Newbie Question on Chucks and Jaws

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Cartaphilus

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I have a Delta LA200 lathe and I've been turning pens for several months now. And I'm thinking it's time to try something new. I bought a book called "Turning Boxes with Friction-Fitted Lids" by Bill Bowers and I'd like to give this a try. In the first chapter for a project he highly recommends for beginners, he references something that's (surprise!) new to me, O'Donnell jaws. I sent my research assistant, Dr. Google, out to get me a report on just what O'Donnell jaws are, and the results were (another surprise!) fairly ambiguous. I have a Nova G3 chuck, but Teknatool doesn't mention O'Donnell jaws on their site. I don't have a huge toy budget and I don't want to buy a new chuck if I don't have to. Could some kind soul help me understand just what O'Donnell jaws are and if there are any jaws for the Nova G3 which would suit the purpose? Thanks...
 
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KenB259

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I have a Delta LA200 lathe and I've been turning pens for several months now. And I'm thinking it's time to try something new. I bought a book called "Turning Boxes with Friction-Fitted Lids" by Bill Bowers and I'd like to give this a try. In the first chapter for a project he highly recommends for beginners, he references something that's (surprise!) new to me, O'Donnell jaws. I sent my research assistant, Dr. Google, out to get me a report on just what O'Donnell jaws are, and the results were (another surprise!) fairly ambiguous. I have a Nova G3 chuck, but Teknatool doesn't mention O'Donnell jaws on their site. I don't have a huge toy budget and I don't want to buy a new chuck if I don't have to. Could some kind soul help me understand just what O'Donnell jaws are and if there are any jaws for the Nova G3 which would suit the purpose? Thanks...
I can't help you on what O'Donnell jaws are, but I can tell you that you don't need any kind of specialty jaws to turn a lidded box. I have a Nova G3 as well and any of the jaws that will grip a tenon will work just fine.
 

monophoto

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"O'Donnell" is a trade name used by Axminster for their proprietary brand of deep jaws. Here's what they look like:
1657897830812.png


Other manufacturers make deep jaws - they just call them something else. And one of the unfortunate realities in the wood turning world is that jaws generally are not interchangeable between chucks from different manufacturers. That means that if you want to use true 'O'Donnel' jaws, you will need to buy an Axminster chuck.

I use a Barracuda chuck (from PSI). They apply the name 'Alligator' to their deep jaws. They look a little different from the Axminster O'Donnel jaws, but they are functionally equivalent. One interesting characteristic of the PSI deep jaws is that they come in two diameters.

1657900937713.png


The Nova equivalent is the 75mm 'Longnose' jaw set.

1657900729067.png


Chucks are convenient, and my experience is that deep jaws are generally more convenient to use than their shallow counterparts - they get the workpiece a little further away from the chuck body, providing more working room on the back side of the workpiece and minimizing the risk the chuck striking a knuckle (ouch!). That said, they are usually not essential. Unfortunately, the jaws that come with chucks are the standard (shallow) versions, so if you want deep jaws, you have to buy them separately.
 
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Cartaphilus

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I can't help you on what O'Donnell jaws are, but I can tell you that you don't need any kind of specialty jaws to turn a lidded box. I have a Nova G3 as well and any of the jaws that will grip a tenon will work just fine.
Thanks, I was hoping it would turn out to be something like that. Now I can spend my meager toy budget on something else.
 

Cartaphilus

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"O'Donnell" is a trade name used by Axminster for their proprietary brand of deep jaws. Here's what they look like:
View attachment 338209

Other manufacturers make deep jaws - they just call them something else. And one of the unfortunate realities in the wood turning world is that jaws generally are not interchangeable between chucks from different manufacturers. That means that if you want to use true 'O'Donnel' jaws, you will need to buy an Axminster chuck.

I use a Barracuda chuck (from PSI). They apply the name 'Alligator' to their deep jaws. They look a little different from the Axminster O'Donnel jaws, but they are functionally equivalent. One interesting characteristic of the PSI deep jaws is that they come in two diameters.

View attachment 338211

The Nova equivalent is the 75mm 'Longnose' jaw set.

View attachment 338210

Chucks are convenient, and my experience is that deep jaws are generally more convenient to use than their shallow counterparts - they get the workpiece a little further away from the chuck body, providing more working room on the back side of the workpiece and minimizing the risk the chuck striking a knuckle (ouch!). That said, they are usually not essential. Unfortunately, the jaws that come with chucks are the standard (shallow) versions, so if you want deep jaws, you have to buy them separately.
Thanks for the detailed post. The longnosed jaws are supposed to fit the G3 chuck, and even though they're said not to be "essential", my experience is that things of this nature are usually a good idea. I think a set of these will go on the list to acquire.
 

donstephan

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Richard Raffan recently posted a Youtube video on turning a lidded box. Not familiar with the book you mention but I refer regularly to the DVD and book by Richard Raffan. Decide on the approximate diameter of lidded boxes you would like to start with and then evaluate jaw options for your chuck. You might be able to begin with a "standard" set that came with your chuck (if one did).
 

Cartaphilus

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I had momentarily forgotten that "Youtube is your friend". Thanks for the reminder. It's both inspiring and daunting to see the expertise that experienced turners have. Inspiring because you get to see what's possible, and daunting because you know your first attempts aren't going to be even close to what he does so casually after many years at the lathe.
 
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