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Forum topic by PurpLev posted 05-16-2013 05:31 PM 2021 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

05-16-2013 05:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe chuck work holding question like dislike options alternative

I’ve been turning odds and ends on my metal lathe for quite some time now, but while it worked to some extent I was never too keen on doing so. the max speed is 1700rpm which is somewhat on the lower end for wood, and the machine and all the gears are properly oiled which attracts and captures wood dust like crazy, and I never liked positioning the hands to work near all the components of the lathe not to mention with my current setup I could not setup a tool rest close enough, or at the right height to properly position the cutter at the right angle or close enough to reduce chatter.

But all that is gone now as I came home with a Delta VS midi lathe which I have been waiting for the right sale to get one:

it’s a little dirty from a couple years worth of use, but otherwise seems operational and beefy. I have the extension table for it which I’m not sure I will be needing due to lack of space, but I still have time to figure that one out.

Now for the question -

I have a spur drive and a live center. up until now on my metal lathe I would either use a 4 jaw (metal) chuck, or a mandrel. I will probably use a mandrel for pen turning, but for small vessels/cups/bowls I was wondering – do you guys find that you use chucks or plates more? pros/cons or better yet – likes/dislikes?

trying to figure out if I should get a chuck (either Nova G3/Delta rebranded, or similar) or stick to plates. what say you?


Just found this and thought I’d share it – it’s a good source of documents RE turning and lathe work. good read:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

45 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4603 days

#1 posted 05-16-2013 05:43 PM

You might also look at Beall tools

He has a tap which allows you to screw your wood onto the spindle.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2350 days

#2 posted 05-16-2013 05:48 PM

Nice score on the lathe. Lots of people love that Delta 46-460. For your question, I’d have to say that I use both. I use a faceplate to rough turn bowls and boxes, turn either a tenon or a recess and then rechuck in a scroll chuck.

There’s no reason you couldn’t do it all with faceplates, but it’s a lot less convenient and will require some hoop jumping. You’ll have to make something like a doughnut chuck or longworth chuck in order to finish off the bottom of bowls and vessels, if you want to do the faceplate only thing. It’s certainly doable though.

My recommendation would be to try to catch the Supernova2 boxed set they sell at Woodcraft with multiple jaws on sale. You can frequently find it for 200. The main advantage of the Delta rebranded one is that it has a grub screw to secure the chuck for reverse operation. You have enough machinist skills to drill a hole and tap it for a grub screw though.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2350 days

#3 posted 05-16-2013 05:50 PM

Karson brings up a good idea. Beall sells a 1×8 tap that you can use to make your own chucks. I have one and have used it to make a couple of jam chucks that work really well. I think it’s around 20 bucks or so.

View lew's profile


12436 posts in 3958 days

#4 posted 05-16-2013 06:03 PM

If you have machine shop contacts, you can probably pick up a dull 1×8 tap for a little bit of nothing.

I have been using the NOVA Precision Midi Chuck. It has two “bars” used for tightening the work. Some folks would rather have the T-handle tightening but I’ve never had a problem with the bars.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3730 days

#5 posted 05-16-2013 06:03 PM

Hi Sharon. Sorry, I have never done that type of lathe work (faceplate, etc.). I just want to say congrats on acquiring the tool! Best wishes with it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#6 posted 05-16-2013 06:31 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

That beall tap doesn’t look too bad as an option. and a chuck for finishing the bottoms would make sense.

The Nova Midi chuck looks like would be a good fit with the internal threading (no threaded adapter) and it’s price range.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ShaneA's profile


7053 posts in 2801 days

#7 posted 05-16-2013 06:39 PM

You can catch those Nova G3s on sale from time to time at Woodcraft. They will include a set of four jaws or so, seems to make it a little more value oriented with all the jaws included.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3788 days

#8 posted 05-16-2013 06:39 PM

I also have the small delta I use primarily for pens don’t try anything too ambitious with it I have heard a lot of people coming to grief with the motor burning out still it does bigger things if your capable of working slowly and taking your time. Alistair have fun

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View MBeck's profile


28 posts in 2893 days

#9 posted 05-16-2013 06:40 PM

It all depends on what you want to make. There are all kinds of good videos out there for wood turning. I have one by Del Stubs that was very helpful when I started to learn. Mike Mahoney and Richard Raffan are experts and have different styles that can show you different ways of doing things. (Faceplates, chucks, vacuuming, etc.) As you learn, you’ll see the possibilities are endless. Just remember to keep it fun and not get frustrated when you make mistakes. Good luck in your quest!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#10 posted 05-16-2013 06:48 PM

Thanks. I am definitely not in a rush for various reasons. I see the supernova2 on sale at WC with all jaws but I cannot select it for some reason. that said, it’s a mighty hefty chuck whereas the midi is lighter (less strain on the spindle). maybe I’ll stop by there sometime to see then in person (always helps).

I will probably be turning pens and small bowls/cups/spindles as I mentioned above. not looking to turn anything too large, and am not looking to be too aggressive with it either. this is more to turn with my daughter, or for small projects from time to time. strictly for fun. I have been turning in 0.060 – 0.002 range on metal projects, so I’m sure this will run faster ;) (to reiterate – I have been turning wood before, just in a different setting).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3251 days

#11 posted 05-16-2013 06:59 PM

Sharon, send a PM to Horizontal Mike, he just went through all the same stuff , he would give you good advices.

-- Bert

View woodworkerforchrist's profile


164 posts in 2061 days

#12 posted 05-16-2013 07:02 PM

Nice!!! Hoping to get one too someday. Have fun!!

-- Marty from MinneSNOWta

View Worth's profile


5 posts in 3272 days

#13 posted 05-16-2013 08:06 PM

I think they should give us the lathes for what we end up spending on turning tools, chucks, mandrels and such.
I paid $300 for an older Jet 1236. Speed variable control thru belt pulley width. It works fine with speeds from about 400 to 2500 rpm. I bought a Nova chuck and added a stubby drive center that allows me to leave the chuck mounted. When the piece you are turning is securely mounted in the chuck, turning is much safer. All turning starts between centers. Most of my early work was spindle turning, and now I am doing some bowls and hollowed forms. I am now thinking on upgrading to Jet’s new 1221 because of reversing, index head, and VS speed control with 1 HP motor. Be careful…turning is habit forming. :) Nova came out with a new chuck with quick-change jaws that you may want to consider.

-- Worth, East Texas

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#14 posted 05-16-2013 08:35 PM

Yup, the machine is just the tease… the real $$$ is in the toolings/accessories/etc.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3355 days

#15 posted 05-16-2013 08:40 PM

Nice Lathe Purp!

I’m in the same boat and had the same question. If I dont plan on turning large bowls do I need a chuck? Maybe just some small boxes. Can I get a buy with one of those cheap 2” chucks they sell at Harbor Freight?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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