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Thread: My Chuck Runnith Over With...Stiffness?!?!

  1. #1

    Post My Chuck Runnith Over With...Stiffness?!?!

    Dumb question time (again)...

    I just bought a 3-jaw 4" chuck from Little Machine Shop for my mini-lathe. (LMS P/N 1941) Fresh out of the wrapper, but still in the goo, the chuck was very tight.

    The chuck was stripped down, cleaned, deburred and stoned as needed, greased with a bit of lithium grease (Brownell's "Action Lube Plus P/N 083-050-002, Good Stuff!!) put back together and still as tight as my bosses wallet.

    So I took it all apart again and looked around. Couldn't find anything. It seems that the scroll is the culprit. I put the bevel gears/key sockets back in and the stiffness was back.

    I have an idea about putting in some lapping compound and, with the jaws removed, running the chuck for a bit with the key chucked up in a powerdrill. Comments, ideas?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    nitacboss wrote: "Comments, ideas?"

    Yes, send it back. A new chuck out of the box should not need repairs.

    No offense meant, but it's guys like you that make it hard for others. You buy inferior merchandise and spend time fixing it.

    By doing this you are only encouraging the dealers to stock and sell this quality of equipment.

    If more buyers would return defective merchandise the sellers might get the idea and demand better from their suppliers. It's expensive for dealers to process returns, keep returning bad goods and the message will get through to them.

    I realize there's some degree of satisfaction in fixing things, but it's getting to ridiculous extents on some of this import stuff. HSM is full of articles on fixing machines that should not need fixing out of the box.

  3. #3


    Congrats DR,
    Everyone I've dealt with on this board so far has been wonderful and very, very helpful. You, on the other hand, have not been. You are the first. If I may use a famous Monty Python phrase, "Go away!".

    Now getting back to the rest of you who are, in fact, very helpful...The chuck is quite useable, it is simply "stiff". With time I know it'll be fine. Any ideas on what I can do to effect a little "time compression"?

    Arrrgghh...(Breath in and hold...) 10, 9, 8, 7, ahh what the hell!

    You know I was going to let DR's comments slide but I just can't...

    DR, you have irritated me. You don't know me, my capabilities or skills. Perhaps it was the best chuck I could afford. Perhaps I like its shiny silver appearance or the fact that it is round and has three jaws. Perhaps it is the only chuck of its kind that fits the spindle of my machine.

    Rather than bitching about my purchases or the fact that I want to keep, in what is clearly YOUR opinion, "defective" merchandise, why don't keep your trap shut!

    And here I though I had found a forum with out any of..."those kind"...sigh.

    I guess DR, what I'm seeking is assistance in the form of a technical solution and not a socio-economic comment. But thanks anyway!

    Hey! Wait, I know, why don't you, DR, buy me a top of the line U.S. made chuck! There, problem solved!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    nitacboss,well said.
    As for the idea of using lapping compound,I don't think it's a good idea.Running it in with oil will probably create enough metal floating in the oil as it is.I'd call the seller and ask if the tightness is normal for that chuck.You might have gotten a bad one.If they say it is normal,then go ahead and "run" it in with the drill.It might loosen up with just a few revolutions.

  5. #5


    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gamachinist:
    [B]nitacboss,well said.[B]</font>
    Thank you, thank you.

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gamachinist:
    [B]As for the idea of using lapping compound,I don't think it's a good idea.Running it in with oil will probably create enough metal floating in the oil as it is.[B]</font>
    No, sorry, I think I misled you down the path to somewhere strange, perhaps my ex's closet.

    I want to use the lapping compound only with the "powered chuck key" idea. Then take the chuck apart and flush the lapping compound totally out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    nitacboss,Actually I did understand what you meant.I'd try it without the lapping compound first.Just running the parts in mesh with oil or grease may burnish it without wearing away any metal. If it doesn't start to loosen up then use the lapping compound.Many times two new pieces of metal in contact with each other need to wear in.(The triggers on guns are a prime example).Robert.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    Maybe you could take it apart and while clean and dry, paint it with some blueing or magic marker to find the tight spots and then releive them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Huntsville Ala


    As a neutral observer here, nitacboss I think you've misinterpreted/over-reacted to DR's comments. Your initial post implied the chuck may be marginally useable ("..very tight.., bosses wallet", etc). We have no way of knowing that you're attached to the chuck too strongly to consider sending it back, and have ruled that out. That's certainly your perogative. But DR's comments are valid: we, the consumer's, collectively do drive the QC incentive by vendors/suppliers by our acceptance or rejection of poor quality.
    My comments are not intended in any hostile way toward you, but just to suggest you re-examine DR's comments in a dispassionate way.

  9. #9


    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Michael Az:
    Maybe you could take it apart and while clean and dry, paint it with some blueing or magic marker to find the tight spots and then releive them.
    Dohhh! you are correct! I did not even think of that and I used to do it all the time with Dyekem or Sharpie markers! Thanks for rattling the brain.


    While I agree with you regarding QC and the consumer's rights I am, by my choice, not going to play back and forth with this chuck. I feel that all these import items, not just my chuck, all need a little TLC. I actually enjoy the challenge. I guess DR does not. I like to examine and tear down and figure out, and subsiquently improve. If DR can afford a chuck that slaps in place and purrs like a kitten more power to him. I look through the HSM magazine ads and see all the home CNC equipment and think "How cool is that!" But I'm not going to make the investment. Even if I could I doubt I would.

    But I stand buy my comments towards DR, I buy the best I can with the funds I have. I own a mini-lathe that takes small chucks. Considering what I wish to invest in monitarily wise with regards to the lathe as far as tooling and quality of material is concerned a sub-$100 chuck is ok by me even if it needs a tune up.


    When Enco was here in Chicago I'd often go to their showroom. The primary laungage spoken in the showroom was 60% Polish, 30% spanish and the rest whatever. I've personally been to these people's struggling little machine shops and marveled at what they do with this "inferior merchandise" as you put it. I saw two Polish guys making custom 200 hp thruput gearboxes with stuff almost exclusivly bought from Enco. The same stuff I buy. Their work was absolutly amazing! And the best part...they were making these gearboxes for a company that had gotten sick and tired of replacing gearboxes that were off the shelf name brands!!! Did I forget to mention that the floor of their shop was rammed dirt! No kidding. They had steel plates under the machines but the open floor space was hard packed oil soaked dirt!

    DR, sorry if I came on a little strong but I'm going to buy what I'm going to buy and if I want a bit of tech support on the item I'll turn here, to guys like MA, for it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001


    If a stiff chuck isn't defective, what is it?

    I agree with MOST of DR's comments. And I think you missed his point. I took it that it is defective, and they should make it right, not that you bought crap and are therefore stupid.

    Make the vendor satisfy you. Otherwise the next time it sill be worse for you as well as us.

    I walk out of stores when I can't get good service. If I am mad enough, I won't tell them about it, if I'm just irritated, I will tell a manager. If I don't , maybe they will tick off enough people and go broke (ha) before they "get" it.

    I'm not dissing your purchase, but I do suggest you make them make it right. If they WON'T, then you have a choice, which you seem to say will be fix it. OK, no problem.

    You might get a better unit out of them if you try before "fixing" it. Since you obviously like your source, help them out a bit.

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