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Upgrading Chucks

Joined
Jun 14, 2011
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Location
Brooklyn, NY
I've been using Nova chucks for several years on my Jet 1642 and have been happy with them but am setting up a Powermatic 3520B at a different location and was wondering what other turners thought about upgrading to Vicmark or Oneway chucks. I will need to buy 2-3 chucks anyway for the new shop.
I do a variety of turning from small boxes to larger bowls. Occasionally hollow forms.
Thanks, Rob
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
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Location
Canton, GA
Brother, I started with Nova chucks, even have a brand new infinity and lots of jaws I want to dump because I just could never like the lefty tighty, righty loosey thing. I tried an Easy Chuck from Easy Wood tools, and have never looked back, got a second one just because, but they are brilliant, made in America, first rate product. You can literally change a full set of jaws in under 30 seconds. The 'zoom' ring lets you open or close jaws to your works size in seconds and then you just finally snug it up with the included(!) T-wrench. I would strongly recommend them for anyone looking for a one and done Chuck.
You will love it!
 
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Joined
Jan 20, 2006
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Martinsville, VA
both lathes are 1 1/4 tpi.....u can just continue with the nova's.....if u want to change brands imo one-way is fine....I own the stronghold with the 1 & 3 jaws and one of the bowl holding to turn bottom jaws.....but I just jam chuck so I hardly ever use those jaws.....imo....if u take the jaws off the chuck when you finish each day you will only need one chuck.....you will probably need several sizes of faceplates and with use you will find which ones match your turning style....enjoy
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
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Location
Lawton, Oklahoma
I have a used Oneway Stronghold which I like. It's strong like the name implies. My one problem is the jaw range. Their largest steel jaws can hold a tenon as small as 4 1/4 inches. (They have aluminum ones, but I am not sure whether I would trust those) The largest bowl I have done so far was a 22" by 7" pecan bowl. A recess with the #4 Stronghold jaws held it perfectly and allowed me to core it with my McNaughton. I would recommend a Oneway Stronghold. The jaw range would most likely not be a problem for your Powermatic. As far as hollow forms, I would really only trust a faceplate for all but the smaller forms.
 

Bill Boehme

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I have a Oneway Stronghold and about six Oneway Talon chucks. I prefer using the Talon chucks for anything under 16" because there is more clearance to work around the tenon and being lighter than the Stronghold, they are easier to handle when attached to a block of wood.

I also have Vicmarc VM100 and VM120 chucks. They are very nice, probably the most rugged chucks going and they have a huge range of jaw sizes. I have seen the EWT chucks and they look to be very high quality, but the price was a bit too expensive for me.
 

john lucas

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I have 3 Vicmarc's and I've used a lot of other chucks. I would pick the Vicmarc's again. One of the main reasons is the 10mm hex key used for the chuck key. No teeth to align, no teeth to break off and if you lose it just go to the Hardware and buy another one. You can't do that with any other chuck. In fact I've gone to a demo and forgotten my chuck key and used a flat blade screwdriver to finish the demo. You can't do that with any other chuck either. Another thing I like is that all the jaws overlap each other in size so if you misjudge the size slightly you can simply change jaws and it will fit the other jaws. Of course that assumes you have a full set of jaws. The Dovetail holds extremely well.
 
Joined
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Lummi Island, WA
I’ve got a slew of Oneway chucks - for a while there it seemed like I ran across a good deal way too often - the result is a collection of four Strongholds, three Talons and a single Oneway (tommy bar) chuck. At the Craft Supply garage sale one year before the Utah symposium I came across a set of jaws made by Vicmark to fit a stronghold chuck. They are my go to jaws for coring, roughing and most bowls over 12”. At the same sale I also found a set of slides made by Oneway to fit Vicmark jaws on a Stronghold chuck. All of a sudden the rangeof usable jawschanged by a factor of three or four. The slides were stillin the original packaging, so I’ve got to think that the idea of crossing products didn’t work out in the long run.

Too bad, the idea solves a lot of problems accessing jaw sizes/types without having to invest in a new chuck.
 

Bill Boehme

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Too bad, the idea solves a lot of problems accessing jaw sizes/types without having to invest in a new chuck.

