A lathe chuck is the vital piece of equipment in a lathe. It holds the wood that is being turned and keeps it steady. A wood lathe chuck will have a spur of some kind that will grip the wood. On the other end, it will have screw threads that will fit into the lathe.
You can now find quality chucks that are so well made they come with certificates that proudly proclaim their accuracy. Some chucks will have ball bearings to help them function in as smooth a manner as possible. Among many woodturners, it is well known that a Bison lathe chuck can be a great investment for your future.
Jaw chucks will be used mostly with lathes that do scroll work. The jaws will help keep vital pieces of machinery stable, and should be completely adjustable. You can adjust the jaws by putting a T-handle wrench into the appropriate hole on the chuck and turning it. Any amount of movement by the mechanism should be registered and copied by the jaws.
One kind of jaw chuck has four jaws which are each independent of the others. This can bring you a great amount of adaptability and accuracy. If you are already involved in woodturning, you know how important those qualities become. Some models even have six jaws for even more possibilities.
You should take your budget into consideration before deciding which type of lathe chuck you want to buy. There are some very affordable options out there. A basic wood lathe chuck should have mounting screws and a key, and be constructed out of tough, durable steel.
Once you have bought a lathe chuck, be sure you understand how to remove it. Never use a hammer on the lathe chuck, no matter how tightly it becomes wedged in the lathe. This can cause irreparable damage to your chuck and to other pieces of your lathe.