Acceptable runout for lathe chuck?

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More4dan

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I’m disappointed with my very expensive Vicmarc 100 chuck. I was thinking with its reputation it would be somewhat accurate. It’s not. Total runout is 14 thousandths of an inch. The lathe is less than 2 thousandths runout measured on the inside taper and on the included faceplate. So it’s the chuck, not the lathe! 14 thousandths will not be acceptable for pen work!

What should I expect for total runout for a wood lathe chuck? For my metal lathe chuck which is about a 1/3 the cost I get a guaranteed 3 thousandths total runout. I was hoping for some input before I reach out to the vendor and/or manufacturer.

Thanks,

Danny


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magpens

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If I were in that position, I would contact Vicmarc and ask what the runout spec is on that chuck ... without disclosing at this point that you have bought already.

Vicmarc is an esteemed manufacturer ... their chuck specs would certainly be better than what you have measured for yours.

Sheesh ! ... at 14 thou, your lathe must be bouncing when you run up the speed !
 

leehljp

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Danny,

Call the company you bought it from. Usually companies that support VicMarc will correct that.

It is irritating when a quality company lets one or two get through. Have you looked at the Easy Chucks. Top notch!
 

More4dan

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I’ll do a bit more measuring to see if I can find the issue. It is likely the thread adapter. I measure almost no runout at all on the OD of the adapter. So it either the threads on the OD of the adapter or the chuck itself. I did send an email to Vicmarc as suggested and I’ll share what I find out. I’ll also contact the place I purchased the chuck. Thanks guys.

Danny


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Jolly Red

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If your chuck is not seating against the headstock, that could cause it to run out of true.
I had the same issue when I got a Beal collet chuck, lots of run out. Turned out, the chuck was not seating against the headstock. I tried several things to fill the gap and finally found an S.A.E. washer that got the chuck running with less than a thousandth of an inch of run out. S.A.E. washers are made to much tighter tolerances than the hardware store variety. I got mine from McMaster-Carr, but I am sure they are available other places.
 

raar25

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Final surfaces should be ground in no different than a metai chuck or face plate so .001 TIR should not be hard for just the chuck. The chuck needs to be that close otherwise when you add up the tolerance of jaws and clamping mechanism you will have so much runout that one side of a slim line pen would be fine and the other would have no wood left (not that you use a chuck for turning pens). If everything had the .014 you mentioned, anything you turned could have quite a wobble.
 

Charlie_W

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Dan, I’m not familiar with how the insert/adapter mounts to the Vicmark chuck but, could there be an issue there? Perhaps this insert doesn’t register or seat correctly in the chuck and is causing the runout.
I know at least one of our club members had runout issues with Nova chucks and the inserts. Trying different inserts from the store helped with their runout.
 

More4dan

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Maybe I'm being a little bit thick here. Runout where? How are you measuring it?

Bill


By runout I mean deviation from the center of rotation. I chucked up a round bar of polished steel and measured the highs and lows as I rotated the chuck. The difference between high and low was 0.014”. It has a noticeable wobble when it turns. The result when turning a pen would be that the pen body would be off centered with the tube and fittings. I measured with a dial indicator in a magnetic base.


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More4dan

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I believe I found the problem. The insert is not the problem. It runs true. Two of the chuck jaws make contact before the others do not allowing all the jaws to make contact together. Even clamped tight there is still movement in the material clamped.

I received a response from Vicmarc claiming very tight tolerances from their CNC machining. Time to contact the seller.

Danny


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raar25

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Are the jaws numbered? Some chucks are built with offsets designed into the jaws because of exactly that condition. All of the PSI chucks are that way. If you put the jaws on wrong the part has a crazy wobble.
 

More4dan

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When the jaws are clamped together, you can slide one of them back and forth. It’s a little too short compared to the other 3. Craft Supply USA is sending a replacement chuck. If something seems off, it’s good to check early. The folks at Craft Supply USA were very professional, asked a few questions to understand the issue, and immediately offered a replacement that they offered to check before sending.

