View Full Version : Newbie chuck removal

02-26-2004, 03:15 PM
Hi all, this may sound daft but what is the correct way to remove chucks, faceplates etc on my lathe (it has a large DIN800 male thread and a spindel lock)


Allan Waterfall
02-26-2004, 03:25 PM
Lock the spindle,put a board over the lathe ways in case you drop the chuck when it unscrews.
Open the chuck jaws and place a length of timber across the open jaws,you should now be able to lever it to start unscrewing it.
When I screw mine on, I take the spindle lock off and just hand tighten the chuck on to the back of the register.

02-26-2004, 07:11 PM
Generally, I find I can lock the spindle, put a chuck key in one of its sockets, and give a sharp tug to start the chuck unscrewing. On those occasions when that's not enough, Allan's technique of putting a handy length of timber through the chuck jaws should do it.

02-26-2004, 11:08 PM
I hope this doesn't send a chill through the group but I usually put a LARGE Crescent wrench, adjusted tightly, on one of the jaws and give a tug. Has worked well on the various lathes I've owned over the years. I have noticed that something has been bending the jaws though. Just kidding!

Ian B
02-27-2004, 04:56 AM

The crescent wrench bent jaw syndrome can be easily avoided - just get an even bigger pipe wrench (Ridgid make a really nice 48") and use it on the chuck body. No more bent jaws :-)


02-27-2004, 12:54 PM
Hmmm, I wonder if a giant sized strap wrench could be worked up to do this? ie. one that would wrap around the chuck body itself.
I used to use the "oak board-thru-the-jaws" method, but now have a large (variable span) spanner wrench to engage one of the chuck key holes to loosen it. But a strap wrench would be kinder and gentler.

02-27-2004, 01:54 PM
Thanks very much all, I will give these a try.

02-27-2004, 02:01 PM
Another way is to put the lathe in lowest back gear and put a block between a jaw and the back way, then jog in reverse. This is what How to Run a Lathe by Southbend recommends.

02-27-2004, 02:33 PM
Better be sure it's only a Verrrry brief 'jog'. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Mike W
02-27-2004, 03:43 PM
Put a piece of stock in the jaws so it goes into the spindle. That way it will not drop when it comes off the threads. Leave a few inches sticking out of the jaws for you to hold on to.

Paul Alciatore
02-27-2004, 03:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Another way is to put the lathe in lowest back gear and put a block between a jaw and the back way, then jog in reverse. This is what How to Run a Lathe by Southbend recommends.</font>

South Bend recommended this? Now I know how all those back gears with missing teeth were created.

What I have been doing, and I'm not sure it's any better is first, of course, put a 1x6 board on the ways in case it's dropped. Then I engage the direct drive pin and the back gears at the same time. This will lock the spindle and allow me to unscrew the chuck BY HAND. If I need extra leverage I guess the board between the jaws would be best but I haven't had to do that yet. At least by aplying the torque by hand you are not shocking the teeth in the back gears, possibly causing breakage. And always disengage both drive options immediately after removing or installing the chuck.

With everything that South Bend got so right on this machine, why didn't they provide a spindle lock? Why don't mill-drill manufacturers provide spindle locks? Dremel tools for $30 have a spindle lock. My old Unimat may not have a lock but it did have a hole in the spindle for a tommy bar.

Oh, well.

Paul A.

02-27-2004, 04:14 PM
Actually, South Bend recommends engaging the back gears and turning the cone pulley by hand in later manuals or pulling the flat belt by hand in earlier manuals.

Alistair Hosie
02-27-2004, 05:12 PM
I know with some lathes the use of a modern plastic lever with a belt through it it used,you know the kind used to open lids from overtight jars etc see below .Alistair