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Woodturning Chucks - Some info for those new to the hobby

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Robbo3

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Woodturner's Chucks (updated November 2018)

Chucks are threaded to match the lathe, either direct threaded or with the use of a threaded insert. The insert converts the chuck to fit the lathe.

The insert shoudn't be confused with an adaptor to change the lathe threads.
Thread adaptors from small to large generally don't overhang the lathe spindle however adaptors from large to small (exerts) have to by necessity.

Chucks for woodturning generally work on the scroll principle where the jaw carriers are moved in & out concentrically by a spiral of metal.
The carriers must engage the scroll in the correct sequence. This is normally 1234 but I have had one chuck where the sequence was 2143 - presumably because the jaws were wrongly number stamped.
Jaws attach to the carriers (sometimes called inserts) with machine screws. It doesn't matter which jaw fits to which carrier but it makes sense to match the numbers (I'm not aware of any where it does matter).
The most common size for the main body is 95-100mm.

Some older chucks are operated by levers rather than a key, which requires a little more dexterity.

Hex or square chuck keys are easier to locate than fluted keys

Stepped jaws are not meant for wood. If you have no other option support the outboard end of the piece using the tailstock.

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Axminster
- https://www.axminster.co.uk/shop-by-int ... uckschucks
SK numbers refer to the body size in mm

• Clubman SK80
• Clubman SK100
• Evolution SK114
• Junior - uses ER collets

No longer in production
• Carlton
• Goliath
• Super Precision
• Woodturner's Chuck

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Charnwood
- https://www.charnwood.net/products/chuck

• Nexus 3 95mm
Jaws compatible with Supernova, G3 Nova and Robert Sorby Patriot
• Viper 2 70mm
• Viper 3 95mm
• Viper 5 145mm

• W810 2" stepped jaws

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Easywood

C3000 Quick change jaws

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Fox FX4000
- https://www.poolewood.co.uk/product/fox ... mm-fx4000/


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Oneway (Canada)
- https://oneway.ca/products-category/chucks

• Oneway (lever) chuck 4"
• Stronghold 4½"
• Talon 3½"

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Record
- https://www.recordpower.co.uk/category/ ... ws--spares

• SC3. Although 4" this is a lighter weight chuck with access holes in the side wall for the chuck key. Alignment has to be near perfect as occasionally it is problematic getting the key to engage with the keyway.
• SC4
• RP2000 62mm

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Rutlands
- https://www.rutlands.co.uk/pp+power-too ... ies+c16000

• Xact Precision 3"
• Xact Precision 4"

• Dakota XT700 (old)

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Sorby
- https://www.robert-sorby.co.uk/chucks/p ... stem.html/

• Patriot


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Teknatool
- https://www.teknatool.com/product-category/chucks/

• Nova G3
• Nova Infinity, Quick Change Jaws
• NOVA Precision Midi
• Supernova 2
• Nova Titan III, 5"


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Toolpost
- https://www.toolpost.co.uk//pages/Chuck ... ories.html


• Versachuck
• MM50 (3 jaw) & MM54 (4 jaw) are 50mm chucks with engineers stepped jaws

No longer available
• Model T

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Vicmark
- https://vicmarc.com/

• VM 90 96mm lever
• VM100 96mm hex key
• VM120 136mm hex key
• VM150 150mm hex key
• Eccentric #2, #3, #4
• Pen Blank (2 jaw)

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Warco
- https://www.warco.co.uk/2947-woodturnin ... cks-arbors

• 9405 100mm, M33 x 3.5
• 8088 100mm, 1" x 8TPI

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Probably the same chuck under different names as it is stated that jaws are compatible
- https://www.poolewood.co.uk/product/fox ... mm-fx4000/

Charnwood W836
Charnwood Viper3
Craft Supplies CS400
Fox FX4000
Record RP4000
Rutlands Dakota XT700
Vicmark VM100 (Requires V3JS jaw screw set)
Warco 9405

If we agree that they all do what they are supposed to do, then it all comes down to ease of use, value for money, availability of jaws & the ability to move it to another lathe at a later date.

As a solid chunk of metal, a woodturning chuck will take nearly everything that a turner can throw at it, but that's not to say that it can't be broken with brute force (& perhaps some ignorance).

All the comments are my personal opinion.
 

SVB

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A really nice summary Robbo, I'm sure many will find this useful.

The only bit I would comment on, you say "If we agree that they all do what they are supposed to do". In my experience, the more expensive do tend to have slightly better manufacturing tolerances so jaws slide better, with less play etc but that is only really noticeable when using a large set of cole jaws etc.

Only other thing to consider is ability and availability / price of spare jaw carriers. I can't abide fiddling with small set screws half way through a job so always buy a set of carriers for each set of jaws. Whilst this is obviously more expensive (personal choice), not all manufactures sell spare carriers so if you want to do this that is a question to ask up front.

Anyway, doesn't take away from the very useful summary above.

Simon
 

SVB

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Just thought, thread title should read scroll chucks.

There are vacuum chucks also :tool: , and also magnetic chucks but I've never had much success with those when turning (except with iron wood of course!).

:wink:

S
 

woodfarmer

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SVB":1em2bsss said:
Just thought, thread title should read scroll chucks.

There are vacuum chucks also :tool: , and also magnetic chucks but I've never had much success with those when turning (except with iron wood of course!).

:wink:

S
I used to see lots of Iron in so called "makore" from Russia. It grew in the woods where they had tank battles during WW2. It wasn't unusual to have a sawblade shatter when machining it.
 

woodfarmer

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I have an old Holbrook metal working lathe with its original 3 jaw chuck. After 90 years use It is a much better fit on the mandrel than my new evolution chuck is on my new wood turning lathe. Even all three cheap face plates fit much better. It does not locate on the mandrel bushesl, the fit relies solely on the sloppy threads holding it tight against the face of the spindle. It is a wonder there is any concentricity at all. In my view it does not meet the T38 standard as the standard shows the mandrel to be a sliding fit on the locating sleeves of any T38 attachment.
 

Duncan A

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Excellent resumé of scroll chucks; should be very useful to those trying to get their heads round the options.
Poss worth mentioning that Record SC4 chuck jaws are compatible with the Nova and RS Patriot chucks.
Thanks for all the work.
Duncan
 

Robbo3

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I understand why you are asking, it's one of the reasons I wrote it in the first place.
The problem is that the information changes & has to be kept up to date, which I shall endeavour to do, but in a couple of years time it may be completely out of date.
 

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