Danny


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Dale Allen

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Dan, thank you for this thread. I was considering that chuck for my next one but maybe not now. I'll be interested to see if the new one has any problems.
Perhaps this is a case where they make all the parts and assemble them. But no machining of the assembly is done to true it up afterwards. I think that is the way the G3s are made because I've had 2 and bot have this same issue.
BTW, what is the single tommy bar used for? Is that used instead of the large allen wrench if you need to force it off the headstock thread?:confused:
 

More4dan

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Vicmarc does machine the carrier jaws for each chuck body, mine must have slipped through quality control or damaged somehow in shipping. The quality is impressive. No tommy bar just a T handle Allen key is used to tighten it. A tommy bar can used to remove the chuck from the lathe spindle or to remove the thread insert.

I picked this one for several reasons: reputation for quality, sealed back, and Allen key for tightening. The geared key some chucks use worries me if I misplace or break it. I can always find an Allen key. I’ll let you know how the replacement one fares.


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More4dan

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So..... I received a replacement Vicmarc chuck and it has the exact same problem. When tightened without jaws attached only 3 of the 4 carriers touch with 1 too short. You can move it back and forth by hand. With a rod chucked in the runout is 13-14 thousandths of an inch. So much for their reputation for quality. Back shopping for a chuck. I think I’ll bring my test gauge to Woodcraft and check in the store before buying.

It is killing me that I can’t use my new lathe until I can get a chuck or when my 60 deg dead center comes in to at least make pens.


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bmachin

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Dan,

I think that maybe you are letting your expectations run a little bit high here. I don't know what you expect of a woodworking vs metalworking tool. After all .014 is less than 1/64" and most woodturning projects are going to move that much within a matter of hours.

A couple of thoughts:

The central opening of the carrier jaws is likely not designed to grip work given that it appears to be only 3/8" or so thick, so it is not a proper reference surface. Rather The grooves that position the jaws are probably the real reference surface so you might get better results if you tried your runout test in a set of mounted jaws. I'm just guessing here, but I think that it's worth a try.

This goes back to my opening. I'm not going to try to speak authoritatively here, but in general woodturners aren't looking for what you seem to think you need in a chuck. I suspect that Vicmarc, Oneway, Nova, Axminster, and Easy Wood Tools are not shooting for .001 TIR, although I'm sure that they must have some spec. Rather they are much more interested in producing a product that will reliably spin and hold a 30 pound piece of wet, unbalanced walnut at 100 rpm at a price that's affordable.

Heres an interesting thread on chucks from the AAW forum:


https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/chuck-reviews.12319/

For what it's worth I've been using a Vicmarc 120 for 19 years.

Bill
 
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More4dan

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The real issue I have is the item in the chuck can be moved and 15 thousandths out of round will be very noticeable in a pen. I agree for a bowl, box, or platter wouldn’t mater. For a price that is 2-3 times the price of an equivalent sized metal lathe chuck I wouldn’t expect 5-10 times the runout.

I have a ER32 collet chuck coming for pen work but plan to use the chuck for drilling and eventually larger turnings.

If the sliders are off, the jaws that attach to them will also be off. I tested both without jaws and with a set of extended nose Pin jaws with the same result. What I mounted could be rocked back and forth.

What is reasonable to expect for runout for a quality chuck? What has been your experience for different brands?

Thanks,

Danny

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duncsuss

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Dan,

I understand you are seeking advice, but there's only one way to get facts: go to the manufacturer.

Their website is https://vicmarc.com and their email address is vicmarc@vicmarc.com

I suggest that you ask them (a) how they perform a runout measurement -- as in, jaws attached or not, diameter of item gripped, where they set the gauge to measure the runout, etc., and (b) when they measure it, what do they accept as a passing grade.

When you perform the test according to their quality control standards, you can go back to them with data they'll recognize.

Hope you are able to get this sorted out -- good luck.
 

