Turning Archive 2008
>A couple of days ago someone asked if I would post a picture of the PVC rack I use for holding my chuck keys to keep from loosing them. I have several chucks, a couple of Strongholds and several Vicmarcs of different sizes. One of the Vics is lever operated so I needed a place for the levers too.
I have a dust hood, similar to the one in Raffan's books, that sit behind my lathe. I fastened the rack onto the side of the dust hood at a hight that is comfortable for me and slightly above the headstock. The rack is made from 1" PVC pipe and a couple of "T" fittings. The 1" is just the right size for the Stronghold key. I drilled holes in the PVC pipe to fit the various keys and levers. The holes in the pipe for the levers are drilled at an angle to clear the T handle keys.
In the picture, the two smaller levers on the end are for the lever operated Vic, the next key is for the small Vic, next to that is the lever for removing the large Vic (the Vic insert has a blind hole for the lever to remove the chuck from the spindle), the large Vic key, and the key for the Stronghold. The second row contains the two different wrenchs for changing the jaw sets. One fits the small Vics and the other fits the large Vic and Strongholds.
I worked in a machine shop out of high school and in college running an engine lathe doing productin work. I got in the habit very quickly of using my left hand to pick up the chuck key and replace it on the tray built into the head stock. I still do that with my wood lathe and after building the dust hood, I added a piece of PVC to hold the Stronghold. After adding the Vicmark chucks I added the T fittings to hold all the levers and keys. It has saved digging around for keys and levers and loosing them in the shavings.