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Lost in a sea lathe chuck options

3373 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JamesVavra
All, I'm getting ready to get my lathe up and running, but I have no accessories for it. The big investment in this is the chuck system. This is my first lathe so the options have my head(stock) spinning.

I have a Delta 1460 like this (this one isn't mine)

I would like to be able to use both forward and reverse (via VFD) on both the in and outboard.

I love the deal on Penn States stuff, but it looks like reverse is not an option, because they don't offer a set screw.

Nova has some good options, but I'm confused by their types. Nova G3-D and G3 Comet 2 appear to be 1" 8 and lockable and the Comet looks to have an adapter for LH and RH threads, but it states it's ONLY for the Comet 2, not sure why.

Oneways seem to have some good options, too, but are way more expensive for the start up and the accessories.

Plus, I'm not sure what size of a chuck to get, the 1460 is a 12" lathe, but is really beefy in comparison to modern 12" lathes. Is the bigger the chuck the better or should I go with a mid-size chuck?

Do any of you use a chuck that fits the fwd/rvs and in/outboard options, and if so, which one is it specifically, and do you like it?

- Todd, who is lost in a sea of chucks.
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I have two of the Nova G3D chucks … they are a terrific chuck, and can be had at reasonable prices from a number of online retailers. I have a Delta 46-460 w/bed extension and haven't found anything yet that I wanted to do that my lathe couldn't handle including a couple of pretty good-sized hollow forms.

You could go with a bigger chuck (e.g. OneWay Stronghold), but you are going to spend a lot more money and will need an adapter for your lathe's 1"x8tpi spindle. The advantage would be if you plan to go to a bigger lathe down the road you could use the same chuck.
Thanks Gerry. And to confirm the G3D can lock for reverse sanding and has an adapter for LH and RH, correct?
Actually, on a 1" x 8tpi spindle, there is no need for an adapter. It does have set screws for reverse turning.
Is the spindle threaded for both LH and RH? My outboard spindle is LH threads.
Comet II is for the Comet II lathe, don't know what's special about it. They used to sell a Delta G3 that was reversible, regular G3 might also reverse.
Is the spindle threaded for both LH and RH?

No, the chuck is only threaded one way. I have never seen a LH threaded chuck … good luck finding one.

The chucks I have (G3D) are the ones Nova made for Delta.
The Nova G3 (not D) has an adapter that is threaded both RH and LH, but I don't see that the G3 is reversible. I've emailed them, but haven't heard anything back.
Thanks Rick, this is the one that Gerry and I have been discussing. It's a fixed thread, so it doesn't take adapters, which means I cannot do outboard turning. I think, without confirmation from Nova, that the fixed threads are resealable, but the adapter models are not.
Call 1-866-748-3025 for Nova's Florida office and ask. They are very friendly and helpful.
My 2 cents is get a Nova G3 and get on with turning. You can get great bargain on reconditiioned ones here
I don't know anyone who turns outboard on a 12" lathe. I am sure there probably are some. Just a thought, but do you really need to turn outboard? What do you plan on using for a tool rest turning outboard? Making one is not a trivial matter.
Thanks Bill, I called. The answer is, the G3 does not lock in place for reverse turning with the adapter I need. The guy did say that I can throw a plastic washer between the headstock and adapter to "lock it down". In doing some research on the interwebz people suggest that you should not go this route, as the plastic washer can introduce vibration and run out issue.

I also found out that the Oneway Talon does fit the bill, but is costly.
Hey Todd,

Absolutely don't use a plastic washer for the reasons you just previously mentioned. I have multiple thread adapters for my G3 (not the 1" x 8) and they each have set screws in them. You could always drill and tap for a set screw in the wrench flats of the spindle adapter.

I have a Nove G3 and a Vicmarc 120. Both of these chucks have there place. My G3 is on a 1950's craftsman lathe, the Vicmarc is one my self built bowl lathe. I love my Vicmarc, but that love is expensive! The Nova G3 is a good chuck for your lathe's capacity.

I agree with others, that outboard turning on your lathe is a questionable matter. It can be done, but you'll most likely need a self standing tool rest or some rig that anchors off the lathe… I just looked at nova's website and they do offer a LH/RH thread adapter for 1"x 8. It is item ITNS, Insert T (sixth from the bottom of list).

BTW, are you putting a VFD on the original motor that came on this lathe? I'm by no means a VFD expert, but if it is the original motor you'll want to be very conservative with how much to change the motors frequency due to the type of insulation that was used on older motors.

Hope this helps ya out!
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You are overthinking the matter (a trait I might be guilty of once in awhile). Reverse turning is a handy feature but not required and it will probably be awhile before your skills catch up to the point where it will make any difference. And if you turn outboard, you'll want to bolt that lathe down and upgrade the motor. You might not even like bowl turning - it's monotonous and very wasteful. I thought I would enjoy bowl turning but I don't. But if all these things are really important to you then go with Oneway, they have adapters for everything.
ToddJB-A couple of additional thoughts:

1) The Delta 1460 was originally equipped with a 1/2 hp motor. That is not enough oomph to turn anything bigger than a 12" bowl, so unless you are replacing the motor with something substantially bigger, outboard turning would be, at best, a frustrating experience.

2) This is just a WAG on my part, so forgive me if I am in error, but since this is your first lathe, I am thinking you are not an experienced turner. I own a Delta 12" midi lathe, but have access any time I want to a PM3520b. I have been turning for going on five years now, and have never given any serious thought to outboard turning. Maybe someday, but right now I am trying to hone my turning skills on pieces that are 12" and under.

I mean no offense … just throwing out a couple of things to consider.
No offense taken, Gents. A little more info. It is not the original motor, but a period correct Delta 1hp 3ph motor. The 3ph element is what allows me to use the VFD to have variable speeds from zero to the max of the pulley set up. I'll be leaving the 4 step pulley on the lathe just in case I need more torque on turning big pieces.

Outboard turning:. I am not concerned about the weight of the machine. It is extremely heavy being the bed, legs, headstock and tails stock are solid cast iron, the the motor is extremely heavy, and I will be building a cabinet in between the bottom and top boards. This thing isn't going anywhere. I don't think I intend on turning massive bowls, but I do have ideas of platters that are bigger than 12". And if the option is there, I want to available to me.

Experience: Minimal. But I am not fond of buying twice. So while at work I have tons of time for research, so research I do.

Update on chucks: I did buy the G3. I could not justify the cost of the Oneway, not just the chuck cost but the additional jaws. I got a great deal on the G3 and adapter.

Mike: thanks for your suggestion. Tapping is what I fully intend on doing if I find the need in reversing. I read a lot of people reverse without any locking feature and have no issues, but yeah, safety first.

Rick: Over thinking - always.

As always, I do really appreciate your input.
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IMHO I would recommend that you only buy a chuck, which has a removable backplate, so that if you buy it and then a bunch of jaws and decide to alter your lathe, your not stuck with the one you bought's old threading which is otherwise permanent. Most of them can be reconfigured with the aid of a new backplate to accept a new spindle size but check as there are some which are threaded into the chuck body and are always a part of the chuck as said. Alistair
Thanks Alistair, the one I went with does have the removeable thread adapter.
Todd, for what it's worth, I frequently sand in reverse without locking down the chuck. Yes, probably a disaster waiting to happen, but at relatively slow speeds, I've never come even close to unwinding my chuck.

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