small diameter spindles... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-12-2010, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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small diameter spindles...

So I tried turning another top yesterday. Mostly turned out okay until I got close to finishing, then the thing popped off.

I attempted to drill a new hole in a block large enough for my chuck, but the spindle (1/4") of the top just wouldn't stay seated with a friction connection well enough for me to finish sand the thing.

Now I have the obvious question... how the hell do you folks hold small diameter rods and spindles like that? I bought the nova chuck (don't remember which one but it fits the midi size lathes) and a couple of sets of jaws, but they don't get anywhere near small enough to hold even a 1/2" diameter, so what jaws should I get to hold small rods and spindles?
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-12-2010, 11:15 PM
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You could try to tighten the fit you have now with something like a piece of paper towel. Maybe even hot glue it in there until you are done. I'm not sure if a collet chuck would work or not. Look on YouTube for a Bob Hamilton video on how to make your own collet chuck to save yourself some bucks.

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-12-2010, 11:21 PM
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i use pin jaws for my supernova chuck to hold my tops and finials.


"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-12-2010, 11:21 PM
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I agree with the hot glue. I know You think crafts but my buddy swares by it . Give it a shot worst case your Where You were and you Peel it off
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-13-2010, 09:16 AM
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I sold out of my tops last weekend, so I made a bunch more yesterday. I made 14 in about 4 hours.

I'd like to see some pics of how you've set up your blank, and how you are cutting a top out of it.

I put the blank in my 4 jaw chuck, start to round it about a 1/4" away from the chuck, then round the rest of the blank and start looking for a top. I usually end up with about a 1" piece of scrap on the chucked end, but I decided some time ago that was well worth avoiding the aggrevation of trying to rechuck the top handle.

I'd be happy to get some action pics for you, if you're interested in how I make tops.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-13-2010, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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dano, some pics would be great. So far I'm just cutting scraps into ~6-10" long blanks and shaping from there. I just made this particular one too small, apparently, at the "handle" end and it broke off before I could finish the actual top. The other ones I did, one successful, one less so, I didn't have any issue with this.

I'm just using scrap which I thought was oak but smells (and looks, once turned) a lot more like a pine of some kind. Couldn't see any of the grain when it was a pallet stringer but once I start turning, the grain becomes significantly more obvious. Pics tonight, hopefully.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-13-2010, 07:10 PM
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I turn regular tops by chucking a 1 1/2" piece in my chuck and I turn it with the handle toward the chuck. By turning the large part first you reduce the chatter.
I also turn tops using a dowel that goes through a larger scrap piece for the body. These I turn using my Vicmarc 100 chuck with the #1 jaws that go down to 1/4". I chuck up the piece by gripping fairly close to the body and use the tailstock to support it. I turn the body and then pull the tailstock away and turn the point end. I sand at this point. Then I pull the dowel out of the chuck further and turn the rest of the handle end.
There are several ways to hold small work. Small jaws are of course one way but your particular chuck may not have them.
Then there are collet's. You can buy #2 Morse taper collets from 1/8" up to 1/2" You will need to make a draw bar for these to keep them from coming out of the taper while you turn. You can buy these from metal supply houses like
Beal makes a system of collets that don't need a draw bar. It's a nice system but kind of expensive.
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