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Need help with chuck

Joined
Oct 11, 2021
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Location
Auburn, AL
Hello,
I'm new to woodturning and I recently bought a used Grizzly GO462, shown in the attached photo. The previous owner put a 3-jaw chuck on it and I've read that these chucks are intended for metal working, not wood. Is this true? Is it safe to use for woodworking? It appears that the chuck jaws are adjusted and tightened by rotating the two halves using two round keys in the provided holes. Any tips or instructions on using the chuck would be appreciated. I think two phillips screwdrivers will work, but I'm curious to know what the intended chuck keys look like so I can make one or buy one. Lastly, I need to get my bench grinder set up to sharpen my tools. The lathe was sold with a set of Steelex tools. Is this a good brand? What kind of wheel should I buy for sharpening them? CBN?
 

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Joined
Nov 4, 2011
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Location
Bay Settlement, WI
That chuck is for metal turning, not wood, and it can be dangerous. Get rid of it and buy a decent 4-jaw chuck (Vicmarc, Oneway, Nova).

Steelex tools can get you started, but if it is a boxed set chances are pretty good you'll never use some of them (don't ask me how I know!).

CBN wheels are the way to go for sharpening.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
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Location
Auburn, AL
Thanks for the information! How is the chuck removed? And what should I look for in a new chuck to be sure it's compatible with my lathe?
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
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La Grange, IL
The chuck is screwed on to the lathe's spindle. If the chuck has been on there a long time you may need some wrenches to loosen it. You'll need to hold the spindle while freeing the chuck. If it doesn't want to unscrew, some penetrating oil might be worth a try
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
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Auburn, AL
Thank you. So I'll just measure the spindle diameter and look for a new chuck that matches? Are the threads typically an industry standard?
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
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Location
Bay Settlement, WI
Locate the model number of the lathe, then go the Grizzly.com and look it up. Grizzly usually has the manuals for their machines available for download. The spindle on that lathe is either 1"x8tpi or 1-1/4"x8tpi.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
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Location
Delray Beach, FL
Per the current grizzly web site


its a 1-8 thread. Still check the diameter first.

Stu
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
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Location
La Grange, IL
Thank you. So I'll just measure the spindle diameter and look for a new chuck that matches? Are the threads typically an industry standard?

Be aware that some chucks, notably Nova, require an insert. The insert is sized for, and threads onto, your spindle. The chuck then threads onto the insert. There are some chucks that are direct thread and sized for a specific spindle. If your spindle is indeed 1", rather than the more common 1 1/4", then I suggest you go the insert route. That way if you ever choose to buy another lathe you can replace the insert and keep the chuck. And if you decide turning is not for you, then the chuck might be easier to sell.

I think it should be mentioned that you don't have to get a chuck, at all. You can use a face plate instead, and spindle work doesn't require either.

If you haven't done so already you may want to watch some beginner videos. But don't just go to YoYo-Tube, there is a lot of bad teaching out there. Start with AAW Fundamentals. After that there are a host presentations from people who know what they're doing.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
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Location
Auburn, AL
Thanks for the tips Mark. I might just start with a tap-in drive center like the one that the lathe originally shipped with. Do you see any issues with using that for beginning spindle work? That's what my Dad used for years.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
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Bozeman, MT
A drive center that is on a morse taper and inserts into the spindle will work fine for spindle turning.

David, I have a strong recommendation for you. Find the nearest woodturning club and arrange to spend an afternoon with one of their mentors or experienced members. You will learn more in those few hours than you will figuring it out on your own in a year. Most importantly, you will get started safely. The lathe is the only tool in the shop where the motor moves the wood, and frankly, woodturning can be dangerous. In those few hours with an experienced turner, you will learn many ways to minimize the risk, and IMHO dramatically increase your chance that turning will be a happy, sucessful experience. Alternatively, you could sign up for a 3-7 day beginning woodturner course, which are generally very good, but they also cost money and take you away from home and your personal shop and tools.

There are turning clubs in Dothan, Pensacola, and Tallahasee, and maybe some in smaller places even closer. You can find them and contact information on the AAW main website (woodturner.org)
 
Joined
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@David Slocum , I agree with Dean's "strong recommendation". Before you even switch the lathe on, get some instruction, it will go a long way to making sure your turning experience is safe, fun and successful.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
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Lebanon, Missouri
Very much agree with finding a local AAW chapter and a mentor/experienced turner. Will get you going much faster.

Agree that a chuck is a bit of a luxury, not a necessity, especially spindle turning. For boxes, salt shakers, and the like and chuck is handy, and one is very nice for faceplate work. Look at the “Apprentice” models from Craft Supply, several jaws included makes it a good value. Good for a newbie unsure its a lifelong hobby.

AL oxide wheels work fine for sharpening , and you can buy a 8” slow grinder with them mounted. Cheaper route for the newbie. Can always upgrade.

Those tools will get you started, and club members will have many opinions on tools and accessories. I recommend the “value” route starting out, to limit $ damage if one decides turning isnt their thing.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
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Benton, AR
David, please take to heart the words offered by Dean C. I'm older than 70 and have been associated with woodworking and heavy construction woodworking most of my life. I had even done some "turning", but just enough to be dangerous. Holding the tool stationery while the wood turns goes "against the grain" (pun intended) of all other woodworking activities. Stay safe!!
 
Joined
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@David Slocum , I don't know if you saw this, but the AAW is putting on this show which may be of particular interest to you.

 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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The main concern with this 3-jaw chuck for woodturning is the potential knuckle buster if you get your hand too close to the jaws
while the lathe is turning. There are better choices of chucks to hold a wood billet or spindle piece but this one will work in a pinch.
I have several 3-jaw chucks that I use on several different lathes for certain projects where the jaws work for the task at hand. The
chuck you have usually use a set of "Tommy" bars basically two steel rods that are leveraged in opposite directions to open or close the
jaws on the chuck, you can easily make a set of steel rods and add handles or find a couple of screw drivers with the proper diameter
shafts to fit the holes in the chuck. Like any other accessory used on rotating equipment you need to know the hazards and your own
limitations working around these accessories and take safety precautions when using them.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
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Lebanon, Missouri
Mike makes a good point concerning “knucklebusting”. All chuck jaws provide the same “opportunity”. Use a grinder, file, whatever tool and radius the OD corners at the top of jaws and the jaw base plate. Not as much damage to skin and bones or tools if they contact these areas.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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Hillsborough, NJ
David, I don't believe anyone has mentioned that those jaws are reversible....probably recommended for woodturning. I have a Grizzly 3-jaw (6") that I bought in1985 and used it for about six years before I got the original Nova 4-jaw chuck (with tommy bars). Don't recall having lost any (or too many) pieces. Mine looks to be much heavier than yours and has a square drive chuck key. Did a search on Grizzly...no luck.
 
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