How to put a Drill chuck in tail stock

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Forum topic by shopmania posted 12-30-2012 03:24 AM 12569 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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701 posts in 3420 days

12-30-2012 03:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

I have a used Jet 1236 lathe, and have really gotten the bug. I’ve made a bout 50 pens, and half that many wine bottle stoppers, and recently a few duck calls. I got my first Nova chuck, and plan to try my hand at bowls very soon, as I was given a lot of raw wood (logs) recently in cherry and some other nice woods.

I would also eventually like to tackle pepper mills, etc. I know that you can put a drill chuck in the tail stock, but have no idea how to do it. the quill on my tail stock has what I think is called a live center, with a cone shaped point.
The quill travels about 2 1/2”. I learned that I can knock out the cone center with a ling rod. I know from reading online that the tail stock has a #2 Morse taper, but the quill is not tapered, it’s straight. Can I remove the whole live center to put the chuck into the quill? How exactly do I do that? I thought about extending the quill, putting a block between the live center and the tail stock, and then retracting the quill, but I’m afraid to put too much pressure on it. I’ve been searching you-tube and other sites and cannot find any info on how to do this.

Any help is much appreciated!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

9 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2384 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 03:40 AM

You need what’s known as a Jacobs chuck. It’s a chuck that’s mounted on a Morse taper. Here’s an example:

I actually use one I got at Harbor Freight for like 15 bucks. Works just fine. It slides in your tailstock just like your tail center. Then you mount the piece to be drilled in the headstock and slide the tailstock into it to drill the piece.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3926 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 04:02 AM

Jacobs is just one brand name for drill chucks. There is also something known as a JT=Jacobs Taper. You most likely have the more common Morse Taper in your lathe. I also have a drill chuck with Morse taper from HF as well as a few others of various sizes. ie: Morse Tapers #1#2#3.
To answer your question , on my JET lathe , I am able to just crank the handle counterclockwise and the Morse taper with center pops right out of its place in the tailstock. It’s so simple it will amaze you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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115 posts in 2695 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 04:02 AM

Tim, I have one if you want to stop by & see how it works! They aren’t very expensive.

-- Roger

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207 posts in 3379 days

#4 posted 12-30-2012 08:34 AM

Tim I just looked at Roger’s profile and he is in the same area as you go see him and get first hand help and getting to know other turners in your area is great for sharing and learning. Regards Tambotie

-- Africa is not for sissies

View nye's profile


2 posts in 1340 days

#5 posted 05-20-2015 10:32 PM

hi all, im having the same problem i have bought an mt2 tailstock chuck for my scheppach dms 1100 (bought it second hand but it specifies online that its mt2) and cant figure out how to fit it. am i missing something here? have removed the live center completely or just the point from it and cant see where i would fit the tailstock chuck i bought into it..

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7106 posts in 2437 days

#6 posted 05-20-2015 10:53 PM

Most lathe tailstocks will eject the center when you retract them… so you just crank it back until it pops out, then you can put whatever you want in the taper. Some more uncommon ones will require a bar be inserted through the tailstock to knock the center out. Check your manual and it should have instructions. If you want to try using a drill chuck on the cheap, you can pick one up at HF for under $15 (about $12 with a coupon).


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

View LeeMills's profile


629 posts in 1539 days

#7 posted 05-20-2015 10:54 PM

Yep, remove the whole live center, that is what you have to do. Some live centers selt eject when ran all the way back and others you must use the knock out bar.
The exterior of the quill is straight, the interior has an MT to accept live or dead centers. With a drill chuck and bit it is used as a dead center rather than a live center.

If a center has been in the quill too long it can get stuck. Most folks crank it out a little, place a flat tool (skew, scraper, etc) between the live center and the tailstock and crank it back in. This is often easier than using a knockout bar through the tailstock. Sometime this must be the method because there is no hole through the tailstock on some lathes.

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

View LeeMills's profile


629 posts in 1539 days

#8 posted 05-20-2015 11:45 PM

On a different note.. If you have a drill press you may check to see if the chuck and taper is easily removed. Most are. My drill presses have all had 2MT and simple to knock out through the hollow pulley.
If so you can swap the chuck and MT between the drill press and lathe as needed.

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

View nye's profile


2 posts in 1340 days

#9 posted 05-23-2015 11:32 AM

ahh it was sooo simple i wound it back and out it popped hahah should have known that thanks very much guys

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