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Jaws?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Randall Runion, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Randall Runion

    Randall Runion

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    I have an old Craftsman lathe that I bought New Years ago, but have used sparingly. Most of what I have done with it has been pen making. Recently, I was in Woodcraft and saw a book about making Christas Tree ornaments and thought that looked a fun thing to do. The method used in the book was with a set of Jaws that held the stock on only 1 end. What all would I need for this type of turning? What brand and where could I get what I needed without spending too much? Are there other ways to do this with the standard equipment I have now.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    A picture of what you want to make would be helpful.

    I use a 4 jaw chuck to hold parts for ornaments. I use a ONEWAY Talon with #2 and #1 jaws for my ornaments.

    There are alternatives
    A simple one is to turn a Morse taper (or something close) on 1 end and press into the head stock spindle.
    You can have waste block on a faceplate glue your work piece to it using a tenon on the work piece.
     
    Mike Peace likes this.
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    An adjustable bowl chuck speeds up the process and makes it easier to rough a piece and then hold it from the base to finish turning different shaped pieces like ornaments. Determine the thread size of your lathe spindle and you can usually get an adjustable chuck with one set of jaws for about $100.00 shipped to your house. You might also want several additional sets of jaws to be able to hold different sized pieces from the outside and inside when turning ornaments. You might also want to get a drill chuck that fits into your tailstock to simplify drilling holes into the ornaments for your finials.
     
  4. Randall Runion

    Randall Runion

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    Thanks, Mike Johnson. Your reply was helpful. For 1 thing, I didn’t realize that it is possible to get different sizes of jaws to go with the same adjustable chuck. How are they identified as far as size is concerned? What size jaws would I need for ornaments? Also, can you suggest brand names and dealers for a good set for around $100.00? Thanks
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    You will pay 45 to 65 for each extra set of jaws. For ornaments 35 or 25 mm will work good. But it is not necessary to buy special jaws the 50mm that comes with most chucks will work fine you will just use a larger piece of wood.
     
  6. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Randall,
    You're standing at the lip of the vortex. It's a vortex of considerable enjoyment, but there's a lot to learn. I would suggest you find your nearest woodturning club and attend a meeting. You'll find nice people who have been where you are and can offer lots of valuable experience and speed your learning. It looks like the Greenwood Woodworkers Guild may be the nearest AAW affiliated group and they meet the third Saturday of the month. A contact email address is mcsock611@gmail.com. Good luck and welcome to big fun.
     
  7. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Woodturning. Speaking from experience, joining AAW and a local chapter would be a great move and a way to sharpen your skills.
     
  8. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Randall,

    Nova Chuck made by Technatool company makes an entry level "adjustable" chuck that uses (2) Tommy Bars to tighten and loosen the chuck. The better grade chucks usually use a T-handle geared tool that only requires one hand to tighten and loosen the chuck which frees your other hand to hold the work piece going into the chuck. The standard Midi chuck usually has a 1x8 TPI threaded hub that screws directly onto the head-stock spindle. There are threaded adapters that can be used to adapt to a different thread. Some adjustable chucks also require an additional threaded adapter that adapts the chuck to the thread pitch you have on your lathe. Some of the older lathes used a 3/4" spindle thread so you want to make sure you order the correct model of chuck that has the correct thread pitch or the needed adapter that goes with the chuck that matches your lathe spindle.
     
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  9. Hy Tran

    Hy Tran

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    Search the forum for "chuck" or "scroll chuck".

    For your purposes, the first chuck a woodturner would buy would be a scroll chuck (see the wikipedia article here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_(engineering) ), but understand that woodturners use 4-jaw self-centering chucks (for the most part). A "standard" chuck will typically come with 1 set of jaws and 1 worm screw.

    Generalizing: The quality (smoothness of operation, precision, durability, etc.) of chucks and their pricing tends to be correlated. More expensive chucks tend to have higher quality than less expensive chucks--but a less expensive chuck may be perfectly adequate to your needs. Once you buy a particular brand of chuck, additional jaws/accessories tend to require statying within that brand family or model. Some exceptions: Nova jaws are generally interchangeable with Record Power; Nova jaws are compatible across Nova models; Axminster jaws are compatible across Axminster models.