Perhaps the issue was safety from Oneway's perspective. The method for retaining the base jaws made it necessary to do some accurate drilling in Vicmarc jaws to install roll pins.

And if you wanted to swap the Vicmarc jaws back and forth you would need to remove or install the roll pin depending on which chuck it was being used in. A careful woodturner who is aware of opening the jaws too far wouldn't have a problem of not using a roll pin, but not everybody knows enough to be safe. Getting hit with a chuck jaw could ruin your day.
 
Joined
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Eugene, OR
If I can use it and not break it, then that is a good tool. I haven't been able to break my Vicmarc chucks yet, other than one which had teeth on one of the pinion gears break off, but replacement part still going strong after 15 years. I do like the hex wrench, but the standard one issued with the chuck is a standard J allen wrench with a plastic T. That part does fail so I got bent wire T type wrenches for them and that works better. Well, I have twisted them a bit but haven't broken them. No, I don't over tighten them, I do get then snug, but many many bowls have gone by...

robo hippy
 
Joined
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Location
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Perhaps the issue was safety from Oneway's perspective. The method for retaining the base jaws made it necessary to do some accurate drilling in Vicmarc jaws to install roll pins.

And if you wanted to swap the Vicmarc jaws back and forth you would need to remove or install the roll pin depending on which chuck it was being used in. A careful woodturner who is aware of opening the jaws too far wouldn't have a problem of not using a roll pin, but not everybody knows enough to be safe. Getting hit with a chuck jaw could ruin your day.
The issue may have been safety - the Vicmark jaws have no roll pin - either the Vic jaws made for their own chucks or the ones made to fit the Oneway Stronghold. I’ve never even come close to maxing out the capacity of any set of jaws, try to keep tenon sizes matched to the jaw set I’m using. It does help to have multiple chucks around...
If I had to guess, it would have probably have more to do with demand and the fact that selling a set of slides to mount the competitor’s product only sold more of their goods to your customers. Not the best business model.
 

Bill Boehme

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If I had to guess, it would have probably have more to do with demand and the fact that selling a set of slides to mount the competitor’s product only sold more of their goods to your customers. Not the best business model.

That thought had also crossed my mind.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
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Location
Ambridge, PA
One option might be to look at the Hurricane chucks from the wood turning store. I've had good experience with their HTC 125's. Vicmarc style knock-offs that run $199.00 versus $290 ish for complete set-up. Had them for over 4 years without issue. Think they were $129.00 back then so the price has crept up since then but still a decent value.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
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Location
North Charleston, SC
I bought my first Oneway chuck in 1993 at the AAW symposium in Purchase NY. a father and son where in the booth and had just started the company. I have two Oneway chucks. The Stronghold has Mega Jaws and extensions I made out of aluminum stock that allows me to hold up to 24" diameter bowls by the rim to finish the bottom. My main working chuck is the Vicmark 150. I have 4 sets of jaws that go from 2" to 9 1/2". Both chucks are high quality.
 

john lucas

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I purchased 2 Vicmarc Companies from other companies who will go un named. They are reputable companies. Both had problems after about 4 years of use. Then internal pinion gears wear out. One company charged me for the gears and the other gave them to me for free. Even though the internal parts look similar to Vicmarc they are not and won't swap out. In fact the pinion gears and ring gear would not swap out between the 2 off brand or the vicmarc. The pinion gears did not work like new and had to be filed considerably to work properly. The chucks still don't work like new. Granted they were almost $100 less expensive than the vicmarcs but my Vics still work like new and one of them is 15 years old or more. Spring for the money and get the Vicmarc or Oneway. you will never be sorry.
 
Joined
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Rockingham, Virginia
I have used SuperNova2 chucks for about 10 years or so........the last 4 chucks I purchased are the Hurricane lineup. I have 3 HTC-100's and one HTC-125's. I really like the heavy duty design of the Hurricanes. They are Vicmarc clones, and are very good quality and superb value.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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Location
Athens, WI
Have used Oneway and Vicmarc chucks for about 11 years now, still have about 4 Oneways, and 6 or so Vicmarcs. Both quality chucks, but I much prefer my Vicmarcs, and have been selling my Oneway's to be able to buy more Vicmarcs. I feel over all they run truer, are easier to operate with there wrench, and for my uses, prefer their dovetail jaws, of which also are available in much larger sizes than available on Oneway. I also tend to use the smaller sizes of both more than the larger due the increased access. I tend to switch to the larger chucks at about 12-14"
 
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Joined
Jan 3, 2012
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Location
New City, NY
For my 18 year old 2436, I own a Talon, Stronghold, Vicmarc VM150 and an Axminster. I have successfully used them all in various turning situations.

