Advise on lathe chuck

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Forum topic by Robert posted 07-31-2021 01:39 PM 406 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Robert's profile


4714 posts in 2694 days

07-31-2021 01:39 PM

I’m going to attempt a lathe project they say requires a chuck.

I have a full size Jet lathe and have used it a total TWO times.

I’m looking a 3 jaw and 4 jaw and some are quite expensive. The only places I’ve looked so far is WoodCraft and Rockler.

Not being a “serious” turner I am looking for some advice on brands and which type to get that won’t break the bank.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

8 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


7801 posts in 2600 days

#1 posted 07-31-2021 02:37 PM

What is the project? There is always more than one way to skin a cat so there may be other ways to do this than to spend over $100 for something you may not use again. The chuck may be the simplest way but glue blocks and other approaches can usually made to work for a one-off.

The Nova chucks are good. You have to make sure you get one with the correct thread (or insert) for you spindle.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View SMP's profile


4715 posts in 1118 days

#2 posted 07-31-2021 02:59 PM

yeah depends on what you mean by “needs a chuck”. for my limted use of a lathe I bought an adapter that lets me use my drill press chuck, and then I fabricate whatever to hold that will fit in the chuck

View Aj2's profile


4029 posts in 3011 days

#3 posted 07-31-2021 06:50 PM

I have a four jaw chuck that I bought at rockler.
Your right I remember it being expensive more then my lathe is worth.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View MrUnix's profile


8748 posts in 3412 days

#4 posted 07-31-2021 07:00 PM

I’m going to attempt a lathe project they say requires a chuck.

Who is THEY and what is the project?

Remember, the lathe is an ancient machine that has been used for centuries… and the modern scroll chuck is a recent invention. Yet they did some pretty amazing work back then, even without all of our modern conveniences.

Not saying you couldn’t put a chuck to good use, only that in most cases – it is not necessary, just more convenient.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WoodenDreams's profile


1411 posts in 1124 days

#5 posted 07-31-2021 08:54 PM

Are you able to use a faceplate chuck for this project, if not.

In my opinion as a newbie turner. You want the 4 jaw chucks for wood. Save using the 3 jaw chuck for turning metal. I have a Midi lathe with a 1hp motor. And use the Nova G3 chucks and jaws. You’ll find that jaws are not interchangeable between brands. So If you multiple chucks, stay with one brand.

If you have a Mini or Midi lathe, I’d go with the chucks that don’t weigh as much. Example; I use the Nova G3 chucks. They weight less than the SuperNova or the Titan. So with less stress, your bearing on the lathe will last longer on the Mini and Midi lathe. All the Nova jaws are interchangeable with all the Nova chucks.

If you want to save some cash, the Barracuda chucks may be the way to go. But, keep in mind, Barracuda jaws only fit Barracuda chucks. Most of the guys in our woodturning club use the Nova brand chucks. A couple of them have both Barracuda and Nova chucks. They are very happy with the Barracuda chucks. So double check to the available jaw options for which you chuck decide on.

View OSU55's profile


2817 posts in 3202 days

#6 posted 08-01-2021 02:18 PM

As others have said, chucks are for convenience. Faceplates and glue blocks can do the same thing.

For limited use the psi Barracuda is ok. The ring gear/chuck key gears are a poor design and the key cams out, like a phillips screwdriver. I have 4 of them which I dont use anymore. The best bargain is the apprentice chuck at Craft Supplies. The best chuck is Oneway or Vicmark, depends on the jaw type one likes.

View Redoak49's profile


5362 posts in 3201 days

#7 posted 08-01-2021 02:50 PM

I have and really like the Nova G3 chuck. You can get jaws that work for your project.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1083 posts in 2675 days

#8 posted 08-01-2021 09:12 PM

I agree that chucks are not always necessary. So before you go buying one, let us know what your project is.
Very possible to hold off on that purchase if you like.
What Jet lathe do you have? You say full size, 14”, 16” or 18”?
The 14×40 has a 1X8 spindle, while the other two have 1-1/4”x8.
So I have several chucks that I have acquired over the years. Started off with a cheap Grizzly chucks similar to what I
linked below. Because it is a kit with several sets of jaws it is still a bit pricey. But look at what you get.
It is 1X8 tpi, and if you have the Jet 16 or 18×40 it will not work with out an adapter. I would avoid chucks that need the adapter myself.
There are also other cheaper brands out there like the apprentice chuck from Craft supplies.
And then the big name brands.
I Started out with a Vicmarc, but now have both a oneway Stronghold, Talon, and a Super Nova chuck.
I find them all to be Good products. With no real preference. Gives me a very wide option in chuck jaws.
Also, I am glad I have them all. But I really never needed all these chucks. Bought the Oneway Stronghold new. The rest are all second hand that I got deals on that were just to good to pass up. I would have never bought them at full price. Just really no need for it.
So don’t sweat all the choices. Pick one and be happy.
Good luck.

-- John

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