Turning Archive 2005

Remount/chuck cleaning

Ed Moore
>On Tuesday I am hosting a turning event in my shop. In addition to moving out far too much wood and putting too many things away, I decided to clean my three chucks. And, now that this chore is done, I thought I would pass along an idea to those whose chucks have problems with remounts.

First, I completely removed the jaws and put them and the screws in lacquer thinner. I have used Deft sanding sealer and it was time to remove any that was off target and on chuck. At this point you may spray with WD-40 or apply the lubricant of your choice to the jaw mounts that are exposed after you have used the air compressor to get rid of any debris that is there. I chose a very light application of white lithium grease.

After extracting the jaws from the lacquer thinner, I used a small wire brush to remove every bit of crud that was on the jaws. It is important to clean out the grooves on the business side as well as the underside so that the jaw will seat properly when reinstalled. With the clean screws it is time to put the jaws back on. Once the screws are tight, tighten the chuck all the way down and note the alignment of the jaws. In my case I saw that one jaw seemed to be set out from the others. So, I loosened all screws a little and then tightened the chuck again. This time there were no gaps to be seen between jaws. I retightened the screws, loosened the chuck jaws and retightened them and this time there were no gaps. It is my belief that I have now tuned the jaws on the chuck as good as I can, so that it will grip a piece of wood properly and the rechucking process has been optimized.

If there are still rechucking problems, what variables remain?
1. The adaptor may not be installed optimally. Remove, clean the adaptor surface and matching surface on the chuck. Apply a very thin coating of white lithium grease and reseat the adaptor, screwing down each screw a little at a time so as to avoid an imbalance of torque.
2. The lathe spindle may have a burr that does not allow the chuck to seat properly. If the chuck does not seat against the back surface of the spindlehead, get a good washer and put it between the spindlehead and chuck.
3. There is no reason to assume that each portion of the surface of the wood that is being grasped is the same as the other portions. If excessive force is applied, I would expect the wood to yield or bruise unevenly.

If remounting is an issue, make sure that the jaws on the chuck are mounted so that when tightened down, there are no uneven gaps that appear.

Ed Moore from SW Virginia

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