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There Are Two Types Of Wood Lathe Chucks

By Baxter Wells

There is nothing more rewarding to a wood worker than a job well done and that moment of knowing that the finished master piece is your work and yours alone. The choice of wood lathe chucks you used helped to determine the results and produced some beautiful memories.

One uses wood stock in a lathe, then it becomes something called a ‘turning’. It is mounted in a machine that rotates while holding it firmly in place. This is achieved by using either a 3 or 4 jaw contraption known as a chuck.

A mechanical device with jaws used to close around the turning is called a chuck. A chuck key is a simple T-handled tool with a square head that fits into the jaw closing mechanism and is used to drive the set of internal gears in the chuck that close the jaws.

Once the chuck is properly installed and tightened on the turning it frees up the tailstock that would have supported the other end. With that gone, the turning is ready for you to turn bowls or other small items using the lathe.

A turning can be automatically centered by using a three-jaw chuck. In this case, your turning should be slightly symmetrical as the finished product will be rounded off to a point at the jaw center.

If you wish to maneuver your turning to have it off center you will need a four-jawed chuck. The jaws are adjusted independently of each other with a chuck key where the jaws of a three-jaw chuck operate in unison and all of them move in or out as a coordinated unit.

Chucks come in various sizes depending on the lathe and piece being turned. You use small chucks like those used by jewelers to turn tiny stock for delicate wooden pieces. Jaws for larger stock like fancy posts and large dish shaped items can be up to 24-inches in diameter and are mounted on a long table powered by more powerful motors. Lathes are labeled according to the size of the diameter of your work piece, hence a 12 inch lathe would handle turnings up to 12 inches in diameter. The other matter to know about is the center-to-center measurement as this determines the length of wood you can mount between the headstock and tailstock.

As always, safety is foremost especially when working with brittle pieces of wood that can fly off and damage your eyes, or your windshield. Always keep your owners manual within fast easy reach and follow all of the directions for correct operation and maintenance of your power tools, this also applies with use of such attachments as wood lathe chucks.

Having a great chuck for your wood lathe is important for maximum efficiency. You can find such chucks at our website, where you will see reviews on many makes and models, here – Mini Wood Lathe Chucks For Sale.

categories: wood lathe chucks,wood lathes,power tools,woodworking,hobbies

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Wells, Baxter "There Are Two Types Of Wood Lathe Chucks." There Are Two Types Of Wood Lathe Chucks. 25 Jul. 2010. 29 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Wells, B (2010, July 25). There Are Two Types Of Wood Lathe Chucks. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Wells, Baxter "There Are Two Types Of Wood Lathe Chucks"

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