Woodcraft WoodRiver Collet Chuck Rework

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Blog entry by horologist posted 01-06-2013 04:43 PM 2610 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought the collet chuck when I had some Woodcraft gift certificates to burn and had one of those “this would be perfect for…...” ideas. My general rule is to avoid all cutting tools or tools requiring any sort of precision that are made in China. For the most part this rule has served me well, however in this case the fit and finish of the set seemed very good, so with gift certificates burning a hole in my pocket I decided to take a chance.

The intended project never made it to the to do list so the collet set sat on the shelf until I decided to break it out for my final entry into the “Event Horizon” project series.

I wanted to use woodworking tools instead of my watchmaker’s lathe.

Only when I put the chuck into my lathe it wobbled so badly that it was unusable and very quickly worked its way out of the headstock. A little investigation revealed the end of the taper was too long and was bottoming out in the lathe spindle.

The taper as purchased.

Modifying the taper in the lathe. With care you could do this with a drill press and file.

The finished taper.

Thus modified the collet chuck seated properly in the lathe. This weekend I decided to make a drawbar, as luck would have it a M10×1.5 x 120 bolt was just long enough for my Jet Midi lathe. To make it a bit more useful I ran a hole through the length of the bolt, this allows running the workpiece through the headstock of the lathe. A word of caution, never run a lathe with a long unsupported length of material exiting the other end of the spindle (through the knob).

Installed in the lathe.

A quick check shows a TIR of about 0.010” not the greatest but adequate for my purposes.

I considered making a knob for the drawbar but if I did it wouldn’t fit into the case.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

2 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1895 posts in 4003 days

#1 posted 01-06-2013 05:13 PM

Hi Troy, Happy New Year! I understand what you did here your machinist skills and tools come in handy. Nice blog. The marquetry class idea is working forward, I’ll contact you soon.


-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View horologist's profile


105 posts in 4281 days

#2 posted 01-06-2013 11:43 PM

Happy New Year.
I’ve got to find some use for all this old junk.
I’m looking forward to the marquetry class and am sorry I missed out on your turning extravaganza.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

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