Since you are buying a bigger machine, you may be turning bigger pieces. That's where the Vicmarc large 1/2 deep dovetail jaw sets shine. The variety of jaw sets available makes this brand the most desirable choice IMHO.
On the other hand, The things I like about the Stronghold over the Vicmarc line is the screw chucking attachment, the Flat Jaws and the jaw finish. The stronghold open back, on one hand, makes it easier to clean but also is a dust magnet. The only sore spot with the Vicmarc is that all my beautifully finished black jaws lost their color and pitted from green wood. I realized after the fact, that I have to oil em up after use to prevent rusting.

Nevertheless, I have been excited about buying another Vicmarc but a 5 inch VM120. All my VM150 jaws will work on the VM120.

My favorite is the Axminster for fit and finish but the line is no longer available in the US.
 

Tom Gall

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My favorite is the Axminster for fit and finish but the line is no longer available in the US.
Axminster chucks & jaws are available from Lee Valley. I always wanted an Axminster....so last year I ordered the Evolution Chuck with extra jaws and jaw slides. I didn't really need one because I don't turn much anymore, but I HAD to have one :D.......to add to my multiple Strongholds, Talons, Novas, Vicmarc, Record and a Grizzly. After all, "He who dies with the most tools....." :rolleyes:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?p=70639&cat=1,330,69091,69183&ap=1
 
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New City, NY
Axminster chucks & jaws are available from Lee Valley. I always wanted an Axminster....so last year I ordered the Evolution Chuck with extra jaws and jaw slides. I didn't really need one because I don't turn much anymore, but I HAD to have one :D.......to add to my multiple Strongholds, Talons, Novas, Vicmarc, Record and a Grizzly. After all, "He who dies with the most tools....." :rolleyes:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?p=70639&cat=1,330,69091,69183&ap=1
Thanks for the link. I bought mine from craftsupplies model 3706-100 15-20 years ago. I’m not sure if that is comparable with the current models at lee valley. I queried Axminster UK just in case I may wish to add another jaw set or two.
 
Joined
May 1, 2023
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Location
Longmont, CO
Stray question. I have a "version 1" vm150 (quote from Vicmarc).

Anyone know what the lever on the back does?

I've been trying to get the circlip off the back. Previous owner put one on that's a bit too small, so the pliers are giving me fits trying to grab it.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
The newer Nova chuck go the other way with the key. Nova has the most jaw selection. Don't forget the Titan chucks. I also have two Axminster 114 chucks and they are top end; no one else has the O'donell jaws
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
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Location
Sykesville, Maryland
I have two Nova SN2's, a Nova Titan, and a Vicmarc 120. The Vic is by far my favorite: best dovetail grip, and a larger range diameter grips. I will say the Titan is a really nice chuck too. The SN2's are best for smaller things. If you are happy with your Nova's, might consider the Titan, if you don't have one. Most Nova jaws work all both chucks. Nova's are also far cheaper than Vics. But, if I could afford it, I'd only have Vics. Someday I may replace my SNs with Vic 100's, when I have money to burn. I do recommend getting them with inserts instead of direct thread because the direct thread do not have provisions for a grub screw.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
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Location
Traverse City, MI
Are going to buy a 2nd set of tools as well? I would think an all new set of tools and chucks will get costly. If it were me, I'd try to find a way to make a portable "kit" of turning accessories that I move along with me, wherever I end up turning.

I have 3 Titans and a Supernova. I can't imagine buying a duplicate set of new ones as well as all the jaws, etc. (but it would also be a lot to carry/transport)
 
Joined
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Erie, PA
As stated before I have over 40 chucks of most all major brands and as I'm sure I have stated before I do not consider one brand better than the others. All my chucks work flawlessly and when I pick a chuck out of the cabinet it is not the brand but what jaws are on the chuck. I have found for me the major difference in the chucks is what you pay for them. That is why over half of my chucks are Novas. Below is a photo of most of them.
 

