning.
I really want to turn some ornaments as Christmas gifts, and just be able to fire the lathe up and produce.
Anyways, I have a couple questions for the experienced turners out there..
With all the options for chucks out there, I can’t make heads and tails of it all. Is there a good kit to start out with, or any recommendations for a few items to get me started?
Are the carbide tipped turning tools worth the investment or will I outgrow them quickly?
Any other “essential accessories?”
Any other tips or pointers regarding my Christmas ornament plan?

I’m not looking to spend a fortune, but I have been known to drop some coin occasionally (especially on tools)

Thanks in advance. Looking forward to reading your replies.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...


15 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10606 posts in 2213 days


#1 posted 10-21-2016 12:45 AM

Nova G3 is the best chuck value.

Lots of threads on carbide tools, lots of opinions.

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

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

382 posts in 1295 days


#2 posted 10-21-2016 04:40 AM

I really like vicmarc chucks. I found a grizzly chuck that is a vm100 clone for about half the cost. It works well, but now that I have had it for about a year. I can tell the difference. Lesson learned, get what you pay for. I had a nova chuck with my 1st lathe. It turned true, but was the style with the two tommy bars. Spend the extra cash and get a chuck that uses a single key.
As for as carbide goes. Some swear by them. And I have talked to a few that say its all they use.
I have a Jackofsky hollowing tool that I really like. But personally I prefer HSS tools for the bupk of my turning.
I get better, smoother cuts with HSS, and really only use carbide to hog out material.
Thats just my opinion.
Mike hunter has a small carbide howllowing set that work great for christmas ornaments. Got to use the set at a friends. Plan on buying my own soon.
Here is a link to them. I used the two peice set.http://vinceswoodnwonders.com/?s=Hunter
I also use the 2” sanding discs that are sold here for power sanding.
Good luck

-- John

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

458 posts in 1134 days


#3 posted 10-21-2016 01:47 PM

There are several brands of good chucks. Mine are Novas and have served me well. In the Nova line if your lathe is 12” or less I would suggest the G3, if it is 14” or more I suggest the SN2. You will also need the appropriate insert to fit your spindle (about $20).
Almost every chuck comes with 2” jaws standard. There are sometimes “kits” but many of the extra jaws are not very useful IMHO. I would go with the G3 (I have four of them) and look at the PIN (not PEN) jaws as a set of jaws to hold small items.
https://www.amazon.com/NOVA-48202-Turning-Chuck-Insert/dp/B0064JJ52U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477054548&sr=8-1&keywords=nova+chuck
The PIN jaws are only a few dollars more than their 25mm jaws and give you a lot of flexibility.
https://www.amazon.com/NOVA-JSPIN-Pin-Chuck-Accessory/dp/B0064JJ95S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1477054637&sr=8-4&keywords=nova+chuck+jaws

I do have two carbide which I made but don’t use them for small work. If you go carbide I would make the handle and just buy the carbide bits. For example, the EasyWood carbide bit is $20 but the tool is $120. That’s $100 for a bit of steel bar and a wood handle.

For the detail work I would suggest a small skew (1/2”) and a 3/8” Detail spindle gouge.
You probably already have a skew or other tool to repurpose; Thompson tools has an excellent 3/8” detail gouge.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1497 posts in 1221 days


#4 posted 10-21-2016 02:16 PM

I was in the same boat as you about a year ago and looked around at all of the chucks available. I went for the Grizzly T10809 because it was cheap but still a very functional chuck and and comes with 5 sets of jaws, including a cole chuck, and a wormwood screw for $170. As long as your lathe’s spindle thread uses 1×8 TPI it will work fine with no adapter required. It is not a Nova but to get the same combination of jaws would have been at least double after also having to buying a threaded insert. I didn’t’ want to pay more at this point on my chuck than I did for my lathe.

Rockler has a decent set of mini carbide tools on sale (might end tomorrow) for $120. This is about as cheap as you are going to find them and they are a good size for making smaller pieces. Though, they also have a smaller set for making pens that might work even better for ornaments? If you are looking for a set of HHS tools, Benjamin’s Best sells a decent starter set for under $100 (Penn State Industries). The downside to using HHS, is that you also need to set up for and learn how to sharpen your tools. The advantage of carbide for a beginner is that the edges last longer and you rotate and eventually replace the blade ($) instead of sharpening. I can usually get a smoother cut, requiring less sanding, with HSS but carbide seems to be a little quicker to learn to get turning quickly, especially when you consider the setup and practice required to sharpen the HSS tools.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10606 posts in 2213 days


#5 posted 10-21-2016 06:52 PM

View Gentile's profile

Gentile

286 posts in 1652 days


#6 posted 10-21-2016 09:04 PM

Like what bigjim says, don’t get one with the two tommy bars…
I regret not spending the extra 20 bucks for a keyed one…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#7 posted 10-21-2016 09:11 PM

Darn it – you guys may just wind up talking me into finally getting a chuck with those G3 prices :)

To the OP, don’t forget to get a thread tap to match your lathe (1×8?). You can make all the faceplates, jam chucks, mandrels and all sorts of other stuff for free.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View John's profile

John

223 posts in 1415 days


#8 posted 10-22-2016 01:07 AM

Thanks for all the advice. My local woodcraft is happening to be having a Christmas ornament demo tomorrow. I’m gonna swing by after work and check it out. Probably end up with a few new toys. ;)
Thanks again, the information on what I need for a chuck was definitely helpful.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

458 posts in 1134 days


#9 posted 10-22-2016 01:44 AM

If you do get a new toy which needs an insert (to fit a Nova chuck) make sure it comes in a red Teknatool box.
Some stores, with the initals WC, sell a knock-off as well as the real OEM.
The sales rep may even tell you that the larger ones come in a plastic bag and only the smaller ones comes in a box … (of course the exterior of all inserts are the same, just the inside diameter changes).

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

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10606 posts in 2213 days


#10 posted 10-22-2016 03:50 AM



Darn it – you guys may just wind up talking me into finally getting a chuck with those G3 prices :)
Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

If you guys don’t hurry up and buy them I’m probably going to give in and buy a second one.

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

View John's profile

John

223 posts in 1415 days


#11 posted 10-23-2016 12:39 AM

So I went to woodcraft today after work. I ended up buying the nova g3 with an accessorie jaw set. It includes 4 more sets of jaws. With the adaptor and a bottle of finish it came to $200. Pretty good, I think?
Anyways, thanks for the advice. I can’t wait to make some sawdust!

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#12 posted 10-23-2016 01:39 AM

I can’t wait to make some sawdust!

What was stopping you from already doing so before now?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1497 posts in 1221 days


#13 posted 10-23-2016 02:05 AM

Yeah, I would have put that sucker on the lathe and made the chips fly.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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John

223 posts in 1415 days


#14 posted 10-23-2016 02:48 AM

Got that sucker up an running. Can’t believe I waited this long. What a pleasure to use. I think finding free wood will be the trick now!

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1497 posts in 1221 days


#15 posted 10-23-2016 12:40 PM

Thunder and ice storms are a turners friend. Ha! You can try contacting a tree trimming service and find out where they dump the wood they prune and see if you can nab some. I don’t know if they have Bradford pear up in Illinois but they are are prone to storm damage because they have a really weak branching pattern. The wood turns like butter and is a great wood to learn on. If you can get some crotch wood, which is usually where they break off, you can get some interesting grain as well. Your neighbors firewood piles are another good place to raid, with their permission of course. Once you give them a bowl or something made from their firewood, all of your neighbors and friends will be bringing you free wood.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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