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Insert chucks

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Dan Stromberg, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Hi all,

    So after many years of thinking about it, I finally pulled the trigger this morning and ordered a full-size lathe (Laguna 1836.) I think this will be a nice step up from the mini I've been using.

    However, I'm under the impression that the chucks I bought for the mini lathe (1" x 8tpi) will not fit properly on the new lathe (1 1/4" x 8tpi). Unfortunate, but it is what it is, and compared to the cost of the lathe is not a major expense. (My existing chucks are a PSI Barracuda and Nova G3 - non insert version.)

    My question is regarding the pros and cons of getting an insert chuck instead of a dedicated chuck. The pros of an insert chuck are obvious, but what about cons? From a perspective of "more parts means more things that can go wrong", is it better to stay with dedicated chucks? Does an insert have a tendency to loosen, or anything like that?

    The two that seem to be in a similar price ballpark are the Supernova 2 and the Record Power G4. Leaning towards the Record, but I wasn't sure if there was a drawback to going with the insert.

    Thanks all...

    Dan
     
  2. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    For me there is no real con to the insert type chuck. Most all of the brands use this method. I have two SuperNova's 2 and two Record SC4 chucks. I prefer the Record chucks. I also have the Barracuda 2 and 4 chucks along with the Hurricane HTC 125 chuck. I sold my Nova G3. The Hurricane is a good chuck and would buy it again. I would suggest you get a 1-1/4" to 1" adapter so you can still user your existing chucks. I got mine from Penn State for about $20 and use it for my Barracuda 2 and my wine stopper mandrel. The Nova chucks and the Record chucks are very close to each other and the nova jaws will fit the Record chuck. Other chucks I considered are the Hurricane HTC 100 and the Vickmark VM 100.

    I also have the Laguna 1836 and like it very much
     
  3. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    That was the other thing I was wondering -- the adapters. In my brief looking, I saw them listed together with the inserts and wasn't sure if that implied they were either the same thing, or could only be used with insert-type chucks.

    I will definitely look into the adapter. Would be nice not to have to stop using my existing chucks - I didn't realize that was an option.

    Thanks!

    Dan
     
  4. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    There are spindle adapters available from several sources, 1 1/4" to 1" that would allow you to use your existing chucks with some caveats.
    The adapter adds several inches to the spindle length. Not a big deal on the Laguna.
    Any runout would become more evident. Keeping dust and crud from the mating surfaces becomes more important.
    Best wood tools has spindle adapters, Penn State, and others.
    They can be handy in the short and long run. Get you up and running at a smaller cost, and after you get a chuck with a 1 1/4 insert you still can use the other 1" chucks if the case arises.
     
    odie likes this.
  5. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Ah ha! So there are differences to consider when looking at spindle adapters! The VM 120 has been on my "thinking about it" list for a new chuck as well. It's just a bump up in price from the SuperNova and Record ones.

    I do love all the discussions about super precision alignment when we're dealing with a compressible material. Not that it's not important, just that the wood moves far more, and the wood fibers get crushed by the chuck anyway. Or maybe it's just that my turning hasn't reached that level.

    Thanks for the quick feedback.
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I think that the terminology varies all over the place. Oneway uses the term adapter for the piece that adapts the chuck body to the lathe spindle. I think that others (maybe Vicmarc) calls them inserts. There will be some added runout if another member is inserted to adapt one spindle thread size to another.

    I have Oneway and Vicmarc chucks. The Oneway chucks all use tapered spindle adapters which is the the best type of adapter for precision alignment and convenience of use. If you need to change the adapter, it is the most difficult to remove and Oneway says that you shouldn't reuse the screws. Vicmarc adapters screw in which is more convenient if you need to change the adapter, but the downside is that you should use the tommy bar to remove the chuck from the lathe so that the insert isn't loosened. For this reason I bought a direct thread Vicmarc 120 and it is my favorite in my whole stable of chucks.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm guessing that you mean something beyond the obvious ... as in being able to thread the chuck onto the spindle without using a pipe wrench with cheater bar.

    But, on the other hand, by fitting "properly" if you are asking if your current chucks might be beneath the social station of your new Laguna lathe I would have to defer to Miss Manners to give a definitive answer. :D
     
  8. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Okay, maybe I should have been more specific ;). By "properly", I mean without causing damage to lathe, chuck, or anything else in the shop (including myself). And preferably, in a way allowing for removal later on without also causing more said damage.

    And if I were buying a lathe based on perceived social value, I would have aimed at a higher price bracket than the Laguna! Besides, the only people besides myself who are likely to see the lathe in the shop will have no idea of it's value/quality beyond "wow, that looks really heavy."

    Seriously, though, my turning skills (and available shop time) aren't nearly at a point where I think I would get enough benefit from a so-called higher end lathe. I'm just excited to be stepping up from the mini!
     
    odie and Bill Boehme like this.
  9. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I will address both inserts and adapters.
    Inserts for Super Nova are available from Teknatool and other suppliers. I would suggest only buying inserts made by your chuck manufacturer. I bought inserts not made by Teknatool and they work but are difficult to remove.
    Adapters are not all created equal . If you are turning 8 inch or smaller you will not notice the runout. However if using a Longworth chuck 14 inch you will positively see the difference. I think mine is Penn State and the solution I found to work was a small piece of tape applied to the mating face of the adapter on the low side . Not perfect but with acceptable results.
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Two main considerations for the Chuck threads are
    1. Matching thread 1 1/4x8
    2. sufficient depth so that chuck seats against the spindle.

    I remember some chucks not fitting on the stubby because the threads bottomed out in the chuck preventing the chuck from seating on the spindle. Most popular chucks should fit your lathe.

