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Project Farm-style reviews of chuck manufacturers?

VanillahGarillah

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 10, 2022
Location
North of Baltimore
I’m just a hobbyist, but I want to buy the highest quality my budget wil allow. Can someone do (or has anyone done) a rundown of various chuck manufactures from the usual suspects made in the USA to the ones made elsewhere? What I’m really looking for is a worthy six-jaw chuck for a South Bend 10L, but I want to know the consensus of this community on chuck manufacturers in general.
 
Bison has been good. Don't know if they've succumbed to the china lure. Unless you really need a 6-jaw for thin work I'd go with a 3-jaw. If your material isn't truly round and is not quite flexible you may have gripping issues with the six. Also, a must for me is the 'set-tru' feature. It gives you the accuracy of a 4-jaw with less key spinning (at least for round parts).
If buying new you're going to have to spend some serious money for a quality chuck. Some of the china imports look fine, some are fine but most fail miserably in fit & finish as well as material quality/hardening etc.
 
I’m just a hobbyist, but I want to buy the highest quality my budget wil allow. Can someone do (or has anyone done) a rundown of various chuck manufactures from the usual suspects made in the USA to the ones made elsewhere? What I’m really looking for is a worthy six-jaw chuck for a South Bend 10L, but I want to know the consensus of this community on chuck manufacturers in general.
Well not wanting to spend 800+ bucks on a smaller 8" chuck for my Cadillac 19" I took a chance on this six jaw Sandu from ebay, D6 backing plate came separate so had to machine that to fit which was pretty easy being a D6 mount. Less than 300 bucks in the whole deal and less than a thou runout (surprised!) I have bigger three jaws and was convinced by others to go with the 6, glad I did as I do turn thin wall tubing a bit. So far I am super happy and glad I bought it. Took the chuck apart to check for crap and rust and found a small bit of debris but thats all. So far very good report.
 

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Well not wanting to spend 800+ bucks on a smaller 8" chuck for my Cadillac 19" I took a chance on this six jaw Sandu from ebay, D6 backing plate came separate so had to machine that to fit which was pretty easy being a D6 mount. Less than 300 bucks in the whole deal and less than a thou runout (surprised!) I have bigger three jaws and was convinced by others to go with the 6, glad I did as I do turn thin wall tubing a bit. So far I am super happy and glad I bought it. Took the chuck apart to check for crap and rust and found a small bit of debris but thats all. So far very good report.
I'm glad that turned out well for you, but you couldn't give me a lathe chuck with 1pc jaws.
 
A number of Taiwan made chucks are pretty good. I have a three jaw 8" D1-6 I bought a few years ago as it was becoming difficult with old age to lift my 12" Bison on to the lathe.

They cost more than Chinese made chucks so are not cheap but cost less than USA or European made chucks.

Mine was made by Chandox and after a lot of hard use still only has .002" runout.

 
My Buck is a 6 jaw with one piece jaws. I use it 95% of the time because it is awesome. I have (4) 3 jaw chucks and use them 1% of the time because they are despicable as I only machine Sch 40 iron pipe once in a great while.
 
Hi, on today's test, we're going to compare the features and performance of the leading 3 and 6 jaw lathe chucks.

PF1.JPG


We're going to show you how we stone and wipe each backplate to ensure accurate run-out results.
PF2.JPG

In the tractor pull test, we'll test the pull-out strength of each chuck, with the jaws tightened to exactly 50 foot pounds on a piece of 1" A286 Stainless Steel.
PF3.jpg

Next, we'll test the strength of the supplied chuck keys to see which is most likely to cause a fatal shop injury.
PF4.jpg

In the corrosion test, we will submerge various parts of each chuck into a solution of 50% Blaser Synergy and 50% leftover mystery coolant to simulate a poorly maintained sump. We'll use the same pipe wrench from previous tests as a control.
PF5.jpg

Then we'll compare the weight loss of each fastener to estimate the amount of expected corrosion from each brand of chuck.

PF6.JPG
 
I'm glad that turned out well for you, but you couldn't give me a lathe chuck with 1pc jaws.
Your reply made me think, so I looked it up, we bought two. We paid $256 for each complete chuck, so 512 bucks for two. Now we just swap them out on the D6 in seconds instead of unbolting jaws and worrying about dialing it in again. I think the lowest price I saw on a six jaw with bolt on jaws was 900 and change. I like this program better.
 
