Post By kitno455
Work Holding Techniques
Let's limit this discussion to very basic round stock turning (facing, turning down a diameter, turning to a shoulder, center drilling, etc).
From what I have read turning between centers requires a face plate and driver dog on the head stock end but at least for center drilling a chuck would be required. So I'm wondering if I need both of these mechanisms (dog driver and chuck) or can basic turning be done with a chuck and a tail stock center? It seems this would work with the compromise that there would be some wasted material on the chuck end.
I realize that ultimately there may be a need for both but what would the recommendation be for getting started with very basic turning?
Turning between center will inable you to turn tapers by offsetting the tailstock. If you have a taper attachement between centers makes little sense. Also turning between center allows for alot of deflection and chatter. The rest of turning can be done with 3 jaw chuck and a center.
Rick - to answer your question, I (and probably the greater percentage of people here) would recommend a 3-jaw chuck. That'll get you up and running.
Budget is EVERYTHING:
I've bought a brand new Bison chuck for my Heavy-10 last year and was thrilled to death. I loved it... I combined two Enco coupons (20% off & free shipping) so it wasn't too bad.
I've bought a used (and really nice) 5" Cushman for my 9". It was in real nice shape and a perfect mate for the 9".
Both machines are now sold, and I currently have a great quality Buck 8" chuck on my 13". It's a "Set-True" - which allows you to adjust the jaws concentricity.
3-Jaw chucks are (by nature) the most "inaccurate" method to hold work. Not terribly inaccurate, but they can be a bit non-concentric. And repeatability isn't the greatest. But once the piece is in the chuck - and you start machining it, the work BECOMES concentric. And again, the issue is when you take it out and then put it back in... It can be "off".
4-Jaw chucks are VERY accurate only because you need to dial indicate them, so no matter how many times you mount (and re-mount) your work, you're dialing it into accuracy.
The most (repeatably) accurate method is a collet. But the work needs to be appropriately sized to the collet. They have way more "holding surface" and will repeat the accuracy.
1. I would suggest getting the BEST 3-jaw for your budget, to start. That'll allow you to get up and machining. It'll also teach you about the things I just mentioned.
2. Then, I would get a 4-jaw. This will allow you to mount square, round or any other oddly shaped work. For example - you can chuck up a square part that needs it's surface trued up.
3. Next, I'd get that dead-center-adapter for your headstock and the accompanying dog-driver plate. This is a very accurate way of machining, but will only be as accurate as your headstock-tailstock alignment. Also, this method will allow you to turn work between centers - (for example, let's say a shaft has gears in its middle section, but needs machining on both ends). Mounting between center allows for a one time-mount and the ability to machine both ends.
4. And lastly, (if your type of work demands it), I would get a collet system. This consists of a headstock-mounted "sleeve", a collet-closer (either the "lever" type or the "hand-wheel" type) and a thread protecting knock-out-nut - which, when you unscrew it, will push OUT the sleeve when you're done. And of course collets.
I personally like to have both chucks (AND) a collet system. Hope this was helpful
Thanks Brad - very informative post and I feel happy that in the back of my mind i was thinking pretty much the same thing. The goal right now is to just get started with some easy and educational projects. It sounds like the 3 jaw chuck is a good starting point. I already bought the HS adapter and center and TS center but I don't think they will go to waste.''i-m betting there will be a future use for the HS parts.
Forget the center and dog driver plate. Just put a bit of stock into the chuck, turn a 60 degree point onto it, and leave it in the chuck. Then the tail of the dog can be pushed by one of the jaws.
The full size face plate will also turn a lathe dog if needed,and it reminds you of the rotating dog so you keep hands away.It also has other uses when holding irregularly shaped objects that cant be chucked.I have both for all my lathes,but I would get the big one first.