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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on buying a chuck, mostly for bowls, platters and such, but would also want to use it for spindle turning at times. I'm thinking the top one (picture) called a "4 jaw chuck for round" would be more suitable. The other (3" 4 jaw) looks as though it would not have as much gripping power for tenons or recesses.

Would the first one (4 jaw chuck for round) be suitable for spindle turning or for odd shaped work pieces? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

John

4 jaw for round.JPG
4  jaw.JPG
 

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I have three chucks. 2 like the upper one and one like the lower. (A G3 and an inexpensive Penn State with tommy bars and an unknown make) My chuck like the lower one has independent jaws and is next to worthless for my uses. But it came free with a used lathe I purchased. I have been doing a lot of spindle turning of uniform square stock and the round Penn State chuck hold the 1.5 inch square stock great and for pieces under 6 inches long, I do not even need to use the tail stock.

I have not tried any bowls yet in the chucks. I did turn a chalice with the G3 and once a club member showed me how to turn the tennon to fasten in the chuck, it seemed so easy. As with almost everything, having a knowledgeable person show how beats the dickens out of an hour's worth of reading about it.
 

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Woodcraft has the Supernova2 chucks on sale, if I recall. BTW, our local store is having a big sale for the end of the year clearance. Check their store if one is close or go to their website, www.woodcraft.com for info. I have one SN2 and bought the pen jaws and Cole jaws. Good for the $$$$. There are others but you are talking big bucks for them. Some guys in our turning club have several chucks for different turning projects. They don't have to change jaws each time. As soon as my ship comes in, I'm going to buy a couple more. But, with my luck, when my ship comes in, I'll be at the airport.
 

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I bought this one from Penn State last year and have used it quite a lot and have yet to have any issues whatsoever with it! Here is the ash tray I made last year.
 

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Depending on the brand, there are usually many different types of interchangeable jaws for the type of chuck shown at the top.

Here's are examples:

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/search?term=chuck+jaws


They are generally brand specific, so don't assume a jaw from one brand will fit a chuck of another brand.


I found the people at Craft Supply to be very helpful when I was making chuck selections.
 

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I bought a Grizzly 4 jaw scroll chuck set for $139. It turned out to be considerably nicer than I expected (Chinese!) It measures 3 13/16 in diameter and came with 4 sets of interchangeable jaws in a light weight aluminum case. 1", 8 tpi back plate. I don't turn large things, mainly toy parts. The advantage to a scroll chuck for me is the fast change out of parts allowing me to finish the ends.
In the photos above, the lower chuck is for metal working, each jaw is adjusted independently.
 

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I too have a Grizzly chuck, it has worked fine for me, it is like the upper one you posted

One thing to never do with a scrolling chuck, is to open it too far, on mine there was a real small roll pin to stop you from doing it, but I sheered it off and never felt hardly any resistance

If you drop all 4 jaws off the scroll it is a major PITA to get them all back in the right position
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone.

Larry, I think you pretty much answered my question. But the upper one I posted would clamp inside and out, wouldn't it?

Catpower, have you used your Grizzly for bowls and such? If so, how big of a workpiece would it handle? My lathe is a 12", so that would be the absolute maximum for me, and I round and shape a lot of my wood prior to putting on a lathe (I just love chopping with a sharp hatchet).

John
 

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Almost all chucks are designed to clamp inside or out but I can't say for sure about any particular one. My grizzly will. One of the sets of jaws is made to fit a tapered recessSo it can grip something quite shallow like the foot of a bowl. The jaws designed as a face plate open to about 6" and are designed to screw to the work. That said, it is not as sturdy looking as a cast iron face plate. How big can it turn? That is probably more a function of how well it is attached to the work, how balanced the work is in rotation, and how aggressive you are when turning. The Grizzly is for a 1" 8tpi spindle, Common I think on light duty lathes. I'm pretty sure I could over load it with my heavier lathe but I hope I have enough common sense to avoid it.
For comparison I weighed the grizzly, 4#, my metal working chucks: 5C collet chuck 16#, 6" 3 jaw scroll 21#, 8" 4 jaw 30#. May not be a fair comparison since I turn steel with my metal lathe, not wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Larry, I looked at the description again and found more info than I saw to start. It does say it clamps both ways. You're right about overloading-almost anything can be overloaded if a proper lack of common sense is applied.

I think this is the one I'll try. I can always get a larger one later if need be.

Thanks to all,

John
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another plea for help

First, on the picture of the Nova chuck, can a tenon be clamped in the area I've indicated? I think the answer is yes, but want to be sure before I buy.

Secondly, the two chucks I've attached are basically the same price, but the Penn State chuck has two extra sets of jaws. Both have a wood worm.

I know the Nova is probably better quality, but you get more with the Penn State. I've had a reply(?s) to this thread from those who are satisfied with the PS chuck.

Thanks to all who've read, and especially to all who reply with such kindness,

John
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Think I've narrowed it down to two chucks: the Penn State that comes with 2 sets of jaws plus 8" jumbo jaws, and a woodworm screw, or the Nova 48111. I suppose the Nova is of better quality, but there is more value in the Penn State IF the quality is acceptable. At least one poster has expressed his satisfaction with the PS chuck.

Also, can a tenon be clamped in the recess I've indicated on the Nova chuck? If so, it would probably serve my needs just as well as the PS chuck.

I don't know anyone locally into woodturning, and there are no clubs to my knowledge. There is really nowhere I can go to possibly see different chucks, and other equipment, being used.

Many thanks to all,

John
 

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Yes you can clamp a tenon where you have it circled, I use it to hold a 3/8 bolt to turn wine stoppers
 

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Keep away from chuck that use bars to tighten the jaws, they say unless you have a third arm to hold on to the piece it is difficult to get the part into the chuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Keep away from chuck that use bars to tighten the jaws, they say unless you have a third arm to hold on to the piece it is difficult to get the part into the chuck.
Well, Bob, mine arrived today. I went with the Nova, hoping the quality would be somewhat higher than the less expensive brand. I'll let you know how it works when I get a chance to use it. Some people swear that they are easy to use. We'll see. Hopefully, it won't be too awkward.



Three-armed John
 

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Do the new nova chucks still tighten backwards? My old one does and it’s annoying. It would probably be less of a problem if it was the only chuck I had but all the rest of my chucks tighten the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do the new nova chucks still tighten backwards? My old one does and it’s annoying. It would probably be less of a problem if it was the only chuck I had but all the rest of my chucks tighten the other way.
I tightens one way for inside and the other for outside clamping. It may be, however, opposite from what you're used to. This is the only chuck I've ever used, so I couldn't say if it's backwards or not.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Keep away from chuck that use bars to tighten the jaws, they say unless you have a third arm to hold on to the piece it is difficult to get the part into the chuck.
I've used it a couple of days now and do not find the bar system of tightening to be much of a problem. I do plan to put small ball handles on the bars to make them easier to handle, but with multiple holes around the chuck, I just find the two closest to each other, snug ("nip" the British would say) it up while holding the work piece with my other hand. That takes a total of two (2) hands.:smile2: I have also used the tailstock to help.

Seriously, I can see how the other system would be more convenient, but to me this is not terribly awkward.

Thanks for your reply,

John
 
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