please help looking to buy 4 jaw lathe chuck have asked before but still confused

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Blog entry by watcher posted 01-04-2010 06:53 PM 1178 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

i asked about a couple differant lathe chucks before and got a few responces but they just made things a bit harder to decide so i am asking for help one more time. here is one that penn state carries and it comes with a few jaws but it has the 2 bar tightening so i am looking at the nova 3 at woodcraft that has the one key tightening i can get it in my price range with there 15% off one item and waiting till the 18th and also get free shipping but it only comes with 50mm jaws so ill probibly have to buy mor jaws later and those arent cheep either or is the 50mm about a standard jaw i will be using it on a Excelsior Mini Lathe so i cant turn real big pieces even though i do have the lathe extension with it. so i guess what i am asking is what you here on LJ would buy yourselves if you were looking or maybe you can let me know of some differant chucks than i am not curently looking at

-- in wood working there is no need for perfection as inperfections just go to show that the project was done by hand with love and care

8 comments so far

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3232 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 07:13 PM

I own the Oneway Talon and I love mine. When I bought mine it came with the thread adapter for the thread pitch that was on my lathe but now I see you pay extra for it. Whichever one you choose get a model that uses the 1 key tightening. It’s definitely more convenient. If cost is a bigger issue than convenience then I wouldn’t completely dismiss the two bar system. I hope this helps!

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View lew's profile


12142 posts in 3805 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 07:27 PM

I have a similar chuck made by Nova TeknaTool I got from Woodcraft. Originally, I had a chuck- same design- for my previous lathe. That chuck was an oriental knock off. It was so bad that the folks- where I bought the lathe- gave it to me because they couldn’t sell them. The “cheap” chuck, they gave me, would vibrate loose. Worse, if I had to remove the work piece and then re-chuck it, the piece would not be centered. It seemed there was enough slack in the jaw mechanism to cause uneven clamping.

Anyway, the chuck I have now is great. It holds securely whether clamping the inside or outside of a piece. It uses the two “posts” for tightening- which I have not found to be a problem. It didn’t come with any additional jaws and was more expensive than the one from Penn State. After my first experience with the lesser quality chuck, I am a little gun shy, of inexpensive tools. Re-chucking the piece always ends up being centered. I haven’t purchased any additional jaws. Found excellent jigs here on LJs to eliminate the expense of those purchases.

Hope this helps.


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

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4071 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 07:29 PM

I use the Oneway Stronghold chuck for larger work and more precision. It’s much heavier than other chucks and as such has a tendency to dampen vibrations lbetter than the lighter ones.
That being said, I also have 2 Penn state chucks with “Tommy Bars” and find them very handy for passing off a vessel from top to bottom attchment. ( one on the headstock and one on the tail)


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View dbhost's profile


5736 posts in 3281 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 09:46 PM

What do you know… Double post. Ooops…

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View dbhost's profile


5736 posts in 3281 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 10:06 PM

I have a similar chuck, a Wood River Self Center 4 jaw chuck. The 2 bar tightening mechanism isn’t the pain some turners make it out to be. Unless you have an exceptionally weak grip, and if you do, I can’t see you wanting to wrestle with a lathe… Mind you, a single key tightening chuck is nice, but I don’t see how it’s worth twice, or more the money… I only wish I had known about that particular PSI chuck deal since I REALLY want the big bowl jaws for mine, and my local Woodcraft never has them in stock…

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View foresterben's profile


2 posts in 3217 days

#6 posted 01-04-2010 10:25 PM

I also have a midi lathe w/ 12 inches of swing. I purchased a supernova chuck from woodcraft when it was on sale(aprox. $100), and have been pleased with it since. I can see how having a 1-tool tightening chuck would be helpfull. Also, keep in mind that some chucks requre you to turn a “dovetailed” tenon, while others simply require a straight walled tenon.

View hunter71's profile


3195 posts in 3236 days

#7 posted 01-05-2010 01:32 PM

I use a PIS Barracuda chuck and am happy with it. offers free shipping and it is a heavy item.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View tomd's profile


2160 posts in 3819 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 05:25 AM

I also purchased the PSI barracuda 2 chuck as it came with 4 sets of jaws and key set. I have been very happy with it. Having all those jaw options makes it nice in gripping choices.

-- Tom D

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