More4dan

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I’ve written Vicmarc several times. They responded to the first email saying they machine each carrier jaw for the chuck they come on to a 0.02-0.03mm tolerance on CNC equipment. That equates to 0.00078”-0.0011”.

I’m measuring runout that is 15 times that. I take your point to see how they check for runout from the factory. Maybe they check when holding the ID pushing outward verses clamping on the OD inward.

I’ve emailed twice more about the two chucks that have a problem and gotten no response.


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Paul in OKC

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I’ve written Vicmarc several times. They responded to the first email saying they machine each carrier jaw for the chuck they come on to a 0.02-0.03mm tolerance on CNC equipment. That equates to 0.00078”-0.0011”.

I’m measuring runout that is 15 times that. I take your point to see how they check for runout from the factory. Maybe they check when holding the ID pushing outward verses clamping on the OD inward.

I’ve emailed twice more about the two chucks that have a problem and gotten no response.


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The carrier jaw could be made dead on, but if what it bolts to isn't it won't matter. Several factors to look at, most of which seem to be listed in the posts above. As a machinist I am pretty annul about run out and such, I just don't expect wood working equipment to be very close, at least not what I would expect from decent metal working stuff. Just my .02
 

bmachin

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Dan,

You ask what would anyone expect for runout. I suspect you are going to need to search far and wide for somebody to give you a number. Woodworkers can get very precise when it comes to aligning jointer tables and planer heads, because squareness and flatness is important. Beyond that almost anything within 1/32 of an inch is usually acceptable.

As far as brand comparisons are concerned, my experience is limited to my Vicmarc 120 which I've had for about 19 years, and a Nova which I bought for my Myford ML8 30+ years ago. I still use both, but prefer the Vicmarc for the hex wrench operation.

Frankly, I would taken it out of the box, mount it on the lathe and start using it. If there's a problem with it, you'll know soon enough and Craft Supply will take care of you.

Paul is right. Wood is an unstable medium, so building precise tools to work it (compared with metal) is something of a fool's errand.

Unless You got two bad units in a row, I wouldn't worry about it. You need to ask yourself: What am I going to be doing with this chuck where 1/64" of runout is going to make a difference?

There are a lot of opinions out there, but this one belongs to me.

Hope it helps.

Bill
 

More4dan

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I spent some time on the phone with Craft Supply this morning and decided that this is about as good as it gets. We are over paying for less than accurate equipment but thems are the facts. I will use the Morse Taper instead of a chuck for pen work. Now I know why folks use a collet chuck for precision work. I have one on the way. I’ll have to be careful when drilling with the chuck that I don’t end up with oversized holes.

The technician I spoke to said machinist make poor wood turners. I told him that Engineers make poor machinist and I am both. I don’t know if those statements are true but we do have a higher standard for acceptable. And, I’ve always defined an Engineer as someone that calculates to 4 decimal places, measures with a yard stick, and cuts with a chain saw. With that I can live with a little 15 thousandths slop and just use the tool for what it was made for.

Thanks everyone for their input and observations.

Cheers,

Danny


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bmachin

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Dan,

I agree. I started out in physics, thinking in angstroms and nanometers, switched to materials engineering in grad school where it became microns and micro-inches. Finally got a job in the real world visiting nuclear reactor sites doing measurements on irradiated fuel assemblies and working with design draftsmen and machinists who built the remote fixtures that we needed both on site and in our hot cells. I would tell them the precision I wanted. Then they would tell me in no uncertain terms what I NEEDED.

Cheers,
Bill
 

More4dan

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I was required to take a machinist course my Sophomore year in Mech Engineering. On one part we had to meet a plus 0 minus 0.0002” tolerance on a manual lathe. When I asked why so tight, the instructor said so we would learn not to write a tolerance on a drawing we didn’t absolutely need. A lesson that stood with us throughout our careers.


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MRDucks2

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When I trained folks on equipment alignment, one of the questions I would ask is what is the acceptable alignment of a 3600 RPM motor to fan across the coupling? The answer would come back .002” or less offset and .0005” or less angularity.

