Difference between faceplate and chuck - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-27-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Difference between faceplate and chuck

As far as I know (a begineer woodworker) the faceplate and chuck can do the same thing. If I wanted to make a bowl I would glue the piece I would turn into the bowl to a "base" piece of wood that I could put into a chuck or drill to a faceplate. Why would I spend all that money on a chuck if the faceplate does the same thing?
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-27-2012, 11:50 PM
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Face plate you have to screw into the wood, or a glued on waste block. Church, with different sized jaws, can grip from small dowel to large bowls. Can grip tenon or into recess. Can hold drive centers so no need die screws. Chucks much more versatile ( in my opinion) than face plate, but that's also how I learned.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-28-2012, 07:33 AM
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A faceplate is more secure. Few people throw bowls out of a faceplate. Many top turners swear by faceplates for turning hollow forms because it's simply more secure. Use lots of big screws for this. Some faceplates only come with 4 holes I drill 2 to 4 more.
A waste block glued to a wooden blank takes up less room so if your blank is kind of thin this is a good way to go. Use good wood for the wasteblock. I've seen cheap wood break and throw the bowl. I use maple or poplar mostly.
You can make your own faceplates out of nuts and large washers welded together. I have a bunch that I use on dedicated applications like large discs for custom turnings that must be glued to the disc or for vacuum chucks.

Chucks are faster. I have 4 and want more. I have different jaws on them so I can grab one very quickly and turn something. They are not as secure as a properly installed faceplate but they really do speed things up. For platters you can turn a rebate or hole to accept the chuck. Then mount the chuck on there and turn the front side of the platter.
For bowls you turn a tenon. There should be a shoulder on the tenon to keep the wood from rocking and the tenon should be short enough that it doesn't bottom out in the chuck. You want the square shoulder to bottom out on the top of the jaws.
YOu can grip large dowels or square stock to turn it on end like turning a goblet. Of course the goblet can also be turned by gluing it to a wasteblock but then of course you have to wait for the glue to set. With a chuck you start turning right now.
So basically if you'd rather spend your money somewhere else and have a little patience a faceplate works just fine and is even better for some applications. If your the type who has money and want something done right now, then a chuck is the way to go.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-28-2012, 01:14 PM
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I have several turning videos by Richard Raffan. If you want to see someone who knows his way around a lathe chuck, watch him.

Amazing what he can do and make it look effortless.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-28-2012, 04:51 PM
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I have two chucks but think faceplate give you more design options than a chuck. Started out using faceplates & waste blocks, paper glue joints & screws, still use them for jam & donut chucks reverse turning, A lot easier to mount and remount your work in/on a chuck. Guess what I use most these days?
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