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Joined
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Baltimore, MD
As stated before I have over 40 chucks of most all major brands and as I'm sure I have stated before I do not consider one brand better than the others. All my chucks work flawlessly and when I pick a chuck out of the cabinet it is not the brand but what jaws are on the chuck. I have found for me the major difference in the chucks is what you pay for them. That is why over half of my chucks are Novas. Below is a photo of most of them.
That’s a beautiful image Bill. All sparkling! It makes me think of a woodturner’s idea of a collection of gemstones.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
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Location
Calgary, CA
The lefty tighty has never bothered me. A Canadian tool supplier has been selling off its stock as the new edition of the Nova chuck is righty tighty.
I took advantage of that and bought one for less than Can$100.
The BIG disadvantage of the Oneway is the tightening system. Nova uses a hex key so that if you are reverse turning a bowl and it overlaps the chuck, you can still operate it.
 
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Joined
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Columbia, TN
The lefty tighty has never bothered me. A Canadian tool supplier has been selling off it's stock as the new edition of the Nova chuck is righty tighty.
I took advantage of that and bought one for less than Can$100.
The BIG disadvantage of the Oneway is the tightening system. Nova uses a hex key so that if you are reverse turning a bowl and it overlaps the chuck, you can still operate it.

I bought one of those, then decided I'd never get a better deal so I bought another one. I figure I'll mount Cole jaws on one and probably larger jaws than I use today on the second one.
 
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I’m guessing the original poster has already made a decision (2018 post). Since it has tuned into a chuck brand discussion I’ll add my chuck history. Once I had a full size lathe I started buying Nova chucks. The Nova chuck are decent chucks at a good price. I switched from Nova to Record chucks. Similar in price, but right tightening and a little beefier. Like all don’t like changing jaws, so I am up to 9 Nova/Record chucks at this point. Then I bought an Axminster chuck and their eccentric adapter. After I got the Axminster I sold all the Nova and Record chucks. The Nova and Record are good chucks especially for the price, but I got hooked on the Axminster. I have 4 Axminster chucks, two SK100, and two SK114. I was going down the road to getting even more Nova/Record chucks (not 40) and storage and cost was becoming a problem. The Axminster jaw change is easy, no screws to mess with. Axminister has a very large jaw selection and the only ones with the O’Donnell jaws that I use a lot. For me I can tell a difference between brands. I think all my Nova/Record chucks had inserts and added a little more to the runout. Much of the Axminster is stainless steel direct thread and grub screws provided.
 
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Joined
May 22, 2022
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Cheltenham, PA
I've been using Nova chucks for several years on my Jet 1642 and have been happy with them but am setting up a Powermatic 3520B at a different location and was wondering what other turners thought about upgrading to Vicmark or Oneway chucks. I will need to buy 2-3 chucks anyway for the new shop.
I do a variety of turning from small boxes to larger bowls. Occasionally hollow forms.
Thanks, Rob
I have the VicMarc 100 and have been very happy with it. A nice set of jaws to add to your collection would be the step jaws which have a nice range of sizes for the tenons. In compression 3 steps of 45,70, 84mm. In expansion 99mm. In the USA the only dealer I know of is Packard Woodworks.com. I have purchased from them and have found them to be very helpful. I went from a 1"x 8 to a 1.25"x 8 lathe and because of the insert was able to continue to use my chuck.
 
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This made me think back a bit.... I have all Vicmark chucks, and only one of them tightens the opposite way that the others do. I do remember they changed that some years back. It still throws me for a loop when I use it... Their lathe speed controls are backward from my other lathes....

robo hippy
 

Dave Landers

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I have the VicMarc 100 and have been very happy with it. A nice set of jaws to add to your collection would be the step jaws which have a nice range of sizes for the tenons. In compression 3 steps of 45,70, 84mm. In expansion 99mm. In the USA the only dealer I know of is Packard Woodworks.com. I have purchased from them and have found them to be very helpful. I went from a 1"x 8 to a 1.25"x 8 lathe and because of the insert was able to continue to use my chuck.
Craft supplies also now carries Vicmarc chucks and jaws
 
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