I am looking for a cheap and cheerful chuck for my lathe (spindle 3/4 x 16). Screwfix have one for £34.99 to fit the Ferm FHB940 lathe. Anyone know what the spindle size is on the Ferm and is this chuck any good (or any other recomendations ?)
i think screwfix only sell wood lathe chucks that fit their lathe spindles - it should be a 3/4 x 16 tpi, but it will prolly be the independent 4 jaw chuck - if it's the £34-99 one then it's a pain in the bum to get it working right, and there was a problem with the one i had having very rough seating faces inside for the screw threads resulting in one of them breaking - check out the copy of the record rp3000x chuck that charnwood has to offer - stock ref w832 priced at £54-00.
If you buy a decent chuck (they are normally supplied with just a set of 'standard' jaws - usually 50mm dia. compression and 75mm expansion) there will be a wide range of additional jaws and accessories available for it - for all those different sizes and types of holding you will no doubt want as and when in due course.
Can I suggest to you a look at the Axminster catalogue, they'll send you a copy if you haven't got one, which will give you a good idea of the wide range of kit that is available. I've looked at their chucks and, although I don't have one, they look fine and as good as any to me. For convenience I would look for a scroll chuck that tightens with a chuck key, rather than the type that has two tommy bars to tighten it - leaves one hand free for holding your work in position as you tighten. :wink:
Looks like you may not be too far from Axminster so a visit might be worthwhile - but I'd recommend leaving the folding stuff and plastic at home until you have decided. :wink:
I started off with the Ferm lathe and the chuck that you are refereing too. The lathe was fine to learn on, but the chuck was a waste of time. It took ages to set up correctly, and even then it didn't grip very well. After the second catch, and the lump of wood wizzing past my ear for the second time I gave up with it. I used the faceplate with 4 off 3/4" screws - probably a bit of overkill, but at least the wood never came off, no matter how bad the catch!
As I became more experienced, I saved up my pennies and eventually bought the Record RP4000 chuck (which fits a 3/4" x 16 tpi spindle), and I have been really pleased with it. You can tighten it up with one hand, the gearing isn't exposed so it doesn't get gummed up, and there are loads of jaws available for it.
When I changed my lathe, I got a Record so as the chuck would fit the new one.