Chuck?

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steve355

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Hi

Mission statement: at this time I am not likely to be turning bowls. What I actually want to do, is drilling. I want to be able to turn a ”chisel” handle (in fact for a clamp) and then drill a 3/4” inch hole accurately in the end.

I know I can probably do this on my pillar drill but a 3/4” hole is a big hole.

I guess a Chuck is the best way to hold the work? If so, what would be a good one to get? Presuming the mission will likely increase in years to come.
 
If you want an accurately centred hole drill the hole in your blank with the pillar drill then turn the outer shape on your lathe.

Turn a pair of drive cones that fit the head and tailstock to centre your work on, or a use a pin chuck if you have one.

If you buy a chuck look out for one with an M33 body using an insert to get to the size for your lathe (3/4 x 16tpi I guess). That way you are covered if you change lathes in future. Can't go far wrong with Record, Axminster or Versachuck really. All have a good range of jaws, Versachuck allows you to buy carriers to use other manufacturers jaws, but the initial outlay is higher as far as I can see.
 
Small but not silly small. Have a look at Versachuck wood lathe chuck. Accepts all leading makes of jaws
They are good chucks and the design allows you to move it on to another lathe for the cost of a backplate if you trade up. If you choose Versachuck slides/carriers they fit both Versachuck and Axminster jaws giving you the option of buying Axminster jaws second hand. I bought my Versachuck when I came across some Axminster jaws dirt cheap and it was worthwhile selling the existing chuck on - I have two now.
An MT drill take less room than a chuck + drill bit - if you could get away with a 64th under there's one here cheap. They don't stock some sizes as they're slowly discontinuing imperial sizes. £5.29 inc. P&P - I've just bought one.:) 19mm is only very slightly undersized. Morse Taper Shank Drill Bits (Imperial)
 
Drill the hole first. In general it's easier and more accurate to turn (or carve etc) the outside in line with the hole, rather than drilling a hole accurately into a finished piece
 
Small but not silly small. Have a look at Versachuck wood lathe chuck. Accepts all leading makes of jaws
They are good chucks and the design allows you to move it on to another lathe for the cost of a backplate if you trade up. If you choose Versachuck slides/carriers they fit both Versachuck and Axminster jaws giving you the option of buying Axminster jaws second hand. I bought my Versachuck when I came across some Axminster jaws dirt cheap and it was worthwhile selling the existing chuck on - I have two now.
An MT drill take less room than a chuck + drill bit - if you could get away with a 64th under there's one here cheap. They don't stock some sizes as they're slowly discontinuing imperial sizes. £5.29 inc. P&P - I've just bought one.:) 19mm is only very slightly undersized. Morse Taper Shank Drill Bits (Imperial)

Good idea, I have a whole shelf of imperial MT drills and reamers for my metal lathe.

Interesting to drill the hole first. Again, I’m used to a metal lathe. That’s something you wouldn’t usually do, you‘d end up with a hole that isn’t straight - but at .000” dimensions, which isn’t an issue with a wood lathe I guess.

I can’t help thinking that if a pillar drill is more accurate than a lathe, which is designed for concentricity, then the lathe is misaligned.
 
The lathe is usually 'accurate enough', but in case the bit follows the grain rather than where you want the hole it's safer to do the hole first either on the lathe or pillar drill. Stuffed up a few turnings learning that one. More of an issue with smaller diameter bits of course
 
The problem is, the 3/4" diameter of the hole You can easily drill holes on the wood lathe having first turned the item in question, I do it all the time for tool handles You just use a centre bit in a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock end to get started and then possibly a stub bit if you are going deep, followed by a normal size bit. And yes the other end is held with a chuck, rather than a drive

As has been pointed out it is going to be a lot easier to drill this on the pillar drill with the stock still in the square. For fairly chunky pieces I rotate the drill bed until it is vertical and then clamp my stock sideways to this.

You could, however, use a Forstner bit which wood turners do all the time.:giggle:
 
The advantage of a lathe is that you have both ends of your piece centred - it's more difficult (not impossible) with a pillar drill. It's more important to drill the hole first with longer, smaller drill bits - if the hole wanders a little, you then turn the piece around the hole bringing the hole back on centre. If it goes way of centre and renders the piece of wood useless you've saved the rest of the work involved which sometimes can be quite a lot. I've had a hole 32mm off centre over 600mm.
 
