Mounting a 3-Jaw Chuck to my Gingery Style Lathe

When I started building my Gingery Lathe, the end goal was to have something similar to a 7×12 Chinese Lathe. Since those come stock with a small 3″ universal chuck, it was an early requirement of mine to at least be able to use one of those on my Gingery Style Lathe. With the lathe pretty much done, it was finally a good time to attempt mounting one to the lathe.

Step by Step Video of Mounting a 3″ 3-Jaw Chuck to my Gingery Style Lathe:
How To Mount a 3-Jaw Chuck to a Gingery Lathe Video

Photos of the 3-Jaw Chuck and Aluminum Backplate:
View of 3-Jaw Chuck Backplate 3-Jaw Chuck Mounted 3-Jaw Chuck Mounted, Turning Down Aluminum 3-Jaw Chuck Mounted, Turning Down 1018 CRS

I typically would have cast a blank for the backplate, however I had made the Gingery Setscrew Faceplate Chuck in order to enlarge the 5/8″ bore of my Faceplate to 3/4″ for my new permanent spindle. Since then I have not used the Setscrew Chuck at all, and it seemed like the perfect size to use as a Backplate for the new 3″ 3-Jaw Chuck that I purchased for the lathe.

When turning down the backplate flange, I rouged it out to within 0.01″ and then took light passes until the flange was within 0.001″ of the chuck recess. I made sure to test fit the chuck to the backplate after each pass to ensure that the flange would not be too small ( need a good snugg fit ).

Locating the mounting holes for the chuck initially seemed as if it would be a difficult task, however it was actually quite easy to transfer the hole locations by marking them on the chuck body with a sharpie, mounting the backplate to the chuck using one of the faceplate mounting holes that already existed in the backplate, and then transferring the mounting hole marks from the chuck to the backplate. I then located the distance of the mounting holes from the chuck recess, and then transferred those to the backplate. It was only a matter of center punching, and drilling the mounting holes and the backplate was done.

Overall the results have been extremely good for a setscrew mounted backplate made out of aluminum. I’m able to turn a piece of 5/8″ CRS unsupported with no chatter taking respectable cuts on this type of lathe. I’m sure many will say the backplate needs to be made of steel, and I would probably agree. I mainly wanted to get the chuck setup quickly, and this is what I had on hand. I’m also so pleased with how it turned out ( ~0.001″ runout on the chuck body ) that I’ll be keeping this setup until I notice a reduction in cutting performance due to the backplate.

Next up hopefully I’ll be building a new Quick Change Toolpost for the lathe…


5 thoughts on “Mounting a 3-Jaw Chuck to my Gingery Style Lathe

  1. Hi Morgan

    I have viewed your site with great interest. My sincere congratulations for the work done. It all looks wonderful. Also you cast is very good. I myself have several times tried to cast parts but it was a real catastrophe. Now I make all parts of thin or thick steel plate. On my site you can view some of my projects.
    Have a nice time

    • Gerard, your workshop is impeccably, unbelievably clean! I wish I had such resolve to clean after I turn the machines off :) And I agree, (good) casting is very very difficult, but that’s what makes it so interesting!

  2. Looking good Morgan! By the way, I got that big chunk of tube I had mentioned to you for my milling machine project, no charge, no trade, ” ask and you shall recieve”



  3. I watched and really enjoyed your videos but the last two have been just what I wanted to see. Good stuff, thanks for sharing and please keep posting.

  4. Hi,
    I was wondering what the specs are for your lathe, swing, distance between centers. Also something you may be interested in doing is making your three jaw lie a Tru-set chuck by machining you back plate slightly under size. You drill and tap three screw holes around the chuck flange to bear against the back plate and adjust for runout. The following website shows details, works great.
    Also you can grind a tool that gives an excellent almost ground finish to turned materials, just search for the contrary finishing tool.

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