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How to Use Pin Jaws

Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
4
Likes
2
Location
Marietta, GA
I bought a set of Nova pin jaws to hold a jig I made. Looking through the manual, I'm unsure as to what the application is for the "pin jaw function" mode. It looks like it's to slide a piece with a deep hole in it over the jaws and expand them to grip. Surprisingly, when I searched for a video demonstrating using a pin jaw, I came up empty. What projects would I want to drill a deep hole into to turn it?
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
147
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82
Location
Roulette, PA
Website
www.reallyruralwoodworks.com
small boxes, lids, small hollow forms, are the first things coming to mind.. I've had quite a few times where I'd wished I had a set of pin jaws (for example, finished a small box then when I went to turn off the tenon, realized I needed a way to hold it on my lathe... had to hunt around for a scrap piece in suitable size to turn a jam chuck.. pin jaws would have solved that problem)
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
176
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1,199
Location
North Ogden, Utah
Ditto on the above. I have a set that is about 1" outside diameter when closed. I've made a lot of hanging birdhouse ornaments by drilling a 1 1/8" hole in the wood for the interior of the birdhouse. Then just slipping the wood over the pin jaws in expansion and turning the outside including a hanging finial like thing on the bottom.
Also, I use them to hold a 3/8" 16tpi bolt which serves as a sort of screw chuck for making bottle openers and stoppers with Ruth Niles hardware.
 

john lucas

AAW Forum Expert
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
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Location
Cookeville, TN
I have 2 sets of small.jaws for my Vicmarc chucks. One set has 1" parrallel.jaws. I rarely use those. I bought them to start bowls thinking a 1" hole would work better than the screw chuck. I now start all of my bowls between centers so those jaws never get used. The other set of 1" jaws raper.out dramatically. They are super solid and I use them to turn Ornament finials. The extra support from those very stiff jaws makes it much easier to turn thin finials.. I also use them to grip things downTo almost 1/4".
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
259
Likes
155
Location
New City, NY
I have used the pin jaws in expansion mode to drive a predrilled(1-1/16") peppermill blank with tailstock support. It is great for holding small pieces of stock that we eventually turn to round. Not so much as a drill chuck, at least with my set of pin jaws. Overall, it's an important piece of my woodturning arsenal.
 

hockenbery

AAW Advisor
Staff member
Beta Tester
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
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Location
Lakeland, Florida
Website
www.hockenberywoodturning.com
I use pin jaws to grip the tenons of finials.
also for turning small parts - most spindles blanks that fit in the pin jaws can be fed into the late spindle and advanced to expose enough to turn multiple parts.

the blank shown here goes back through the spindle. it might make 10 or more ornament hangers.
holes can be pre-drilled.
FFFE8CDA-4A5F-4984-9785-6D6B954881BD.jpeg
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
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388
Location
La Grange, IL
I haven't needed my Nova pin jaws often, but they were key to turning this piece.

20210608_091029.jpg
The recess had to be deep to accommodate the angled bottom. You can see the remnants of the recess here.
20210608_091157.jpg
So they're useful for an irregular or non-parallel bottoms that require a deep recess or a recess at a distance.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,271
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544
Location
Bozeman, MT
My impression is that pin jaws were originally designed to be used as described above--drill a deep 1" hole and put your bowl blank or whatever on it, expand the jaws and go. Much as we use screw chucks at this point in time. Since their introduction, pin jaws apparently haven't proved widely popular used in this way, but as noted, there are many other situations where they have a role.
 
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