No-Lock Spindle Washer

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Forum topic by D_Allen posted 07-29-2012 10:16 PM 3219 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 3863 days

07-29-2012 10:16 PM

I bought one of these 4 months ago and have been using it every time I put on the scroll chuck or faceplate.
But I think maybe it is the wrong size or not a good idea for my lathe. There is no step in the shaft behind the threaded area and the washer does not center. It is always as shown when the chuck tightens.
What I think is happening is that the washers is allowing the chuck to sit against the spindle in a slightly angled fashion. I know there is about a .016” lash in the threads, which is necessary.
I never really payed it much attention until recently when I began making some pen blanks with the Celtic knot inlay. I just could not get the hole drilled in the center. It started out OK but ended up as much as a sixteenth off at the other end. Tried all kinds of jigs, fixtures, techniques and still had limited success.
BTW, I use a set of fixtures in the scroll chuck to hold the blank and drill with a drill chuck in the tail stock.
My cheap drill press is of no use for this operation.
Then during one of many tool changes I considered the spindle washer and how it does not center on the shaft.
I left it off and proceeded to drill 3 blanks 2” long and the most variance from end to end was .009”.
I am in the process of making 2 more Celtic knot blanks to confirm this by drilling and turning them down.
What I also did was make a washer from some 10 mil lexan that is used to make decals. It is a very consistent .009” and I cut the center hole small enough that I actually had to screw it onto the threaded part to get it behind the threads. That one sits where it is supposed to.
I’d be interested in anyones thoughts on this and if anyone else has one of these washers that fits better on 1” 8-TPI spindle.

-- Website is finally up and

9 replies so far

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4835 days

#1 posted 07-29-2012 10:58 PM

I use these- My Delta lathe does not have a the step on the shaft behind the threads, either. I haven’t noticed this problem but then again, I rarely turn pens.
I just checked and mine seems to fit about like yours does.
I guess I’m not much help.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 3772 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 03:29 AM

I also made my own from some black plastic I had laying around. Consistant thickness (flatness)and proper I.D. are very important.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3863 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 01:01 AM

Well, this is better but still a bit off.
I did notice that on the first cut the blade was just a bit off from 90 degrees so that may be what is causing some, or all, of this. I also noted that when drilling the blank without the washer there is no vibration like before. That tells me the chuck is not wobbling on the spindle anymore. Measuring both ends of the drilled blanks shows it is real close to dead center.
I corrected the blade and am doing another test…just to see if I can get them all even.

-- Website is finally up and

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4326 days

#4 posted 07-31-2012 02:32 AM

I cut one out of a plastic milk jug. Works, fits great and the price was right.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View MrRon's profile


6020 posts in 4323 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 06:55 PM

Try this washer. You want solid contact between the spindle and chuck. You might also try a washer 15/16” ID and file the Id until it fits the spindle for a closer fit.

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495 posts in 3863 days

#6 posted 08-02-2012 01:56 AM

Thanks for the link. I’ll consider that.
However, the idea behind the plastic washer is to help eliminate the chuck getting wedged too tight.
I can center this one if I take the time to position it in the center when I advance the chuck, but it is just something else to remember to do. The design of the shaft does not allow it to center itself.
I also considered gluing it onto the shaft since it would always be used when using the threaded spindle and would be out of the way when using the taper.
BTW, that was the issue with the rings not being even. By also fine tuning the blade angle I got the rings real close to all even from the end. Good enough for me anyway.

-- Website is finally up and

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 4158 days

#7 posted 08-02-2012 01:06 PM

Reading this thread brings two questions to mind…

1) Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to use an automotive anti-seize compound on the threads? Anti-seize shouldn’t interfere with any finishes if it’s contained to the spindle and any excess is cleaned off.

2) Or, if anti-seize is too messy, what about teflon plumbers tape? It’s wicked thin (technical term) and teflon, even with close tolerance threads a single wrap shoud still fit and the teflon might keep things from sticking.

There might be great reasons why these two aren’t used, but I’ve only had a lathe for a week now, so I’m still trying to figure things out.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3863 days

#8 posted 08-02-2012 11:27 PM

The issue isn’t with the threads but with the metal to metal connection between the base of the headstock spindle and the base of the chuck.

-- Website is finally up and

View MrRon's profile


6020 posts in 4323 days

#9 posted 08-04-2012 04:12 PM

The chuck should not be run up tight to the spindle under power. All that is needed is to hand tighten it, Check the surface of the chuck to be sure there is not any burrs that would cause it to get too tight on the spindle. I think McMaster-Carr has teflon and other plastic washers that size. Would a hose washer be the right size?

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