Turning Archive 2007
Wally Dickerman in Arizona
>You newer turners (10 years or less) probably don't realize it but before around 1990 the 4-jaw scroll chuck that's so popular today didn't exist. Before that there were collet chucks and the 3-jaw machinist chuck adapted for wood lathes. Also, turners used a lot of jam-fit chucks and just plain faceplates.
My 3-jaw chuck is well over 25 years old and has been adapted to different sized threads 3 times. I still use it occasionally and wouldn't be without it. The jaws are reversible. It'll hold a 6-1/2 blank while I true up the bottom for a glue block or chuck. It'll hold spindles of most any size where a tailsock isn't wanted or needed. In fact it'll hold just about anything that's round and is between 1/4-inch and 6-1/2 inches in dia.
Surprisingly, Grizzly still sells them for about $85. It's big and heavy and solid, and very handy to have. I recommend it.
Be aware that when opened wide the jaws are real knuckle-busters. I speak from experience.