Lathe Chuck - Seeking recommendation

Per the title, seeking an inexpensive yet good chuck for a Rikon mini lathe.
Thanks
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Meanie wrote:

Any of the PennState Barracuda chucks would be my choice. Oddly enough, I would go for the Barracuda 4 (their biggie), because of the addtional jaws it has with it and the overall capacity.
I have a Talon and a midsized Axminister chuck but used that Barracuda 4 more than either of the other two.
Deb
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On 4/16/2012 9:52 AM, Dr. Deb wrote:

I have a Barracuda and have no complaints. Bought it at Amazon for the same price it sells today, a couple years later...
http://tinyurl.com/cc9jaza
I can't compare it to anything else though, I got along many years w/o a chuck. It comes with 3 jaws and a screw bit. I've used two jaws. Never used the screw bit, I have other ones. I bought it for the small jaws to hold cue stick shafts for retipping cues.
--
Jack
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On Sun, 15 Apr 2012 20:03:32 -0400, Meanie wrote:

I have both of the following:
<http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2020042/18872/1-x-8-TPI - SelfCentering-4Jaw-Chuck.aspx>
<(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/ B003CECDZG>
They both work well. The Woodcraft chuck is lower cost but has a limited selection of alternate jaws available. But it's great for starting out and serves well as a 2nd chuck when you want to buy something more versatile like the Nova.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Links don't work, but I found the products. I like the Woodriver chuck, especially for the price and the fact you can add additional size grips.
Other than quality and/or versatility, what makes one chuck better than another?
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Meanie wrote:

1--Price 2--Availability of additional jaws, preferable from more than one source. 3-Type. A- You normally want a 4-jaw self centering. There are some that you adjust each jaw     separately. B- A scroll chuck that is operated by a hex key is nice. Some inexpensive ones have two sections that are rotated by use of pins fitting in two holes. These need two hands to operate. 4- Availability of inserts so that you can still use the chuck when you migrate to a different lathe simply by changing the adapter insert.
Most of these factors come under quality or versatility, so quality and versatility pretty much says it all.
I personally like the Nova chuck, I have 4 and the jaws interchange easily. I have 5 types of jaws plus a woodworm screw.
--
G.W. Ross

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On Mon, 16 Apr 2012 19:16:33 -0400, G.W. Ross wrote:

There is an exception to that. If your lathe has a spindle lock and you lock it only one of the pins is needed.
The one handed feature is nice, but I knew one nationally known turner who liked the pins because he claimed they gave a better feel for the amount of pressure being applied.
He also claimed the Oneway chucks were made of a little better metal than the Nova but that only a professional turner would ever use either enough to tell the difference.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that you could do that, having never used that kind of chuck. Makes it sound much easier to use.
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G.W. Ross

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All great points. But the one I think is the most important is #4, above. I can't stress enough the importance and ease of getting a chuck that you can adjust with one hand. Yes, we all used the two key system for years; and I hated it. When mounting larger pieces, you had to "belly up" to hold the piece with your body since you needed both hands to secure the piece. It isn't hard when you have a stub tenon or expansion hole cut, but that first session is difficult when you want to mount the piece, or any time you work on a larger piece.
It is also more difficult to remount a piece on the chuck as you have to try to balance the piece for mounting in your indexing marks while using **both** hands to tighten the chuck evenly. Mechanically, the two handed, two key system is a pain in the ass.

If I were looking in the price range of $150 or so, I would be all over the Nova. Plenty of interchangeable inserts, jaw options, and a great track record. When I was turning a lot, several of our club members had them and loved them. I was worried about the drill chuck style key, but no one ever seemed to have a problem with them.
As for me, I have two VicMarcs. One is so damn old that the jaws turn in reverse, revealing its heritage as a metal working chuck. It has been used for about 15 years now, and it still works smooth as butter and holds with crushing strength without slipping. I liked it so much I bought another one, and outfitted it with jaws for a project I was doing. Same quality, same smooth action, and holding power. Love those Vics.
One of the features that made me take the Vic over the others was that the whole housing is closed up so it keeps dust/dirt infiltration to a minimum, and the other was that it uses a hex key to adjust. The hex key gives 100% positive contact in the key hole, and it never wears. Talk about easy. And I can buy a hex key replacement at the auto parts store anytime I misplace the key.
And like GWR said, there are many different inserts available as well as jaw options for almost all of the better chucks.
For me, I thought long and hard about some of the inexpensive chucks that were out there at the time I was buying them 13 and 15 years ago. I wanted to save a few dollars like anyone else. Then I thought of what I would be doing with the chuck. Spinning a 3 - 5 pound block of wood on my jet mini at a few thousand rpm while I was leaning over the machine cutting on that wood....
I decided to get the best I could afford at the time. Never have I regretted that decision.
Robert
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