Turning Archive 2004

Re: boxes without a chuck (long)
Response To:
boxes without a chuck ()

Doug Trembath
>Keith, I don't have a link handy, but you can use a faceplate and make a jam chuck to turn almost anything. I have been turning for quite a while, so I have a number of scroll chucks, but I still use jam chucks for different purposes. Screw a waste block to the faceplate, then glue another, deeper wasteblock onto it, and form the size jam chuck you need. You'll want to start your box blank between centers first, and form a tenon on both ends, just like you'd do for a scroll chuck, but with straight shoulders like a dowel. Leave some extra waste on each end to allow for parting off. Remount your jam chuck on the lathe, drill a hole in the wasteblock to just fit the tenon, and glue the blank in, making sure you have it aligned properly. Let the glue dry sufficiently, then part the bottom off the blank, leaving the top on the wasteblock, and hollow and finish the inside of the top, then part it off the wasteblock. Again, drill the wasteblock for the tenon of the box bottom, and do the same for the bottom. Finish the inside and outside of the bottom as much as possible, then part off the bottom, leaving a little extra for cleanup. Now cut a tenon on the wasteblock to fit the inside of the top, jam the top onto it, and finish the top of the box completely. Pull the top off, and do the same thing again for the bottom. Not quite as quick as using a chuck, but certainly simple enough. I always recommend to my students that they do an operation like this entirely using scrap wood, to familiarize themselves with the process, before using a nice chunk of wood. Check out Raffin's books and videos to see how he does it, and just substitute the jam chuck for the mechanical one.

Hope this works out for you, and best of luck. If you need further assistance, just email.

Doug Trembath
Studio in the Woods

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