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Lathe Chuck Maintenance
Lathe chucks hold the work while machining is taking place. The chuck is an integral part of the machining process. After time the lathe chuck will need to be cleaned and lubricated. Cleaning and oiling of the chuck should be done on a regularly scheduled basis as well as whenever the chuck jaws become difficult to move.
Parts of a Chuck
Removing the Jaws
Back the chuck jaws out of the T-slots with the chuck wrench. Wipe the jaws with a clean cloth and cover the jaws with a light film of oil.
Cleaning the Chuck
Clean the scroll and the chuck slots with a clean rag and/or brush. Wipe the scroll and chuck slots with a clean, lightly oiled rag. Do not use too much oil on the chuck. Excessive amounts of oil will collect dirt and chips that will eventually clog the chuck jaws and scroll. Proper lubrication is covered in the next section.
As a minimum, all chucks equipped with grease nipples should be lubricated at least once a week. Lubricants should be a high quality designed for lubricating high pressure contact surfaces. The lubricant should be able to resist coolant and other chemicals. To lubricate those chucks without grease fittings, you must remove the jaws to expose the scroll and apply a light coating of grease to the scroll and re-assemble the jaws.
Enter Jaw Number 2 in Slot Number 2. Turn the scroll until the scroll thread start on the outside edge of the scroll plate does not quite enter Jaw Slot Number 3. Enter Jaw Number 3 in Slot Number 3.
The chuck jaws must slide into the chuck easily. NEVER use force. If the jaw must be forced, it is because it is either misaligned or dirt and chips are lodged in the jaw or scroll. Remove the chuck jaws and carefully clean the jaw and the scroll again. NOTE: THE PROCEDURE FOR THE 6 JAW CHUCK IS THE SAME AS IT IS FOR THE THREE JAW CHUCK.