Chuck for chessmen

This post will segue into a project I’m planning – turning chess pieces. I am currently in the design stage and reading Mike Darlow’s “Turning Chessmen” with delight. I’m practising turning the chessmen in pine but will move onto more suitable woods for the final version.

Now, a lot can be done between centres on the lathe, but the tops of the queens and castles are best done on a 4-jaw chuck. So I got me one. It is a low-end chuck but I am very happy with it so far. I did, however, need to put an adapter onto my 5/8″ drive shaft that accepts 1″ 8-teeth-per-inch accessories.

The treadle lathe has proved to be very versatile in the sense that many components can be swapped in and out (sanding drum, grinder, buffing wheels, drill bits, centres and chucks). I fear that in my quest for a foot-powered lathe I have strayed from the beauty and simplicity of more historically accurate lathes. For continued utility this might be a necessary compromise, but this might mean that this isn’t the last lathe I make…

[***See the completed treadle lathe in this video, and read the entire build series through this link***]

4 thoughts on “Chuck for chessmen

  1. I’ve just changed my blog template and the links are now a little harder to see than they were before. But in the middle paragraph of this post, click on the word ‘adapter’ and you will get the Amazon link to the part you are looking for. $17 as of January 2015.

  2. Not sure how you drill for weighting. If you drilled prior to turning, you could possibly use the weight hole as your chuck point with a simple or expanding mandrel and possibly eliminate multiple setups.

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