I am new to wood working myself and I am also currently looking for a chuck for my lathe. I can give you some information to get you started. The piece that the face plate screws on to is the headstock. Measure the diameter of that piece and count the number of threads in a distance of 1", my research shows it should be 3/4"x 16 TPI (threads per inch). If I can suggest, I would stay with a 4 jaw chuck, they make 3 jaw and 4 jaw. There are numerous brands of chucks but not all of them will adapt to 3/4x16 threads so that may limit your choices. The next thing is chucks have different jaws that bolt on for the type of turning you are doing. There are jaws and devices for bowl turning, pen turning, etc., so you need to make sure the chuck you purchase has jaws available that are suitable for what you are turning. You will also need to measure from the bed to the center of the headstock, my research shows that your lathe is a 12" swing so this measurement should be 6". The chuck you purchase needs to be compatible with a 12" swing or smaller. There are self centering chucks and chucks that each jaw moves independantly meaning that you have to center your work piece in the chuck, self centering is just that, it centers the work piece as you tighten the jaws. Some chucks use "Tommy Bars" to tighten and loosen the jaws, which generally require 2 hands, and others use some sort of keyed wrench where you can hold the work piece with one hand and tighten the jaws with the other hand. However there are places to buy chucks from, just do a Google search for "wood lathe chucks" and you will find a number of places to buy chucks from.
Sorry to bombard you with all of this, but buying a chuck is not as cut and dry as you may think. It is important to get a chuck that is compatible for your lathe and the type of work you want to do. I suggest you do research and to others that are more experienced then me, you can find them on this forum, and just not go purchase a chuck. I have been researching a chuck for my lathe for over a month and finally decided on one that I hope Santa brings me. If I can be of more assistance let me know,if I can help I will, If I can't I will tell you.
I am looking to get a Nova G3 chuck made by Teknatool. I have a new model Craftsman lathe but mine has a 1"x 8 TPI spindle on the head stock but it is a 12" swing. I am learning to turn bowls and through alot of research the G3 chuck was recommended by experienced turners and it is a lighter weight then other brand chucks so it is less wear on the bearings in the head stock. There is an adapter available for this chuck to fit a 3/4"x16 head stock. If you look at this chuck make sure you are looking at the G3, they also make a G2 that is to big for your lathe.
Yes, I have considered the Barracuda chuck and was looking at them for a good while. The T/N kit is a good deal but I am leaning towards the fact that the G3 is lighter and less wear on the bearings in the head stock.
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