    Opinions:
    • Least expensive: "Barracuda" (house brand), from Penn State Industries
    • Nearly as inexpensive: "Apprentice" brand, from Craft Supplies USA (woodturnerscatalog)
    • A bit more expensive, no personal experience (hereafter abbreviated NPE): Grizzly
    • Mid-line: Record power (NPE), Teknatool (Nova), Oneway (I like the smoothness and precision of the Oneways a bit more than the Novas; I also dislike the Nova "direction of tightening"), Hurricane (NPE), Chucks Plus (NPE)
    • A bit more expensive: Axminster
    • Most expensive: Vicmarc, Easywood tools
    p.s. Edit added: BTW, welcome!
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Hy, a tiny quibble with your cost ranges vicmarc and ONEWAY have different models which would be in different
    Price ranges.
    Vicmarc and ONEWAY are the same price for similar sized chucks.
    These are Packards prices
    upload_2019-4-18_20-38-41.png
     
  11. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Thanks for clearing that up, Al. I don't look at price much once I decide what I want, but I was under the impression that Vicmark was a bit more expensive too.
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    I used to have a couple Vicmarc chucks, and sold them both. I now have four Oneway Stronghold chucks. In my opinion, the Vicmarc chucks are more refined in their machining, but are no more accurate where it counts. There seems to be some amount of preference difference between the key adjustment, but I'm good with either. For my purposes, I prefer the jaw selections of the Oneway more, so that's the bottom line in why I've chosen to go with the Oneway Stronghold.

    Both of these brands have smaller chucks available, and more suitable to your needs, Randall.......

    -----odie-----
     
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  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    And then there's folks like me who can't decide so they have both Oneway and Vicmarc chucks. :D

    I like both, but I prefer Oneway chucks with profiled jaws for general purpose use because tenon diameter isn't critical. I prefer Vicmarc chucks with dovetail jaws when I need better repeatability if removing and reinstalling a piece of dry wood. The downside of dovetail jaws is that the tenon or mortise needs to be close to the perfect circle diameter of the jaws. Vicmarc has a wider assortment of jaw sizes so I con have a tenon up to 8" diameter.
     
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  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I prefer dovetail jaws for bowls. I use the vicmarc 120 and Oneway Strong hold.

    Vicmarc manual specs for the standard jaws in clamp mode:
    Perfect circle 48 mm 1.89”
    Max grip +37mm 85mm 3.35”
    Min grip -3mm 45mm 1.77”

    The ONEWAY dovetail jaws are roughly the same dimensions.

    I do all my turn to dry tenons at 2.5” or 63.5mm.
    while the jaws don’t grip this larger tenon as well as they would a 1.89” tenon, they grip it well enough.
    A wet 2.5” tenon will go oval when dry and can be returned round at 2” or a little under.
    This is close to the perfect circle 1.89” and the chuck holds great.

    If I want to hold a ball in the jaws. I turn a groove that is as close to 48mm as I can get.
    The perfect circle grip in the groove will hold a ball.
    The perfect circle grip doesn't make much of a mark if any.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  15. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Since I have bought too many chucks I'll give you my progression.

    I started with a Midi lathe 1"-8tpi
    The first chuck I bought was a Penn State tommy bar chuck. I really didn't know anything about turning at the time. The reason I bought this chuck was the fact it fit my lathe and came with multiple jaws and they included cole jaws at the time. Price was low. This chuck only has serrated jaws, no dovetail jaws. I will keep this chuck for my Midi lathe. The second chuck I bought was a Barracuda 2. Again because of the multiple jaws, also serrated style jaws included and I have larger cole jaws for it. My Barracuda 2 is the older style with a square drive instead of the newer key drive. I will keep this chuck as for the rare occasion I cannot use my vacuum chuck the cole jaws I have will hold a 16" diameter. This chuck is a direct thread 1"-8tpi and need to use an adapter for my current lathe that is 1-1/4" 8tpi.
    I bought a Powermatic 90 and the spindle thread for that lathe is 1-1/2" 8tpi. Well the Barracuda 4 is a direct thread for that lathe, so still not knowing a lot about chucks I bought the Barracuda 4 because of value and multiple jaws. It uses a key drive that i dislike. Should not have bought this chuck. The next chuck I bought was a Hurricane 125. Supposedly a knock off of the Vicmarc 120. This is a very good chuck with dovetail jaws and square drive. They offered a 1-1/2" 8tpi insert.
    I then bought a Laguna 18-36 lathe that has 1-1/4" 8tpi threads. I was able to change the inserts on the Barracuda 4 and Hurricane 125. Still usable of my new lathe.
    I then ended up buying two Supernova 2s and two Record chucks. These have been my workhorses. They are good chucks. Some jaws are dovetail and some have what I call a birds beak, straight with a small lip. Very good chucks, both hex drive. I like the Record a bit better as it tightens to the right where the Novas tighten to the left.
    The last chuck I bought was a Axminster SK100. I looked at both One Way and Vicmarc, but neither had the optimal jaw set I needed. This chuck is by far the best of what I have and I am going to switch to this brand. I would not suggest it for you as these chucks are direct thread and if you get hooked like the rest of us you will get a bigger lathe with a different spindle thread.

