Wood Lathe Chucks – A New Look at an Old Trick

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When the old timers talked about chucks for the wood lathe, they meant either a Jacob’s chuck, a screw chuck or a glue block chuck. Glue chucks took a long time to set but were convenient to use. New glues make the convenience even greater and the old chucks more versatile for the home turner looking for an easy and effective way to hold work on the lathe.
Glue chucks are almost always used for faceplate work. In fact they start with a faceplate. Let us assume that a bowl was being turned and no screw holes were desired in the bottom. Instead of screwing the a faceplate to the bottom of the bowl a piece of scrap wood was screwed to the faceplate. This was then turned round and faced flat. Then the bowl was glued to the scrap wood.
Because it would be hard to get the scrap wood off the bowl, a piece of paper was glued between the wood and the bowl bottom. Once the bowl was finish turned it was removed from the chuck by placing a chisel or plane blade at the paper and striking it. The paper would split leaving half on the bowl and half on the chuck. With a bit of sanding the bowl was ready to finish and the chuck was ready for the next gluing.
The only problem with the old glue chuck was the time it took for the glue to set, generally overnight. Two of today’s glues speed up the process and lend a great deal of convenience, hot glue and super glue.
The same hot glue used by the crafters does a great job in mounting a dry bowl blank to a glue chuck. No paper is used. The glue is simply applied from a well heated gun to the scrap block and then immediately pressed to the bowl bottom. Withing a couple of minutes it can be mounted on the lathe and turned. Once finished it can be removed with a friction cut of a parting tool into the waste block to loosen the glue or by striking the glue line with a chisel.
Unfortunately hot glue will not work with wet wood which many wood turners like to use. Super glue or cyanoacrylate glue does a fine job. First a shot of accelerator is applied to the bowl bottom. Then a bead of super glue is applied to the waste block on the glue chuck. Both are pressed together and again within a couple of minutes the piece is ready to mount on the wood lathe. Once finished the nature of the glue allows separation from the glue chuck with a sharp rap on a chisel held at the glue line.

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Thank you for reading the article above. Many important points you need to know.
Have you ever:
– Wanted to build something, because you cannot find it “retail”?
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TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects