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Set screws messing up my spindle shoulder

Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
None of my set screws on my 3 nova chucks line up with the shoulder they are supposed to tighten to. They are right on the edge so they mess up the edge on the shoulder. I cannot seem to find a spacer that I need for this. I'm guessing I can't just use any washer, as they are not machined to flatness. It needs to be pushed out toward the end of the spindle about 3/16" to be in the right spot for the set screws. The lathe is a Harvey T60-s.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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Hillsborough, NJ
I agree with John Lucas....only one of my chucks has a set screw and I don't use it. My spindle doesn't have a flat for a set screw so if tried to use one it would just damage my spindle. I do need a spacer(s) for some old small faceplates and homemade fixtures. I even use them on my tool rest post for automatic height adjustment. I have a bunch of these machined spacers in different thicknesses (about 1/16" thru 1/2") and ID's. I think they're called Arbor Spacers. Check Grizzly (cheapest), MSC, McMaster-Carr, etc.
 

john lucas

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If one wants to sand in reverse (or even carefully turn in reverse), then you need set screws.
I sometimes sand in reverse and often turn in reverse. Put the chuck on then snug it up against the shoulder with the chuck Key. I can only remember one time having a chuck come loose and I may not have used the snug method back in those days. It was a 19" roughed out bowl and the electronic brake on my then new to me Powermatic slowed it down too fast and it came loose. Havent had that happen since so it was probably something indid.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
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I also don’t snug down the set screws, although both of my lathes have gouges in the shoulders. I tightened the set screws down 15-20yrs ago on my 3520 and forgot until after I really worked trying to get it off without loosening them :). You’d think I’d learn, but when I got a Comet2 unit came with a chuck installed. I figured out the set screws were down again after I tried to force the chuck off...some of us are dense!

I don’t reverse turn, but reverse sand often and have only had an issue when I stop a large bowl without having snugged it up.

I do use nylon washers, I purchased from Craft Supply I believe, to prevent the chuck from binding. If you need to stand off a little one or two of those washers might do the job for you.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
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Lebanon, Missouri
I have a lathe with E braking, and sand and turn in reverse. I use set screws in all chucks - some I needed to drill and tap. Yes the messed up the 1st thread from the shoulder - a different issue than the T60 spindle. I was able to so some lite file work to take care of it. 3/16” thick is really a bushing vs a washer. Search for a flat bushing With ID of your spindle - 1-1/4”?.

I have had several large turnings unscrew from the spindle even with tightening the chuck up - refuse to trust it, and if it holds its a b*tch to get off.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
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The little thingy that comes with nova chucks that is supposed to go down the hole prior to the set screw is essentially gasket material cut to about a 1/8" diameter disc. (might be just a tad larger) It's hard to imagine that it makes much of a difference, but that's what Nova thinks we should use.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
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Midland, MI
I do most of my sanding with the lathe in reverse, use SuperNova2 chucks, no set screws, no spacer, have not had issues with chuck unscrewing from spindle. I hand tighten the chuck. It usually has a little rotational momentum when it seats, but I don't do anything specific to make it tight.

If you do feel need to use set screws, I'd also suggest the brass tipped ones. I got some from McMaster Carr for another application where I wanted to avoid scarring a surface. They worked well for it.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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You could turn a brass or aluminum spacer on your wood lathe if you can't find what you need.
A machine shop would use a round bar stock and drill a hole the diameter of your spindle and then part off the thickness of the needed spacer.
Another option is to find some flat stock the thickness you need and drill a center hole in the material then secure on a spindle or chuck and turn the outer diameter round.
The flat stock method would eliminate the problem of machining a flat surface and parting off the spacer with a hand held tool.
You can use carbide tools to easily turn/cut/machine brass or aluminum and your wood lathe has plenty of torque to turn smaller pieces.
Another option for a spindle chuck spacer is a hard polymer material which can also easily be turned on a wood lathe. I have several 3/16" thick spacers that I still use
that were turned from Corian type materials. Both sides of the spacer mate up against a flat surface so they are still in good shape after a number of years of regular use.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
The little thingy that comes with nova chucks that is supposed to go down the hole prior to the set screw is essentially gasket material cut to about a 1/8" diameter disc. (might be just a tad larger) It's hard to imagine that it makes much of a difference, but that's what Nova thinks we should use.
I did use those little red dots. They fall out as soon as you take the chuck off into sawdust land! But they do work if you crank down on the set screw.
 
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Nov 4, 2011
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I did use those little red dots. They fall out as soon as you take the chuck off into sawdust land! But they do work if you crank down on the set screw.
Easy solution for the little red dots ... a leather punch (under $10 at Amazon) and and old belt, and you can make as many as you want. If they fall into the sawdust, no problem ... there's a pill bottle full of them in the tool cabinet next to the lathe. Here's a link to the punch I bought ...
 
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Jul 19, 2017
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Roscoe, Illinois
@John Hicks Before I became more experienced at turning, I forgot to loosen the set screws on my Nova Comet at lest twice before unscrewing the chuck. Therefore I damage the spindle a bit but it doesn't have any effect on the tightening or loosening of the chuck itself even though I have scored the shaft a little. Now that I am more experienced, I don't make that mistake again, but I just live with the scoring. I do sometimes sand in reverse because it helps with slight tear out that I wasn't able to get smooth. I have less of that also now and so don't sand in reverse much but I still always use the setscrew just in case I do sand in reverse. If you never use the lathe in reverse, then I think you don't need the setscrew.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
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FWIW ... the set screws for my chucks live in a little pill bottle right next to the one with the little leather dots! They are only installed in the chuck when I need them.
 
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Once you have a sheet of gasket material from the auto parts store to make your discs, you can punch one out with a variety of purchased punches, or you can use spent firearm brass. Rimfire 22 brass is pretty soft but 223 works well. If you know someone who likes to shoot, they almost certainly have an AR15 and 223 brass.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
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Rainy River District Ontario Canada
Of course the OP could drill and tap a hole in the right place, never have to get a washer etc to fit in there after, just a one time job.

And yes a good idea to use a set screw when using a lathe with Ebrake and or turning in reverse, I have only once had a large piece come right off and rolling around on the floor, not a nice thing to happen, safety first and you might not get hurt.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
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Lummi Island, WA
McMaster Carr has set screws with either brass or nylon tips - a bag costs a few bucks. I seldom use them, but they’re in all the chucks I use. The occasional reverse turning large, heavy blanks on a lathe with braking resistors taught me to anticipate the possibility of a chunk with a seven pound chuck bouncing around the shop. I only bother to tighten them when there’s a potential wanderer on the lathe, but glad I got them.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
McMaster Carr has set screws with either brass or nylon tips - a bag costs a few bucks. I seldom use them, but they’re in all the chucks I use. The occasional reverse turning large, heavy blanks on a lathe with braking resistors taught me to anticipate the possibility of a chunk with a seven pound chuck bouncing around the shop. I only bother to tighten them when there’s a potential wanderer on the lathe, but glad I got them.
Thanks, I just ordered some
 
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