Shop-Built 3-Jaw-Chuck

A cheap, effective turning tool.


Three-jaw lathe chucks are virtually indispensable for a turner, yet the cost of buying one can be prohibitive. Three-jaw chucks are useful when turning small pieces at low speed, and permit multi-axis turning. This shop-made chuck can be made from scraps of maple and a few machine screws. By changing the arrangement of the screw holes, this can also be made into a 4-jaw chuck.

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Bench Hold-fast

It seems to me that bench hold-fasts are a lot less common these days than they used to be. That’s too bad – they’re really a great way to secure boards to a workbench. But don’t take my word for it. If your bench has holes for bench dogs, you can build one for yourself. All you need is a common bar clamp, a scrap piece of bar stock, and a few minutes. Continue reading “Bench Hold-fast” »

Bench Vise Helper

Whenever I clamp a wide panel or long board to my workbench on edge for sanding or planing, I need a way to support the other end. So I built this simple bench vise helper, as shown in the photos to the right. It’s easy to make and allows me to support panels up to three feet wide. To make the vise helper, start by ripping two 36?-long uprights to width from ¾?-thick hardwood. Then I glued two narrow spacers between them to create a consistent 5/16?-wide slot, as you can see in detail ‘b.’.

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