I would then ask the question again, later, a little differently. The plant manager comes up to you and the machine you are working on must start up in 30 minutes. It is a 3600 RPM motor to fan. What is the acceptable alignment across the coupling? The answer always came back the same, .002” or less offset and .0005” or less angularity.

I would explain to them that they were wrong. The correct answer was as close as they could get it to .002” or less offset and .0005” or less angularity in 30 minutes.

Just because you have the ability, you may not have the need. Just because you have the need, you may not have the opportunity.


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Dale Allen

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So, is this where we are headed along this road? Close is good enough?:eek:
The teacher says to the math student, well it is not the exact answer, but it is close enough! :rolleyes: Seems to me that if the teacher KNEW it was not the correct answer then that same teacher had to KNOW what the correct answer is to be able to make that determination. So it follows that if the teacher KNEW the correct answer and how to get there, why not teach that instead of accepting 'close enough'?
And so, if Vicmarc or any other so called quality chuck manufacturer obviously has the capability to make a chuck that has a stated .002 runout, why not make it that way.
Like my grandpa used to tell me, it takes just as long and just as much effort to do it wrong than to do it right.:cool:
 

More4dan

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I’ve received my dead center and collet chuck that uses the taper. Lathe runout is less than a thousandths. Same with the included faceplate and also with the Vicmarc thread adapter. I received an email from Vicmarc with their recommended procedure to measure runout. Basically the same way I had been testing. I switched to a test indicator and used a drill bit in the chuck that was ~9mm like Vicmarc’s procedure. The measured runout was 0.008” vs. the Vicmarc stated tolerance of 0.07mm, or ~0.003”. I’ve responded showing a video of the test.

Good news, my new Rikon 70-200VSR spindle has only 0.001” runout and the dead center and collet chuck show only the same 0.001” runout. The cheaper Banggood tools are dead on! I did notice that the Banggood has a 3 1/2” chuck that not only looks just like a Nova G3 but the sliders are marked NOVA for $109. Jaws also look the same for about $25 a set. It even uses an add picture from the Nova site.

Either a stolen copy/design or from the same factory NOVA uses marked differently.

Danny


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Dale Allen

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Dan, I was surprised at the quality of the tools I got from Bangood. I got an MT2 x ER32 collet holder that has less than .001" runout. I also got an extended live center that is just as accurate. A different MT2 x ER32 holder from Amazon was also nearly spot on. My drilling with the collet holder is much more accurate now.
BTW, I did not get the collets from offshore. Those are from Maritool and are super accurate.
My headstock MT2 has a .002" runout but the threaded 1x8 is nearly dead on so my next addition will be an ER32 collet holder for the 1x8.
Makes you wonder what Vicmarc's problem really is when you see these offshore tools being as good as they are.
 

More4dan

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Dale, it is a bit apples to oranges comparing tooling that has no moving parts requiring moving pieces to stay precise verses steel machined that’s aligned with the taper mount. But your point is well taken. Most reasonably priced metal lathe chuck have ~ 0.003” runout.

CNC equipment that compensates for tool wear and cermet/carbide inserts have driven amazing precision within most everyone’s reach.


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log2lumber

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What I just learned from taking a class with Ashley Harwood, if at all possible use a direct thread chuck without an insert. Vicmarc makes them.

Otherwise, make sure the insert is fully seated. I went home and went through my Nova chucks and found out some of the inserts would not completely seat due to depth. My buddy has them to shorten them on his metal lathe. It was because I bought generic inserts and not Nova.
 

MRDucks2

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”So, is this where we are headed along this road? Close is good enough?”

Not at all. It is not about doing things wrong or close being good enough. It is called ETTO or Efficiency Thoroughness Trade Off. You cannot be 100% efficient and get things done correctly with consistency but neither can you be 100% thorough or you will never complete the task consistently.

As noted, if you machine wood to within .001”, great. But it’s not going to stay there.

