what kind of chuck would i use to turn wood if i would use a chuck to turn wood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-07-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question what kind of chuck would i use to turn wood if i would use a chuck to turn wood?

hi all, new here and my question is more serious than the title.

I've used a lathe before but not a lot. I have a Grizzly G8690 VS Wood Lathe mini (yeah i know it's not much but i just want to do some small projects like chess pieces). Anyway i was thinking i wanted to put a chuck on it and i'm confused about whether to use a 3 jaw or 4 jaw chuck.

I remember from 8th grade shop ripping the stock price to an octagon before putting it on the lathe. But it doesn't seem that a 3 jaw chuck would center an octagon. Yet the 3 jaw one seems to be the most common.

of course the 4 jaw would do it, (it's a little more to buy that one). But what shape fits a 3 jaw chuck? Round of course, but who starts with round stock or hexagonal?

thanks in advance for any advise
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-07-2008, 11:47 PM
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I use the Oneway chucks. The Talon is about right for a small lathe.

http://www.oneway.ca/chucks/index.htm
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-08-2008, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply Shawnlake. Though i'm not looking some much for a recommendation for a specific make of chuck (besides that one cost more than my cheapo lathe :-), but rather an explanation and understanding of how to use a 3 jaw chuck. What shape stock centers in that?
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-08-2008, 11:10 AM
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The 3 jaw self centering chucks were designed for metal lathes and excel at that. They suck when used for wood. They tend to crush the wood and then the vibrations from the tool cause the wood to slip out. They can be used and many people have done so but once they switched to the 4 jaw wood lathe chucks they never went back. The same is true with the 4 jaw independant chucks that are designed for metal lathes. The problem is the jaw shapes.
I'm a fan of the vicmarc chucks (and Grizzly has a chinese copy which is quite good) They have a huge number of different jaw styles to cover most anything you could turn. They chuck key is a standard sized hex key so if you lose it you can easily get a replacement from the hardware store. For doing something like chess pieces I like the extended jaws.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-08-2008, 11:34 AM
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The $99 grizz chuck is a vicmarc knockoff and has a good rating on another forum. Buying one myself soon. You need a four jaw for woodturning. The 3 jaw is mostly for metal working with round stock. Starting with square or irregular shaped stock turn it to round. Cut a tennon on one end and use that tennon to mount the stock to your chuck. I usually bring up the tail stock until I can no longer use it. You will probably have to re turn your mounted stock to round again as you can't alwaysget the stock re-centerd aqftermounting..Bill....

Last edited by Bill Bolen; 07-08-2008 at 01:17 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-08-2008, 02:16 PM
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I have one of the Grizzly chucks along with several vicmarc's. It is a pretty good chuck. Not as good as the Vicmarc but certainly worth $99.
One thing that will help no matter what chuck you buy is to cut your tenon short enough so that it doesn't bottom out in the chuck. Then make the top of the tenon a perfectly square shoulder so it sits on top of the jaws. This keeps the work from rocking so the jaws won't loosen from compressing the wood. It's also a good idea when turning soft or green wood to stop and tighten the jaws every so often to make sure you don't lose the work.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-08-2008, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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super! thanks for all the great information!!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-01-2010, 02:18 AM
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Penn State Ind. has a nice little 4 jaw chuck with three sets of jaws right now tor $89. I don't have one, but this is what I plan to start with.
Here's the link:

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/CUG3418CCX.html

OOPS. I just noticed this is a very old thread.
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