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Tip: 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 ½" (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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