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Axminster chucks

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Hicks, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    Location (City & State):
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    Does anyone here use a Axminster chuck? I found the distributor in NY, but am concerned with the cost of jaws. I run a group and am considering the 114 model. We use a couple of nova titans and a supernova2, but I'm looking for another option besides Chinese made.
     
  2. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    Jan 3, 2012
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    I have an older model that was once sold by craft supplies. I bought it cause I wanted the Odonnell Jaws which were unique to the Axminster chuck selling in the US at the time. Recently, the same question that you were asking was asked of my ex-Engineering woodturner friend. I showed him the chuck and he said that the quality of the chuck is superb! I really didn't realize the gold that I owned. He supported his review with an immediate purchase from Lee Valley.
     
  3. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    I've been using Axminster Evolution (114) chucks exclusively for the past 9 or 10 years. The two I own probably have in excess of 3,000 hours of use on each...completely trouble free. No rust and no noticeable wear on the chucks or jaws. Search this forum and you'll find other posting on this subject.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
    William Rogers likes this.
  4. Hugh

    Hugh

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    May 6, 2004
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    Before I ever owned a chuck for woodturning, I watched Ray Key do a demo. He opened up a small piece of luggage and inside was an Axminster chuck with multiple sets of jaws.
    Went out and bought one. Old, bulky, heavy chuck. Bought extra sets of jaws. Liked it so much bought two more. Got tired of changing the jaws.
    Then Axminster came out with the new version. Bought two of them from Lee Valley. I like the new version, but they are not as well built as the old version.
    I have a tendency to really tighten things.......did this with one of the new chucks and stripped the gears. Sent Axminster an email and asked them to send parts to fix it. Since it was not purchased from them, they said to go to Lee Valley. Lee Valley said they did not have the parts and go to Axminster. The circle begins. Neither Axminster or Lee Valley would fix my chuck.
    That being said, I like the old version. I have used them many years and had no problems. Still have the new version, but use it less. I have the larger new version (not sure of the number).

    Question: If you already have other chucks and jaw sets......why would you want to change brands?
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    It is very hard to change. I started with Nova chuck and had 3 sets of jaws. Fortunately I bought a Vicmarc chuck and loved it. I bought a second one and then a third. During this time i bought 2 copies of the Vicmarc chucks. I wore them out in short order. Ordered replacement parts that did not fit correctly and required a lot of filing to make them work. After 15 or more years I stopped a tooth on the spiral.gear.of this old Vicmarc. This was my most used chuck as well because it has my 2" jaws. Ordered the replacement part and it fit perfectly.
     
  6. Brian Deakin

    Brian Deakin

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    Mar 5, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    Quorn, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
  7. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Apr 20, 2006
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    Location (City & State):
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    It is my thought that the Axminster Evolution is a rather new chuck. The prior and also still current are the Axminster Clubman series. Like the Nova chucks (with the exception of the Titan jaws) all the jaws fit all the chucks. I think Teknatool would disagree that the Nova Chucks are Chinese as they are a New Zealand Chuck manufactured in China, splitting hairs?, probably. I am pretty sure if I added all my chucks up the total would be over 40. Once again Nova, Vicmarc, Oneway, Axminster, Bulldog and my latest addition,1 Woodriver chuck (which runs exactly true). I've never had a Hurricane chuck but others have noted that they work well. I had one of those black no name chucks like Penn State sold but after I tried catching it as it unspun itself from the lathe twice (don't ask what natural bent wants you to catch a spinning chuck), I gave it away. I also had the Grizzly chuck but found them lacking and it went the same way. My point is that I have no bad chucks and I have no feeling that one brand is better than the others. I use a chuck for the lathe it is going to be used on (1" X 8 or 11/4 X 8) and for what jaws are on it. Because a chuck costs twice what another costs does not make it better it just makes those who bought it think it is better because they own it. And that is a true fact in all of woodturning categories it seems. I'm not going to put John down because he likes Vicmarc chucks, that is what he likes and I respect that but that does not make it better. You all have to figure that out for yourselves.
     
  8. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    [QUOTE="Bill Blasic, post: 173184, member: 1875] My point is that I have no bad chucks and I have no feeling that one brand is better than the others. I use a chuck for the lathe it is going to be used on (1" X 8 or 11/4 X 8) and for what jaws are on it. Because a chuck costs twice what another costs does not make it better it just makes those who bought it think it is better because they own it. And that is a true fact in all of woodturning categories it seems. I'm not going to put John down because he likes Vicmarc chucks, that is what he likes and I respect that but that does not make it better. You all have to figure that out for yourselves.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Bill, particularly about cost and purchaser opinion. Havent owned or tried a Vicmark, but plenty of positive comments from known and unknown turner's says they are very good. The comments about warranty are a bit concerning particularly in light of the cost of Vicmark chucks and jaws. I own PSI Barracuda, Nova G3, and Oneway Stronghold. Dont recommend the PSI, the bevel drive is the wrong angle and I stripped one. The Nova is good but I like the Oneway better due to the jaws that are available, and they honor warranty. Two pieces of a jaw set had the base on machined thicker by ~ .020”. After measuring and figuring out the problem, a phone call explaining the problem had a new jaw set on the way - didnt need pics or want the bad set back. Value, what I get for my $, is most important to me. A no name brand that does the job for less $ is always my choice.
     
