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39 minutes ago, Maurys said:

Any comments on the independent vs the self-centering model?

Hello Maury,

They do different jobs. The s/c will hold the workpiece on the centre-line axis of the lathe providing the workpiece is round or the number of sides is divisible by the number of jaws (usually three but there are s/c chucks with four or six jaws for specialist purposes, such as this one). An independent four-jaw can do the same trick with odd shaped pieces. The independent requires each of the four jaws to be set to achieve the correct position, and the operator must have the ability to establish when a piece is centred correctly. The s/c is the same every time so you just put the workpiece in and tighten it down: it is centred (within it's limits of accuracy).

If possible, get both. Setting the four-jaw chuck gets easier with practice and it enables you to get more creative with the lathe/milling machine. The three-jaw is the 'go to' for most fabrication. If, for example, you intend to make a working steam engine from castings you will need both: if turning cannons, the three-jaw is all that is needed. 

By the way, simple dividing can be done using either without extra attachments.




Edited by bruce d
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