    In summary, The Barracuda 2 is low price and comes with multiple jaws. I'm not sure about the new key drive, but if it like the Barracuda 4 I wouldn't want it. I would not buy a Barracuda 4 because of the key. It works, but wants to ride up when tightening.

    The Novas and Records are good workhorses. I have 4 because I don't like changing jaws. They have inserts and could be used on a different lathe by changing the insert.

    The Hurricane is a very good chuck with dovetail jaws. Since I am switching brands I won't need it and will sell it. This is a larger chuck, but they make a smaller version HTC100 and these chucks have inserts, so could be used on a different lathe.

    I don't have a One Way or Vicmarc, but everything I have bought from One Way has been top notch. Testimonials for Vicmarc here also say this is a great chuck. They also have inserts, so can be used on a different lathe.

    The Axminster is a very good chuck, but direct thread and something to consider later if you change lathes. It is the brand I'm going to, but I can't compare to Vicmarc or One Way as I have never had those brands.
     
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  16. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    One important point to add when your buying a chuck. How many different jaws sets are avalilble for a particular model. it’s no contest here. Vicmarc Offers about 22-23 different jaw sets for the vm120-150 line. That’s way More than any other chuck manufacturer.
    On the negative side, turning green wood with them has eroded the finish off a few of my large Vicmarc dovetail jaws. I have to attend to them to keep from rusting after use.
    On the other hand Oneway jaws have kept their black finish for the last 15 years on my strong hold and talon.
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    ONEWAY stronghold has 18 jaws plus 5 collet jaws for close to 23.

    :) way more might be a stretch :)
     
  18. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Well if we are counting Axminster has 25 different jaws plus 5 different cole jaw types.
     
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  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    There seems to be a lot of jawing going on here. :D
     
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  20. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Someone needs to get a grip on things.
     
  21. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    These are my gripper jaws. They hold very well.

    7 rows of serrated teeth.

    6D1A9A14-3295-493E-8371-6C43C5167D8A.jpeg
     
  22. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    LOL, 5 jaws wow! You got me, Al. I bought that thing blindly in 2000 when I purchased the OW2436 based on the Oneway good name. Sorry, I completely forgot about that offering as it has been sitting in my draw all these years after a few uses. I guess "Out of sight out of mind" is applicable. I apologize for not putting it in my count and being overzealous for Vicmarc.
    A few years ago I bought the Bealle collet chuck which is my vision of a more traditional collet chuck to replace the ow "collet set".

    I've been considering selling it.
     
  23. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    This is the next turning of the week!
     
  24. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I have the ONEWAY collet Chuck and used it a good but when I was doing a lot of spindles.
    It does the job but haven’t used it in 10 years.
     
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  25. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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    Hy, you made some good points here and I agree with you - and your generalization as well.
    I started out with a Barracuda chuck (with the T-handle, not the Tommy bars). Although I now have a nice assortment of Record and Vicmarc chucks, I also have 4 of the Barracuda chucks (and an Apprentice too).

    Yes, they're not Axminsters or Vicmarc, but they are to my mind an excellent value, especially if you are not turning large pieces and want to have the ability to simply swap out a chuck instead of changing jaws. In the few years I've been turning, they have proven useful over and over and are probably my first choice when turning on the Jet. I have the Vicmarc and Records mainly for use on my big lathe or when turning something a bit more substantial.

    But those Barracuda chucks are easily up to being your daily driver on anything up to about a 12 or so diameter.

     
  26. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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    Al, I have a small collet set from Beall and use them for finials and such. They do come in handy. One of those tools that you may not use all the time, but is hard to find a good substitute for.
     
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