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Holding Small Items in a Big Chuck

by Mike Solomon

I have a simple tip that may help to make life a little easier for some of the readers.

When I need to turn small diameter rod on a larger lathe, the chuck will often not adjust small enough. My six-jaw chuck on my South Bend 10K only goes down to about 1/8” diameter; what to do?

A solution that has saved me the fun of changing the chuck is as follows:

Remember when you tossed out that 1/4” or 3/8” electric hand drill because the motor went south? No doubt you saved the chuck. They normally have an internal thread somewhere around 3/8”.

The thread type or size makes no difference, however. Just place the chuck body in the lathe chuck, clamping on the outside of the small chuck’s body, lock it up tight and you’re back in business.


The concentricity and accuracy of the small chuck will amaze you. Give it a try sometime and save yourself the experience of dropping the chuck on your hand as you try to protect the lathe bed – been there, done that.

I hope this helps someone by making their project go a little smoother.

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