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Recommendation for Lathe chuck?

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Forum topic by cmillsrun posted 03-13-2014 06:20 PM 1869 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cmillsrun

32 posts in 1025 days


03-13-2014 06:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

Hi all,

I’ve just recently been getting into turning and just purchased a Rikon mini-lathe (70-100)- extremely excited! I was wondering if there was any particular chuck that you would recommend. There seems to be a lot of lathe chucks out there- I know woodcraft recommends Nova’s and then Highland (I’m from Atlanta) recommended Barracuda.

What’s the general consensus on a good starter chuck for a beginner turner?

Thanks!!

-- -Chris


15 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4458 posts in 3428 days


#1 posted 03-13-2014 06:56 PM

I have the Grizzly knock off of the Vic Mark. Use it all the time with good results. Comes with all wrenches, worm screw, etc.
Check it out.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

372 posts in 2072 days


#2 posted 03-13-2014 07:28 PM

Ether chuck would serve you well. As a beginner on a mini lathe, you know you will likely buy a bigger lathe at some point. Therefore buy a full size chuck and not one that can only be run on mini lathes. For that reason and some others I bought a oneway chuck. It takes different inserts that determine what spindle thread it screws onto.

That doesn’t mean that is the best option for you. The oneway costs more and only comes with one set of jaws. If price were not a consideration I would say go for it, otherwise just pick the one that is cheaper and has the most number of jaws. Good luck!

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1887 posts in 1602 days


#3 posted 03-13-2014 09:09 PM

Spindle on your lathe is 1” x 8 TPI, checking out Highland they sell Nova & Oneway chucks. Easy Chuck too expensive for a mini lathe.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/lathe-chucks.aspx

You have a choice with Nova chucks that come 1” x 8 TPI Precision Midi or G3 which needs a threaded insert to fit your lathe. G3 will give you better selection of optional jaws. They also sell Oneway Talon which will also need a threaded insert.

Penn State Industry or PSI sells Barracuda 3 & 4 jaw chucks. Definitely do not recommend a 3 jaw chuck for wood turning. You do not need to buy a threaded insert but cannot upgrade threaded insert if buy a bigger lathe.
http://www.pennstateind.com/store/lathe-chucks.html

Most folks will recommend you buy a Key chuck vice tommy bar operated chuck. I have used both styles and doesn’t matter to me. Yes a key chuck lot easier to use.

Think price wise a Nova Precision (tommy bar) or G3 (key operated) chuck less expensive because can make an in store purchase vice paying shipping. G3 with threaded insert will run around $162.99 before tax, if update your lathe later just need to buy a new insert vice new chuck.

I have two Oneway chucks and love them. Did need to buy new insert for my first one when upgraded my lathe. Bought a second Oneway body, threaded insert, and spigot jaws which was more expensive than my first chuck. I do not like to change out jaws.

-- Bill

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1909 days


#4 posted 03-13-2014 10:09 PM

Splurged a little and upgraded to an EWT Easy Chuck a few months ago (got a great deal on it was the main reason). I really like it, especially the ability to quickly change jaws, but yeah, it’s rather pricey, especially for a starter chuck.

I started off with this one, mostly because it was one of the cheapest I could find.

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/CUG3418CCX.html?prodpage=1CU

Decent little chuck. It’s got the Tommy bar method of tightening it. I do prefer the keyed chucks, but it’s not bad but as Wildwood says, just different. One big advantage I found with the bars tightening vs the key is that (with the exception for the EWT), it’s much faster to just spin the chuck to change the size vs having to turn a key. My main complaint with it is the style of the jaws. They’re straight jaws rather than dovetail jaws. PSI does sell a dovetail jaw set for it, but I never bought it.

Might also want to check out the Nova G3 or the Delta equivalent. More options for jaws. The Delta version is the same as the reversible G3 but costs less.

LAter on down the road, if you get into bowl turning, I’d definitely look into a Longworth chuck (Highland carries them too). It’s great for reverse mounting and turning off a tenon.

I don’t use my PSI chuck anymore because I bought the EWT one. If you’re interested, drop me a PM and I’ll make a deal. Can meet you at Highland to boot :)

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1909 days


#5 posted 03-13-2014 10:24 PM

BTW, what everyone is talking about here are scroll or 4 jaw chucks. They’re the most versatile and probably he most common, but there’s other types as well. Collet, screw, Longworth, jam etc. etc. They all have there purposes, but the main reason you’re gonna want a scroll chuck is for bowl turning.

If you are just wanting to do pens on small spindle turnings right now you don’t need one (yet… you will). Pens you would use a pen mandel, and spindle you can use a drive center + tail stock and part off the part in the middle that you’d need.

Also, one tidbit of advice since you’re just getting started. It’s addicting; you’ll soon find out that the cost of the tools and accessories far outweighs the cost of the lathe! If you add up all my accessories, I’m probably at the lathe 3 times over. Totally worth it though. It’s the only tool I have where I can just walk up to it when I want to work with my hands and create something while just figuring it out as I go. There’s something satisfying about that; I feel like with other tools you need to have a much better idea of the final destination before you really get started.

