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Tips: Large Chuck Jaws for Reverse Turning
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Large Chuck Jaws for Reverse Turning

I made large wooden jaws for my chuck to reverse turn bowls. Glue up three layers of MDF that are slightly larger than the size of the jaws needed. Cut the stack into four squares. Cut a small miter off of the inside corners to match the inner circle of the metal chuck jaws. Then, attach the jaws to the wood and mount them on the lathe. Put a 1" (25mm) dowel in the center and clamp it in place. There should be a gap between all the jaws. This will give plenty of adjustment to the jaws when finished.

Mark off the outside diameter and bandsaw it close to size. Mount the chuck back on the lathe and true up the outside. Then, turn some dovetail steps to accommodate different-sized bowls. Remove the dowel and you are ready to turn. The dovetails can be resized as needed. When the jaws become too small, simply build some more.




A cautionary note: MDF is somewhat fragile so make your dovetails at least .5" (13mm) thick. Also, breathing MDF dust is hazardous so wear a dust mask and use a good dust collection system.

~ Jon Gibbs, Micheldever, Winchester, Hampshire, UK


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