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Attaching & Un-attaching Threaded Tools with Power?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Tom Albrecht, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    I am curious to know if it is common practice to attach or un-attach a threaded faceplate or chuck whilst the lathe is under power. I have seen it done in some videos and some demos. I have done it myself on variable speed machines starting at the lowest speed. I'm not convinced that it is considered a best practice.
     
  2. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    I’ve only attached wood to the screw chuck at the slowest speed. Even that seems dicey.

    I have had large blanks gets stuck while trimming them on then lathe and had no choice but to reverse the spindle under power to back out my faceplate.

    I suppose it’s one of those things that comes down to personal choice and experience.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  3. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    Doubt that its considered a ‘best practice’ - I don’t do it, but then my approach to turning, or working with any powered equipment for that matter, is to keep my hands away from moving parts and pieces as much as possible. Even at the lowest speed (~30rpm on my lathe) 3hp and high torque can do a lot of damage. I certainly wouldn’t be considered a production turner by any means, try to never be in a hurry and conscious of where my hands are at all times.
    Every now and again I do something stupid that reminds me to slow down and think first. So far, no lost parts or pieces, but a couple of close calls that keep me honest. I really hate the sight of my own blood.
     
    Mark Jundanian likes this.
  4. James Seyfried

    James Seyfried

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    I always stop the lathe to unthread or thread-on chuck or any attachment. More often than not I have to engage the spindle lock to remove chucks.
     
    Mike Adams likes this.
  5. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    In a production facility the operator knows the equipment intimately well and develops the most efficient way when working the equipment, when someone has an accident OSHA steps in to make sure those types of accidents can't happen again. Most of the time measures are put in place that guarantee an operator is unable to place their hands anywhere close to moving parts that can remove digits and appendages after an accident has been recorded. .
     
  6. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Well yes, stopping the lathe and using a spindle lock are essential first steps.
     
    Mike Adams likes this.
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I thread chucks and. Faceplates on by turning the handwheel.
    Then lock the spindle and give a little push with a tommy bar.
    This ensures that they will loosen with a little pull with a tommy bar.

    when using a worm screw I let the screw drive into the wood with the lathe on a very low speed holding it so that it pulls from my hands when almost tight. Then lock the spindle and turn the blank until it is as tight as I can get it without stripping the threads.

    i unscrew by hand. Being carful to avoid any sharp edges that may have been turned on the piece. This is probably the biggest risk activity as rims can ge very sharp and easily slice a palm open. I usually softer the rims edges when practical ti dull the rim edge.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  8. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Hi Tom,
    It's a best practice if you want to get that face plate or chuck locked onto the spindle so hard it's a struggle to get it off again. ;)

    The only time I use power to thread an accessory is when the blank is very heavy such that I need two hands supporting the work piece and then it's at very, very low speed -- like 30rpm or something like that. And, I always stop the lathe before the chuck engages the spindle shoulder and hand snug it to seat it. I'm very much aware of damaging the spindle if the accessory gets mis-threaded so don't use power to mount unless absolutely necessary.

    Un-threading under power is more common for me but then again, it's at very slow speeds and only after I've stopped the lathe to break the chuck loose from the spindle shoulder by hand.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I generally unscrew a piece by holding it steady with the right hand and turning the handwheel counterclockwise with my left hand. However, if the piece is too large and heavy to hold with one hand I will use both hands to hold it while the lathe runs in reverse at the slowest speed. The minimum speed on the Robust is so slow that it takes several seconds for a chuck to unscrew. I also have my foot on a kill switch that will instantly stop the lathe.

    This is a good subject for debate. I feel like it is safer to use both hands to hold a large heavy piece with both hands. I would only consider doing this on a piece that doesn't have anything that could grab a finger or clothing. I consider the foot switch to be an essential safety item in performing this operation. I probably wouldn't try this if my lathe didn't have such a slow minimum speed and if it wasn't equipped with a foot switch.

    I would never consider using power to screw a chuck or faceplate onto the spindle for the reasons that Owen mentioned. I only use a very gentle flick of the wrist to seat a chuck or faceplate. That is more than sufficient to give a solid lock. Using power when screwing a chuck or faceplate onto the spindle seems to be also risking an opportunity for cross threading.
     
  10. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I do everything with the late off and use the spindle lock or hand wheel. A turner in our club was using the lathe to unscrew a chuck and damaged his spindle thread (Robust). He was able to fix the threads using a thread file, but that has kept me from using the lathe to unscrew anything. I am tempted however.
     
  11. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I agree with Bill in the scenario of removing a large piece, and following the points he makes. For hobby wordturners in general I consider using spindle power to put on or take off tools bad practice. Just too easy to forget to change the spindle rotation, and it can only take once, and the machine or you are damaged.

    Sure you can find examples of all kinds of practices on the internet. Industrial best practice is much different from home workshop smart practice.
     
    Tom Albrecht likes this.
  12. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    In my view using the lathe motor to drive on a chuck is up there with repositioning the tool rest while the work is spinning. I see people do it, even during professional demonstrations, and it always makes me shudder.

    I use a screw chuck a lot. I mount the work by hand and often on the work bench rather than the lathe. The Nova screw is separate from the chuck so I can use a wrench if necessary to install or remove the screw then mount in the chuck. Even a one piece screw chuck can be wrenched.

    I haven't faced this problem, but if I had a large heavy turning to remove from the lathe, then I would see if I couldn't place some blocks under the piece to support it and/or use the tail stock with a "pillow chuck" loosely so I could still manage it with one hand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019

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