View JayCop's profile

JayCop

35 posts in 1901 days


#6 posted 03-13-2014 10:30 PM

The Hurrican HTC100 and HTC125 are great 4 jaw chucks at a very reasonable price. I use the 125 myself and it has been great from day 1.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#7 posted 03-13-2014 10:33 PM

Most people recommend whatever they have which suggests that most all of them are fairly good. I have a Nova midi and have no complaints. If/when I buy another it’ll be a Nova or Hurricane, been reading really, really, positive things about the Hurricane chucks.

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

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1887 posts in 1602 days


#8 posted 03-14-2014 01:09 PM

When buying a chuck for a mini lathe besides deciding on key or tommy bar chuck want to watch weight and width of a chuck too!

My Oneway chuck worked just fine on my 12×36” lathe with a spindle of 1” x 8 TPI. While weight okay for my Jet 1014 mini lathe, reduced distance between centers. Had an inexpensive ($103.) lighter and narrow tommy bar chuck with 3 set of jaw used on my mini lathe. I broke of a hex bolt changing jaws on that cheap chuck. Could never get the broken hex bolt out to make a repair.

Manufactures do address weight and chuck bodies w/jaws installed besides swing. Do not go by swing of lathe alone.

-- Bill

View cmillsrun's profile

cmillsrun

32 posts in 1025 days


#9 posted 03-14-2014 02:11 PM

Wow, thanks for the awesome response! I will admit that I was surprised at how much the chucks costs compared to the lathe itself (the lathe being $300 and these chucks easily between $100 and $200!)

I’d like to stay cost effective but at the same time I don’t want to have something that will have to be replaced in just a year or so. (haha I know contradicting thoughts). I’m leaning towards the barracuda but really only because it comes with 4 sets of jaws (leading me to believe that it’ll be more versatile) but do you guys find that you’re using different jaws very often?

-- -Chris

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2044 days


#10 posted 03-14-2014 02:55 PM

I disdain changing jaws so I tend to keep the od ( outer diameter )

to around 2.5 inches so I can turn instead of doing machine setups.

Love me some Nova chuck from Woodcrafters for my Delta midi lathe.

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1432 posts in 2230 days


#11 posted 03-14-2014 04:48 PM

The Barracuda is a nice chuck, in that you get a lot for your money. But – they are direct threaded for 1×8 TPI, and will need an adapter if used for other than 1×8, the key is soft metal, so you have to watch how much pressure you put on it to tighten. The Nova Midi is also direct threaded for 1×8 TPI – I have one with an adapter for 1-1/4 TPI. Also have two Nova2’s with 1-1/4 inserts. Teknatool (Nova) now makes a chuck similar to the ET chuck, which is less expensive.

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1909 days


#12 posted 03-14-2014 09:05 PM

I use different jaws a lot more often with my Easy Chuck just because it’s next to zero effort to change out. With a traditional chuck, I definitely didn’t change jaws as often, just because it’s a pain. You get much better gripping when the jaws are just over / under the recess size (depends if you’re gripping a tenon or recess). As long as it’s not too far out, probably okay. I only one or two incidents where a catch knocked the turning out of the chuck. One was rather catastrophic as it was a smaller bowl and got sucked into my dust collector hood. Ended up blowing up on the impeller. Lemme tell you… that’s not a pleasant sound.

Since you’re in the Atlanta area, you might also want to check out what Peachtree carries. They’ve got a pretty decent selection too, comparable to Highland.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re really gonna go wrong with anything that’s been mentioned in this thread.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3130 days


#13 posted 03-14-2014 09:14 PM

I have a PSI utility chuck (tommy bars) as well as a Nova G3D (the D is for Delta … part no 46-461).

I really like the Nova.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2411 days


#14 posted 01-06-2016 03:50 AM

and that is why I insist on a cyclone in front of my impellers


I use different jaws a lot more often with my Easy Chuck just because it s next to zero effort to change out. With a traditional chuck, I definitely didn t change jaws as often, just because it s a pain. You get much better gripping when the jaws are just over / under the recess size (depends if you re gripping a tenon or recess). As long as it s not too far out, probably okay. I only one or two incidents where a catch knocked the turning out of the chuck. One was rather catastrophic as it was a smaller bowl and got sucked into my dust collector hood. Ended up blowing up on the impeller. Lemme tell you… that s not a pleasant sound.

Since you re in the Atlanta area, you might also want to check out what Peachtree carries. They ve got a pretty decent selection too, comparable to Highland.

For what it s worth, I don t think you re really gonna go wrong with anything that s been mentioned in this thread.

- gtbuzz


View SaltySteele's profile

SaltySteele

1 post in 336 days


#15 posted 01-09-2016 04:03 PM

I’ve got two supernova 2’s, and use them on my delta variable speed mini. Just had to purchase the thread insert for each, and good to go.

Highly recommend them, and they’ve got a vast selection of jaws for them at any wc store.

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