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Soft Jaws for MiniLathe Chuck

Discussion in 'MINI-LATHE & MINI-MILL INFORMATION' started by Dave T, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Dave T

    Dave T United States Iron Registered Member

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    I have the MicroLux lathe with its standard 3 inch 3 jaw chuck. Chuck has both inside and outside hard jaws, looks to be the same as the Little Machine Shop #1187. I need to hold a thin brass disk, 1/8 thick. Does anyone know where to buy (or how to make) soft, machineable jaws for such a chuck?
     
  2. darkzero

    darkzero Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Your chuck has 1 pc jaws, hence a set for each ID & OD. Generally soft jaws are made for 2 pc reversible jaws (tongue & groove).

    You could make a set of soft jaws from scratch but that requires making the teeth for the scroll as well. For the amount of work required it's not worth it or practical as it will wear out fast if you make 1 pc soft jaws.

    I'm not sure what ops you need to do but in your case making an aluminum (or any material you have on hand) face plate might suffice (either to mount in the chuck or directly on the spindle). You can then use use epoxy, CA (super glue), or double sided tape to attach the disc to the face plate. Using heat will allow you to detach the part from the face plate easily.

    I've alwaysed used epoxy rather than CA though. Takes longer to set but the epoxy is easier to clean up with heat. CA is quick to set but I hate the smell of CA when heated.
     
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  3. David S

    David S Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I can't answer your question directly but here is what I did for a similar situation. Machine a slight counter bore in a hunk of aluminum to hold the thin disc. Secured with some screws and washers then bored the ID.
    worn gear trued up in lathe.jpg

    David
     
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  4. Dave T

    Dave T United States Iron Registered Member

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    [​IMG]
    What I am making are fly reels. The front end ring and rear end plate here are not really brass, but c544 bronze which machines about the same. But the bronze is only available as rod stock so I saw off a slice and then face both sides to proper thickness. The screw clamps that David S. shows would not allow facing.
    I made these parts using my Sherline chuck with soft jaws. The jaw steps are short enough to allow facing.
    After the front end ring is faced, I can screw it to a faceplate and do all other operations.
    For the rear end plate, there are many operations done while still in the soft jaw chuck. This part has to be turned over part way through, and the custom machined jaws ensure proper registration from one side to the other.
    So I bought a MiniLathe because I thought that its greater torque would allow faster working. I would like like to have custom jaws for its chuck.
    Gluing the parts to a faceplate would work for the front end ring. But for the rear end plate, I would still have a registration problem between the two sides.
     
  5. David S

    David S Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Dave that helps alot. Do you have a pic of just the back plate both sides to see all the operations. Certainly looks like soft jaws would do the job.

    David
     
  6. Dave T

    Dave T United States Iron Registered Member

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  7. francist

    francist Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Would you be able to adapt your Sherline chuck to run on the new lathe?

    -frank
     
  8. Dave T

    Dave T United States Iron Registered Member

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    Frank,
    Yes:
    https://northbranchreels.com/2017/04/04/minilathe-tooling/
    When I use the soft jaws that were cut on my Sherline lathe (and are therefore "perfect" on it), there is an unacceptable amount of wobble (using a dial test indicator near the edge of the plate). The answer, of course, would be to buy yet another set of Sherline soft jaws and cut them while the chuck is on the MiniLathe. Before I do that, I am looking for a source of soft jaws for the MiniLathe chuck. Or perhaps someone knows of a 4 inch chuck with two piece jaws that I can mount on my MiniLathe. LMS has many chuck adapters available.
    Dave
     

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