Lathe Chucks

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Forum topic by Jeremy Greiner posted 11-30-2011 02:50 AM 3023 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2947 days

11-30-2011 02:50 AM

I’m still starting out in wood turning, I don’t know a lot about lathe’s and lathe terminology but I’d like to get a bowl chuck to help turning bowls. I don’t know what type of lathe chuck to get, there are a lot of different ones, and different styles and I wanted to see what you guys recommend.

The lathe I have is the Central Machinery midi lathe clone:

Quill taper: MT-2 which I think matters (that’s what I needed to know when I got my lathe pen mandrel)

Let me know what you guys think.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

1 reply so far

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3173 days

#1 posted 11-30-2011 05:49 AM

What you will be looking at is the thread on the end of the spindle where most things like a chuck will thread on. In your case, it says a 3/4-16 thread. That is pretty small for turning bowls but you will know that anyway as the lathe has a 10” swing.

If price is an issue, I wouldn’t even get a chuck. I would get a 3/4-16 tap and screw the blanks directly on the spindle. (I have one for my lathe as well)

Most of the chucks will have a larger thread on them but that is not a big problem. You can get an adapter to reduce the size. In fact many come with several size adapters to match a variety of lathes.

The next option would be to get a faceplate. This will be a flat fixture that will thread on the lathe spindle and let you screw a larger blank to it.

The range for true chucks will go from the cheapest independent 4 jaw chucks (about $30) up to about as much as you want to spend for the different scroll chucks. The scroll chucks will tighten up all the jaws at once and be self centering. The real nice ones will have a variety of jaws on them to give more options for work holding.

Chucks can be nice but they are not always the best option. They reduce the work area and they tend to have spinning pieces that can grab tools and otherwise hurt you really badly. I don’t like to get closer than an inch or two with hand held tools. Add together the length of the spindle, the thickness of the chuck, and add a safety area in front of that and you are not left with a lot of working space. Oh, you will have to fit a tailstock in there as well a lot of times.

One more option is a collet holder. I like these a lot. They will hold a stub turned on the end of the work piece. They don’t generally have a very large capacity. Mine will hold up to 3/4 in.

J. R. Beal Tools, Penn State, and Woodturners Catalog will have the full spectrum of goodies to look at and help to make your decisions.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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