  9. Curt Fuller

    Curt Fuller

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
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    Location (City & State):
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    Chucks are a lot like cars. Everyone has their favorite and swears it's the best. What I like is consistency. I like using one brand because I don't like keeping a different chuck key around for each different brand and I don't like trying to remember which way to turn the chuck key. I had a oneway talon, my first chuck, that I thought was the best money could buy. I bought it because I was turning on an old oliver lathe that had an oddball 1 1/8 x 8 spindle and oneway made an insert to fit that spindle. It was a great chuck. I then bought a penn state barracuda because I was being thrifty and it was only going to be used on my small delta midi lathe. It worked great on that small lathe. Then I bought a used Vicmarc vl300 that came with 5 vicmarc chucks, three 100's and two 120's and a couple dozen sets of jaws. In the 8 years since I bought the vicmarc I've sold both the oliver and delta lathes and turn everything on the vicmarc simply changing chucks or jaws as needed. I seldom have to change jaws with 5 options available. I feel there are some things that make a difference when turning and the brand of chuck isn't one of them. So just pick one and stick with it. KISS.
     
  10. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Well I’m not the same as some. I do believe there is a difference in chucks. I believe some brands have higher quality standards. I haven’t owned many of the brands mentioned, but feel the Axminister, OneWay, and Vicmarc chucks are superior chucks. It is true many chucks will work, but there are other factors such as the key, jaw design, materials used. I decided Axminister was my chuck of choice. There is no insert as these chucks are direct thread. Adding an insert to a chuck is negative benefit to the end user with the possibility of more runout. I still have my Hurricane HTC125 and that chuck is well made. It uses a taper insert that I feel is better than a threaded insert. I don’t understand the thinking that all chucks are equal. We don’t think that about lathes or tool steel our turning tools are made from.
     
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  11. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Apr 1, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
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    Some people don't worry too much about things. Im perfectly content turning on my nova saturn. Would I love a oneway or robust sure, but I havent found anything I can't turn on my saturn yet. Likewise i haven't found anything that i can't do with my nova chucks perfectly well that would make me think about going to a different brand for more money. As for tool steel i dont really put much thought into it. I have a thompson, several sorbys and others, they all turn and they all sharpen. Good enough for me.
     
  12. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
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    Location (City & State):
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    Most of my chucks are insert chucks and I have always checked runout of my chucks. I have no chucks with more than .0015 runout. And one of those is a Axminster direct thread. Most are in the .0005 area. That is why I was so surprised about the Wood River chuck which runout was less than .001. The Wood River insets when they first came out were being sold by Woodcraft for the Nova chucks (they did fit) but runout was huge and soon it was noted not to use with nova chucks. Now this Wood River chuck has the Wood River insert and it runs true. Now I like all my chucks but if I were allowed just one brand I honestly would choose Nova. I have never lost a piece that could be blamed on any chuck and I do own over 20 Novas. I have and use all of these brands and they all do the job and I will always contend that one brand is no better than the others. Again that's me you have to choose for yourself.
     
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  13. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    We each have different experiences. I had 5 Nova chucks and the best runout was 0.0015” One was 0.005” and the others were in-between. I spoke with Teknatool at a AAW symposium and they told me 0.005” was acceptable. I used them for two years and got by with them. I bought several of the Record chucks and IMO were made much better, max runout was 0.0015” or less. However this is not the sole reason I sold those chucks. It was more that I didn’t like their jaw selection and the PIA changing jaws led to buying multiple chucks. With the Axminister I am ok cranking out one set of jaws and cranking in another set. Axminister is the only brand that has the O’Donnell jaws. I didn’t want to invest the $$ into chucks. I had 12 chucks and storage was another PIA. Every component has a tolerance. The more components a assembly has the likely the higher the tolerance. Sometimes the parts will offset and sometimes they will be worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  14. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
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    Location (City & State):
    North Charleston, SC
    If you want to buy a chuck that will last a lifetime and is trouble free, buy the Vicmarc.
     
  15. Steve Fulgoni

    Steve Fulgoni

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
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    2
    Location (City & State):
    Deer Park, NY
    Hi John,

    The Axminster SK114 is a great chuck, made in Axminster, England. almost 30 years ago Axminster introduced the Super Precision Chuck to the woodturning world, which, to my knowledge was the first 4 jaw scroll chuck for the woodturning market. It was made in Poland and was really a metalworking chuck with 2 piece jaws and Axminster designed dozens of jaws and accessories for it. They also made a 100mm Clubman chuck. About 10 years ago, Axminster discontinued the Super Precision Chuck and introduced the SK114 to go with the SK100 and SK80 Clubman chucks. All of the chucks and jaws are made in Axminster England. Axminster chucks are world class, as are the Vicmarc chucks and some of the other brands that have been mentioned.

    Today Axminster makes over 40 jaw sets for the SK114, SK100, and SK80 chucks and they are all interchangeable with each other (although practically speaking you may not want to put large SK114 jaws on the SK80 chuck, but you can). If you can think of an application, Axminster will have a jaw set to meet your needs. Their jaws also mate with faceplate rings, 4 prong centers, eccentric chucks, morse taper adapters and more. The product line is incredibly well thought out and beautifully made.

    I have used Axminster chucks for 25 years. There are many really good choices for chucks, and Axminster is right there in the top group.

    Steve Fulgoni
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
    Ed Davidson and William Rogers like this.
  16. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    I have one of the new Axminster Evolution chucks they sent me to try, along with a bunch of jaws I'll never use, but many turners would. The standard jaws on this one are a little odd as it has a little lip thats meant to lock in the woodworm screw. I would prefer to have 50mm dovetail jaws, but have not asked for them yet. I've used hundreds of the various common chucks in my travels, the Axminster Evolution is as nicely made as I've seen, comparable to the Vicmarc, and its sealed and made of stainless. I've used the same Stronghold since the first dozen they made and its done all I need, but this Axminster is nicer, no doubt-its a beauty. If I was going to buy a chuck, it would be at the top of my list.

    John
     
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