Your reply made me think, so I looked it up, we bought two. We paid $256 for each complete chuck, so 512 bucks for two. Now we just swap them out on the D6 in seconds instead of unbolting jaws and worrying about dialing it in again.

The two piece jaws are time savers for swapping to internal/external jaw orientation, without needing to muscle an entire chuck off and on. (Or fully turn out and turn in 6 jaws). Also saves wear and tear on the D1-6 taper... They also give the ability to use soft jaws, which is a very nice thing to have. Give me the two piece jaws any day.
 
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I have a pair of Buck 4" 6-jaw Ajust-Tru chucks on 5C arbors for my Hardinge lathes. Buck does not make two-piece jaws for 4" and 5" chucks. So one chuck has inside jaws and the other has outside jaws. It is a pain to swap jaws on a 6-jaw chuck, but it is quite simple to swap 5C tooling on my lathes. I like these chucks for holding small work if the collets are not suited for some reason. In reality, only three of the jaws on a 6-jaw chuck can be depended upon to grip a solid part securely, though there is always a chance the other three will help hold the part. Thin wall tubing will likely get gripped more or less equally by all six jaws. So there is not much point to having a 4" 3-jaw chuck if you have the 6-jaw version. I have a project in mind to bore a new feed screw hole in a pair of ball cranks. I can remove two opposite jaws from a 6-jaw chuck and hold the center ball of the ball crank for the boring operation. That is not an everyday job, but it is an example of why a 6-jaw can do things not possible with a 3-jaw.

I also have four 6" Pratt Burnerd Setrite chucks, 3-jaw and 6-jaw, all with two-piece jaws, that I use for larger work on the Hardinge and Clausing lathes. The 3-jaws get more use than the 6-jaw chucks, partly because it is less trouble to reverse the top jaws on a 3-jaw.

Most of my chucks were bought new some decades ago, so I am not sure about the relative merits of various brands of newly-made chucks. Old names can be found on new junk, so I would not pay for a name.

Larry
 
Hi, on today's test, we're going to compare the features and performance of the leading 3 and 6 jaw lathe chucks.

View attachment 406714


We're going to show you how we stone and wipe each backplate to ensure accurate run-out results.
View attachment 406715

In the tractor pull test, we'll test the pull-out strength of each chuck, with the jaws tightened to exactly 50 foot pounds on a piece of 1" A286 Stainless Steel.
View attachment 406716

Next, we'll test the strength of the supplied chuck keys to see which is most likely to cause a fatal shop injury.
View attachment 406717

In the corrosion test, we will submerge various parts of each chuck into a solution of 50% Blaser Synergy and 50% leftover mystery coolant to simulate a poorly maintained sump. We'll use the same pipe wrench from previous tests as a control.
View attachment 406718

Then we'll compare the weight loss of each fastener to estimate the amount of expected corrosion from each brand of chuck.

View attachment 406719
I am sure that the guy reefing on the chuck key has a Australian brother that works for my client excepting he tries not to tire himself out by using a 3 foot length of pipe. He is also quite innovative in that he manages to use a lathe as a crimping machine to squeeze a steering rack down so that it will hold the bush that he just made under size. I assume that the reason the bush was under size was so that he could help make the owner more money selling the brass scrap and it has the added benefit of weight reduction.
 
I am sure that the guy reefing on the chuck key has a Australian brother that works for my client excepting he tries not to tire himself out by using a 3 foot length of pipe.
The video I grabbed that out of was a giant case of WTF:

 
A load of BS .......stuff these dummys test might appeal to zoomers and millennials as useful,but its just useless BS ....on a chuck ,for instance ,its a lot more important to me that the sliding surfaces are hardened properly ......all the Chineee ones Ive seen ,the only hard part is actual contact tip of each jaw,and only on one end .....the chuck body is soft ,the jaws are nearly all soft .........all my Pratt/Burnerd/Cushman /US made chucks are glass hard on all these surfaces .....the chuck body ,even on a 26" four jaw is glass hard all over ....The screws and jaws are glass hard all over.
 








 
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