home made button jaws

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graduate_owner

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Hi everyone,
here's a website I recently found showing how to make a button jaws for a chuck. Axminster sells these for nearly £60 (250mm) and a whopping £130 for 400mm versions. Their replacement buttons are nearly £50 for a set of 8. Figures laike that are out of my budget.

I should say here that I haven't tried making these yet.

If you own a button chuck and need extra buttons, the idea of using chair foot bumpers could save you that £50. It's also worth reading some of the responses - one suggests using maple dowels covered in plastic tubing for the buttons.

Here's the web address
http://www.borouz.com/homemade-jumbo-jaws/

I hope some of you fellow turners can make use of it.

I've also been looking at making some pin chucks - it looks really easy, and since I have a 3 jaw metalworking chuck that fits my Myford, mounting a round steel rod is not a problem (as long as I keep my distance from the spinning metal jaws).

K
 
Nice find. I like cheap alternatives so I may well give that a go at some point. I'll add it to my ever increasing list of things to do!
 
I had a go at a DIY version based on mdf quadrants fixed to a nova scroll chuck jaws but I wasn't very happy with my efforts.

I didn't drill the holes for the button screws as accurately as they should be. Also the rubber material I used for the buttons was too soft and not truly cylindrical. Both these factors meant the concentricy of the bowl when fixed in the "jaws" was poor. I found the whole exercise disappointing but I must try again sometime as the bought jobbies are very pricey. Meanwhile I use jam chucks or flat discs with router mat, provided I remembered to make a cetnre mark on the base earlier!
 
I made a set of these jaws from MDF and simply used some small machine bolts covered in thick PVC tubing for the buttons. They work ok, the only downside being the time it takes to mount the jaws on the chuck and the time to move the buttons (if required). For some reason it takes far longer to do up and undo screws in MDF than in metal :-(

I also have a set of small Cole jaws (these are the cheap ones (£25) that go with the cheap FOX 4000 chucks and will fit the RP4000 and Vicmarc style chucks). These work well and are slightly quicker to use than my home made version. The buttons on these are black rubber and the jaws came with a spare set of buttons too - I always protect the work with cling film and masking tape, so have never had a problem with the black buttons leaving black marks - which I was warned might happen.

I find the small Cole jaws used in careful & gentle expansion (hasty expansion results in splitting the work!) can be quite useful when finishing the bases of larger boxes - a method I started using when I couldn't quickly find a suitable lump of scrap wood to make a jam chuck for reversing a largish box! (Why are all the scraps of wood lying around within easy reach of the lathe always slightly too small for the jam chuck I need to make?) :(
 
It would seem so - take a look at this link:

http://www.foxmachinery.co.uk/acatalog/ ... Chuck.html

and scroll down the page a bit to the 10" Bowl Reversing Jaws - they've gone up a bit since I bought mine (which actually came from poolewood about 2 years ago)

They say on the web page that the chuck is currently out of stock, but don't say if the jaws are or not - probably worth dropping them an email.
 
tekno.mage":1o2mg9mg said:
I made a set of these jaws from MDF and simply used some small machine bolts covered in thick PVC tubing for the buttons. They work ok, the only downside being the time it takes to mount the jaws on the chuck and the time to move the buttons (if required). For some reason it takes far longer to do up and undo screws in MDF than in metal :-(

I also have a set of small Cole jaws (these are the cheap ones (£25) that go with the cheap FOX 4000 chucks and will fit the RP4000 and Vicmarc style chucks). These work well and are slightly quicker to use than my home made version. The buttons on these are black rubber and the jaws came with a spare set of buttons too - I always protect the work with cling film and masking tape, so have never had a problem with the black buttons leaving black marks - which I was warned might happen.

I find the small Cole jaws used in careful & gentle expansion (hasty expansion results in splitting the work!) can be quite useful when finishing the bases of larger boxes - a method I started using when I couldn't quickly find a suitable lump of scrap wood to make a jam chuck for reversing a largish box! (Why are all the scraps of wood lying around within easy reach of the lathe always slightly too small for the jam chuck I need to make?) :(
Instead of using buttons just screw some blocks of mdf onto the mdf jaws you already have then turn a dovetail into the blocks to suit the bowl you want to turn. It is quick and simple and the fit is tailored and snug around the rim of your bowl.
 
I dont know if this idea will be of any help to any of you but I made these a few years ago to fit my 12" button jaws to hold an odd shaped bowl they are made with Maple and I stuck some draft excluder on them to protect the wood but any type of rubber will do also I made some spacers to alter the height of them
 

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Shay Vings":1iy24xy1 said:
I had a go at a DIY version based on mdf quadrants fixed to a nova scroll chuck jaws but I wasn't very happy with my efforts.

I didn't drill the holes for the button screws as accurately as they should be. Also the rubber material I used for the buttons was too soft and not truly cylindrical. Both these factors meant the concentricy of the bowl when fixed in the "jaws" was poor. I found the whole exercise disappointing but I must try again sometime as the bought jobbies are very pricey. Meanwhile I use jam chucks or flat discs with router mat, provided I remembered to make a cetnre mark on the base earlier!

I don't think it's just you!

From the Q and A in the article linked......"It didn’t run very true, but I only turned the very bottom down, I didn’t go up the side at all. I was able to sand it pretty well at slow speed."

Few solutions with soft, flexible buttons are going to be suitable for anything but flattening the bottom.

The other 'small' issue with these arrangements is when you are turning towards the limit of the lathes diameter capacity in the first place - if you are planning on reversing with such jaws you need to plan your pieces diamater carefully.
 
As I mentioned in another Thread

An alternate to the Cole Jaw cost if your chuck model has wood jaw plate accessories and you have access to some good quality Ply off-cuts are some wood jaws, the reciprocal of the ones shown above (See thread link).

And of course a big bonus for any Cole jaw setup or its equivalent is a 125mm chuck if you can run to one, the increased jaw travel makes the world of difference to ease of use.
 

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