“Like my grandpa used to tell me, it takes just as long and just as much effort to do it wrong than to do it right.”

Your Grandpa was a smart man. In fact, it takes longer to do it wrong if you count in having to do over.



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seaclanky

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Hi Dan.
Greetings from British West Hartlepool.
I would agree that 14 thou runout on new equipment can be regarded as atrociously wobbly. Even if you accept that a wood lathe should not be as intrinsically accurate as a metalworking lathe - and I don't - 14 thou is just wrong. Your method of measuring concentricity by clamping an accurate, known test bar in the chuck seems valid. Although a three-jaw scroll chuck may always have a little runout, on new equipment this should be minimal. I suggest you reject the chuck as not fit for the intended purpose.
However, don't reject chuck mounted turning altogether. My cheap four-jaw allows each jaw to be adjusted individually. This means that you can set your workpiece very accurately indeed., even compensating for the spindle runout. You will need a Dial Test Indicator or other device to do the job. Concentricity of a thou or so should be within reach if you have the time and patience to adjust the work each and every time you chuck it.
Of course this could get old really quickly. But perhaps worth the effort for a special pen.
My own little mini-chuck is not the most accurate but I've learned to get around the problem. For pen turning at least, the between-centres method is quite accurate. Or better still, grip a scrap dowel in your chuck and make a jam chuck for the pen tube to sit over. This compensates for all run-out.
I don't think that's even a bodge. I did hear of people that simply turned a morse taper on a piece of dowel or whatever and seated that firmly into the lathe spindle taper, then turned the jam taper to suit the pen being turned. I can make one of these last two or three pens before having to cut a new taper.
Hope you get sorted and make some happy sawdust.

Graeme.
 

More4dan

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Hi Dan.
Greetings from British West Hartlepool.
I would agree that 14 thou runout on new equipment can be regarded as atrociously wobbly. Even if you accept that a wood lathe should not be as intrinsically accurate as a metalworking lathe - and I don't - 14 thou is just wrong. Your method of measuring concentricity by clamping an accurate, known test bar in the chuck seems valid. Although a three-jaw scroll chuck may always have a little runout, on new equipment this should be minimal. I suggest you reject the chuck as not fit for the intended purpose.
However, don't reject chuck mounted turning altogether. My cheap four-jaw allows each jaw to be adjusted individually. This means that you can set your workpiece very accurately indeed., even compensating for the spindle runout. You will need a Dial Test Indicator or other device to do the job. Concentricity of a thou or so should be within reach if you have the time and patience to adjust the work each and every time you chuck it.
Of course this could get old really quickly. But perhaps worth the effort for a special pen.
My own little mini-chuck is not the most accurate but I've learned to get around the problem. For pen turning at least, the between-centres method is quite accurate. Or better still, grip a scrap dowel in your chuck and make a jam chuck for the pen tube to sit over. This compensates for all run-out.
I don't think that's even a bodge. I did hear of people that simply turned a morse taper on a piece of dowel or whatever and seated that firmly into the lathe spindle taper, then turned the jam taper to suit the pen being turned. I can make one of these last two or three pens before having to cut a new taper.
Hope you get sorted and make some happy sawdust.

Graeme.
Thanks Graeme. The second chuck I received had about half the runout as the first. Good enough for bowl turning. I purchased a MT2 ER32 collet chuck that gets me within 1 thousandths. I do have a 4 jaw independently adjustable chuck for my metal lathe when it has to be dead on. I also got an ER 32 chuck for it too. Will be much faster to use than the 4 jaw chuck.

Danny


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seaclanky

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Thanks Graeme. The second chuck I received had about half the runout as the first. Good enough for bowl turning. I purchased a MT2 ER32 collet chuck that gets me within 1 thousandths. I do have a 4 jaw independently adjustable chuck for my metal lathe when it has to be dead on. I also got an ER 32 chuck for it too. Will be much faster to use than the 4 jaw chuck.

Danny


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Hi Danny
Glad to hear that you are sorted.
Graeme.
 
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