Around the Woods

High Jaws for your Wood turning Chuck

Making the woodturning jaws (1)

One of the major difficulties in making a mallet or gavel is not the wood turning. Rather it is getting the handle perfectly centered on the mallet else the balance is terrible. Some people manage to perfectly center the mallet head under a drill press on a v-block but this is an easy step to mess up as only a fraction of a degree will do it. Dennis White used a jam chuck on his video of projects which I thought was a great idea until I wanted to make several mallets and someone spoke to me of wanting about fifty gavels. Then the idea of using a four jaw chuck for a jam chuck came to me The only problems were the height and spread of the jaws so I decided to make an auxilliary pair to do the job. image
Anticpating a mallet head about 4 1/2" to 5" long and 2 1/2" to 3" diameter I began with a circle of 3/4" plywood about 7" in diameter. The hypotenuse of a 5 by 3 rectangle being a little under 6 and allowing for jaw thickness and the movement of the chuck.
The circle was quartered and
the jaws from the chuck were used to mark for the bolts to hold the new jaws to the chuck body.
The circle was cut along the diagonal and then the sides of each half were relieved for appearance's sake. It also makes them a little lighter and saves later material.
Holes for the bolts were drilled at the drill press and

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