Cuemaking-Metal Lathe Chuck Question?

I have a couple of questions I thought I would throw out to the group. I am an amateur cuemaker of sorts. Recently however I came upon a used metal lathe that I have since found it to be one of the Taiwan made Enco lathes dated 1987. The headstock has a self centering 3 jaw chuck, however when I chuck up a piece of stock I can see with a dial indicator that there is some runout. Is there an easy way to check to see if the runout is in the chuck or in the spindle bearings? If it is in the chuck has anyone every tried resurfacing the jaw faces some by using some type of boring bar or tool post grinder? Would this help the problem just at one point or for several diameters? If this is not the "solution" what would be the next step to try, besides replacing the chuck? I have never replaced a chuck before on one of these lathes, but I am very mechanically inclined, however I still would like some guidance on the subject. I have seen some of the "adjustable" three jaw chucks for around the $250 range at places like Enco sale flyers, etc. Are they any good for the $$$ your spending? or should I save up for a $1500 chuck ( worth more than my whole lathe! ).

The second question I have is, what do cuemakers (and anyone else who is forced to work on long stock that passes through the headstock) usually do to solve the left side of the headstock dillema? Do most people mount a second three jaw chuck on the back side of the headstock? Or are some type of shims or collets used? Ordo they rely soley on the length of the jaws in the front chuck to keep things lined up, since we are talking fairly lightweight pieces of wood.

Right now the Enco has some type of rotating lightweight chuck assembly with "RIDGID" stamped on it. So I can only assume that it is something used in pipe threading or some type of pipe work, however I am not sure how accurate it is, plus it tightens by rotating the device around your work, similar say to a speedchuck in a regular drill. I havent had a chance to put an indicator on this Ridgid contraption but I would wager it is no where near accurate enough, however I may be wrong. Has anyone had any experience with one of these? If you want to see what I'm talking about email me and I will send some pics.

Sorry for the long post, but if you read this far thank you. Please feel free to forward all replies directly to me if you wish.


Jeff Smith please send reply to ( remove the NOSPAM )

Reply to
J. Alan
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Remove the chuck and put a DTI on the spindle itself. It should be well within .001" TIR.


J. Alan wrote:

Reply to
Grant Erwin


An acceptable runout for a 3-jaw is .003". To accurately measure this, you will need to use a known standard. Something along the lines of a reamer blank, or pin gauge, even precision ground stock (drill rod) tolerances are

+/- .003", so don't blame it all on the chuck. Further, you'll want to ensure the jaws are clean, and the chuck is mounted on clean threads (if it's threaded)... properly seated.

Runout in a chuck is important when you want to reposition the stock, otherwise it's moot. Whatever you turn will be true. If you really want an inexpensive method of re-mounting stock, then a 4-jaw independent chuck would be a way to go. Otherwise collets would be the answer.

My $0.02

Reply to
John Hofstad-Parkhill

Here is a picture of one of my lathes with an outboard chuck. One of these days I wil paint that lathe, but it is a great lathe all the same.

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Cues are light but easy to damage. You can wreck hours of work in a second. A six jaw chuck on the front is in my opinion a must for cue work. Good Luck

Reply to

I figured out how to make cues by going to gunsmithing school and learning how to turn rifle barrels. Yes you can pass the piece throughhe headstock and use either a chuck or collet system to hold the backside, but the way I learned to turn barrels was to use a steadyrest.

When I made my first cues I was working as a machinist in Purdue Univ. Civil Eng Hydromechanics Lab. I had a lovely 20" LeBlond Dual drive lathe with 48" between centers. Man I loved that lathe. I converted the hard steady rest to a roller bearing rest and away I went. I made 5 cues from scratch and fixed over a hundred for guys all over campus.

I thought I had invented a new joint. My joint uses a interupted thread, like they use in an artillery breech. It only takes a 30 deg turn to brewak the joint apart. I also machined them from an odd titanium alloy. I still use my 1st and 3rd cues a few times a week. My 2nd cue lives with my brother in England.

I recently got my Atlas 10" lathe set up to do cue work so I could make a new longer shaft for my first cue, and lengthen the handle. The lathe is barely long enough, but it does work. I once again use a roller bearing steady rest.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

What make is your lathe? Some of the parts look a lot like my Sebastian.


Cuezilla wrote:

Reply to

The lathe in the picture is a 13 inch Sheldon.

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