    The vicmarc is a great Chuck as is the ONEWAY stonghold
    both have lots of jaw options. The ONEWAY is better for spindle turning.
    The Vic mark hex key is easier to use than the ONEWAY key and you can by a get a hex key in most any hardware store..

    I have both chucks. Use the vicmarc on most of the bowls I do. And use the Onewaynfor most all of the spindle orient turnings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    Dan Stromberg and Bill Boehme like this.
  11. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    A lot of good stuff to think about here, thanks. This forum has always been helpful. And now I'm seriously considering the Vicmarc. Woodcraft has the Record Power SC4 on sale for $150 this month, so the VM120 ends up being 2x the price, though. Not sure it's 2x better. :)

    I really appreciate everyone's feedback and advice!
     
  12. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    :). Probably right it could be 5x better. :)

    I haven’t used the Record but it looks like a good chuck that will suit your needs.
    In a few years you may decide to add another chuck or two or three.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    What Al said. I've heard people fret over the cost BEFORE buying a Vicmarc chuck, but not AFTER buying one. Buying quality only hurts once.
     
    Dan Stromberg likes this.
  14. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Dan, the VM120 is a 5" chuck and the SC4 is a 4" chuck. The size difference is noticeable. I don't have any Vicmark chucks, but do have the Hurricane HTC125 that is a knock off of the Vicmark VM120. It is really not a good comparison as the capabilities will be different. The VM100 is a 3-1/2" chuck closer to the Record SC4 in range. Since I don't have a Vicmark chuck, I can't compare as to "x" better or worse. However I am very happy with my Record chucks and Nova chucks as they do everything I need them to do. I am also happy with the Hurricane chuck I use on larger turnings.
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Choose a chuck based on what you plan to do with it and not the size of your lathe. For bowls and platters under 16" diameter a 3½" chuck works just fine .... especially for smaller pieces a smaller chuck is preferable to a larger one because of less restrictive access close to the tenon or recess.
     
    Russell Nugent likes this.
  16. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Somewhat interesting. I need to buy a Vicmarc VN100 chuck. Not because of any problem with my Record or Nova chucks, but I need the 3" range for my eccentric chuck. The eccentric chuck is on the very outside range of the Nova. The Nova opens to 2.844" and will barely hold the eccentric chuck. So I'll get to compare them side by side next week.
     
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  17. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Speaking from personal experience under similar circumstances, I'd say avoid using spindle adapters ie: spindle extensions.
     
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  18. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I'll be very interested in your comparison.
     
  19. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Well I ended up buying the Axminster SK100 chuck. The Vicmarc would work, but the Axminster is a better fit.
     
  20. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    William,
    When I checked on the Axminster chucks, I thought they didn’t have a set screw to secure the chuck to the spindle. I felt this was important when sanding in reverse. Was I mistaken?
    Jon
     
  21. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I never use a setscrew. When putting the chuck on the lathe spindle, a light flick of the wrist ought to be sufficient to lock the chuck against the spindle shoulder. If you're doing that and the chuck still unwinds then there might be something wrong with the registration face on the chuck or the spindle. The other possibility is that you might be sanding with too much pressure or too high RPM.
     
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  22. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I do the same as Bill. To answer your question, I depends on the thread for that chuck series. The one I bought does (1-1/4 8tpi) does include the set screw for reverse, but their larger Evolution does not have that option. The actually put in 3 set screws to lock it on the spindle (overkill).
     
  23. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    Thanks guys. I suppose the screw might be overkill. Well, now that my chucks have them, I will just continue to use them.
     
  24. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    Don Derry sold a hollowing rig that was to be used while turning in reverse.
    He did recommend that you snap the chuck on and give it a snugging up with the key or wrench, but no set screw.
    I had the chuck come loose once because of a big catch.
    The times I have had a chuck or faceplate come undone have been with rapid deceleration of a large piece on a fixture ( donut chuck or a backboard ).
    The inertia of the piece overcame the attachment to the spindle.
    More often than naught it was a failure to tighten the holding mechanism because of it's awkward nature.
     
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  25. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Okay, I've got a small gripe to vent, and yes, I know how minor this is in the scheme of things. First world problems...

    I picked up a Record Power SC4 chuck this week, based in part on the discussions in this thread. (The lathe itself also arrived yesterday!) Anyway, the chuck comes in a nice plastic case, nicer than the cardboard boxes that I've seen other chucks packaged in. Somebody obviously spent some time designing this, and there's no doubt it costs more.

    So here's my gripe: there's no room to store the chuck body in the case with jaws attached! The standard included jaws ship underneath a plastic shell holding the chuck body. Fine for shipping, but who takes their jaws off every time they finish with them? Silly, because all they would have had to do was make the case a half inch thicker.

    Oh well. Nice concept. But didn't quite hit the mark in my book.

    Okay, venting done. :D
     
  26. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    If the chuck spends much time in the case, you might not be needing the jaws attached anyway ;)
    Besides, it is good to clean under the jaws every once in a while.
    Before long you will have a 'chuck rack' to store them all in easy reach.
     
  27. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Fair point. :)

    I actually already have a "chuck drawer", but it was getting kind of full, so I was hoping this case would do at least for the short term. Oh well, no biggie. I think I'm more irritated by what seems to me to be shortsighted design.
     
  28. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    If you know someone that is good with wood they might be able to turn a box and lid to store your new chuck in. :)
    You would assume the time they put into designing the container that they would have considered using it as a storage container also. :-(
     
  29. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    Then the box would have to be big enough to fit any size jaw sold.
    Different can of worms.
    I was cleaning the 'shop' today and found my Axminster sk100 box.
    Nice box, just big enough for the body and small chuck key.
    Did not spark joy, out it went :)
     
  30. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I got the Evolution SK 114 chuck and although not listed it has "three" set screws for reverse turning.
     

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