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Thread: Making a Donut Chuck

  1. #1
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    Making a Donut Chuck

    Most of the "how-to" posts have a whole series of pics showing you how to make something. This one will show you how NOT to make something.

    I'm working on a piece that needed a donut chuck to finish off the bottom. It's long and tall enough I didn't want to risk using the vacuum chuck.

    I started out with a round piece of plywood, 18" in diameter. Mounted that on a faceplate, drew some circles, clamped a smaller round piece of scrap particle board to the plywood, and drilled four holes. I screwed the two pieces together, and spun it up on the lathe to cut out the hole in the "donut" part of the chuck. Unfortunately, up to this point I didn't take any pics.

    Anyway, here's how it looked when I was done cutting the hole out of the donut:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    No problem, nice clean cut (for particle board). Unfortunately, I had to go outside to pick up the piece that I cut out of the center. It left the shop in sort of a hurry:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Only after I stopped laughing did I go in the house and get the camera.

    If I'm standing at the headstock of the lathe facing the bed, that window is right behind me. But for this cut, I was standing well off to the side (at the back end of a 24" handle with another foot or so of boring bar attached to that), so I wasn't even close to the line of fire.

    I guess you could say I got two donuts for the price of one. The good news is the donut chuck worked fine. The piece finished up nicely, and will be worth replacing the window for. (This one is very special...pics and more story in a few days.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Vaughn, that must have gotten your attention. You just never know when something is going to fly off when working on a lathe. Sorry about the window but at least you were not hurt.

    If I were you I would not have the bolts protruding through on the side where you are working. One careless second and your arm or hand could be drawn into a merciless cheese grater. Far better to have the head of the bolt on the side where you are turning. IMHO.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stafford View Post
    ...If I were you I would not have the bolts protruding through on the side where you are working. One careless second and your arm or hand could be drawn into a merciless cheese grater. Far better to have the head of the bolt on the side where you are turning. IMHO.
    Good point, Mike. I agree and do just that when I'm actually using a donut chuck. In this case though, the shortest bolts I had were still a bit too long to clear the headstock, so I put them in backwards, knowing they needed to be watched carefully. That's a lot of the reason I used a long tool from a distance away. I also intentionally had the bolts on the outer edge of the donut, to keep them away from where I needed to cut.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Ya know, it just dawned on me...

    The tailstock would have prevented the whole thing. Doh! doesn't quite cover it. Ah well, I'll know next time. Hopefully someone else will learn from my stupidity.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    DSM, IA
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    Glad you could laugh at it Vaughn....I did too!

    Maybe you should take this opportunity to vent your dust collector outside.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Glad you could laugh at it Vaughn....I did too!

    Maybe you should take this opportunity to vent your dust collector outside.
    Does appear to be about a 6" duct hole, nice clean break too.

    Glad your ok. Might need to see a YouTube of this when you get it working the way you want.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Vancouver
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stafford View Post
    Far better to have the head of the bolt on the side where you are turning. IMHO.
    Good point! I also countersunk my disks so the bolt end is hidden away for extra safety.

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