If you have no other need for a chuck you can just about 'get away with it' between centres. Mark the centres then at the end which will be the tailstock end of the piece start a hole, say 4 or 6mm and a few mm deep with a handheld power drill. Put a drill bit in your jacobs chuck in the tailstock or use an MT drill if you have one, and mount the piece as you normally would, but with the drill bit instead of a rotating centre. Give it a few turns by hand to get it all settled nicely then start the lathe on a very slow speed, begin to drill your hole. Go gently or it will stall the workpiece. You need to stop the lathe to back the drill out if you need to clear shavings. Its not ideal but it does work. When you have your hole you can swap the drill out for a cone centre and turn the piece as you normally would. Worked for me before I owned a chuck. Chuck is better. In any event hole first, shape it second. Interesting factoid: if the internal diameter is bigger than the external diameter, it means that the hole is on the outside.
 
If all you want to do is drill holes in a piece of wood you could make a drilling platform and hold the wood in a vice while you push it on to the drill which would be mounted in the headstock. It's usually best to drill the hole first and then turn the handle so the hole is always concentric.
 
My first lathe was a DML 24 and I did plenty handles and drilling on it without a chuck. That said a chuck is handy to have and I did get one after a few months. I still mostly do handles between centers as I just got used to it. To drill mounted between centers I first rough to round then put jacobs chuck with drill in the tailstock. I start the hole by rotating the wood by hand until the whole drill point is in the wood. Then you can turn on and do the rest of the hole. With the hole done then I use a cone center in the hole and shape the handle. As others have pointed out its best to do the hole before turning the whole handle. Dont think I have ever needed a 3/4'' hole for a handle so perhaps do that one on the drill press or wait for the chuck to arrive. You can do quite big holes with the DML 24 using forstener bits.
Regards
John
 
Interesting to drill the hole first. Again, I’m used to a metal lathe. That’s something you wouldn’t usually do

For long stuff with a through hole, on a metal lathe, the 'hole first' approach is a legitimate technique to assure concentricity of ID and OD.

If you have a metal lathe, you will know the difficulties of holding a tapered object in a chuck.

Unless you turn the OD of the chisel handle parallel, you will have difficulty gripping it securely to drill it.

For example, drilling the hole first and turning the outside means you could make a cone with a hole in either the base or the vertex. Making the same item and trying to drill the hole last is just making life difficult for yourself.

You also have to consider how you will not damage the finished wooden OD when squeezing it in in metal jaws.

Mounting a chuck on the spindle will reduce the between-centres capacity of the lathe by the thickness of the chuck so you have to check that the lathe will accommodate headstock chuck plus chisel handle plus 3/4" drill bit plus Jacobs chuck plus tailstock.
 
Hi Steve, Ive been putting a number of wooden handles on my files recently. My first question is does your tang taper? If so you don't have to drill the hole the full 3/4" all the way.
 
Hi Steve, Ive been putting a number of wooden handles on my files recently. My first question is does your tang taper? If so you don't have to drill the hole the full 3/4" all the way.
Tool tangs often not that straight so it also makes sense to fit them to a blank first and only then turn or cut it to line up with the tool.
 
I don't think the type of drill bit to use has been mentioned, but the only bit that I would use for a hole of any depth would be an auger bit held in a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock. UK drills sell excellent auger bits in diameters from 6mm right up to 32mm, and in lengths from 100mm to 600mm. Remarkably cheap too, but certainly not 'cheap tat'. I've bought all my drills from them for some years now. Here's a link to their auger bits:

Auger Bits

As has been said, start the hole off by rotating the chuck by hand with the left hand, while winding in the tailstock with the other hand. Also - whilst you might wish to turn the blank down to between centres to a spindle so you can then accurately centre it in the headstock chuck for drilling, drill the hole in the blank before you then use a live centre in the tailstock to support the 'hole' end, and finalise turning the handle to shape.

One way of making sure the blank is supported at both ends whilst drilling would be to use a lathe 'steady' sometimes used to support long thin spindles so they don't flex when turning. When I made a lots of chisel handles I made my own steady using in-line roller blade wheels, which clamps to the lathe bed when needed (not often), but hardly worth the bother for the occasional job. (It was a 'lockdown' project, copied from a Youtube video).

I always find it a bit odd that woodturners, of all people, buy chisel handles.
What's that all about?

I've attached a pic of the steady I made.

Hope that's of interest..
 

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That's an excellent job, where did you get the wheels?

I remember when starting out being told not to use augers on the lathe as they would pull in to the wood too fast. Guess it may have been an old wives tale after all, or maybe less of a problem in end grain
 
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