Well, out of necessity I finally got around to turning my first part on Saturday - it went well (fwiw it was a little insert to convert the bore of a 10mm Oldham coupler to mate with M8 threaded rod, therefore 10mm OD, & M8 threaded ID)
I have a four jaw independent chuck....but getting the piece 'true' was a pain because (unless my techinique is wrong) - in part - the chuck key nose didn't have sufficient length.
For example, if one jaw had to go in a bit, then that means the opposite jaw has to be slackened a bit - I therefore have to rotate the chuck 180 degrees to get to the opposite jaw (so it' now at the top)...I can then fit the chuck key in to slacken it off, before returning it to where it was & adjusting the original jaw in a bit.
Now if I had a long nose chuck key, I wouldn't have to rotate the opposite jaw all the way to the top. This might sound trivial, but I can see having a chuck key with a longer nose (T Bar type) will save a lot of time aligning the material.
So (sorry for rambling)...do they make a T Bar type tool (ie a handle with long shaft), with a four sided chuck key pattern on the end? I don't have the dimension of the chuck key tip with me....I'd imagine it's 1/4" though.
No I don't go through the lathe bed! (I've emailed David Blaine asking if this is possible though)
If you look at the type of lathe I've got...
that control box on the front adjacent to the chuck, inhibits the use of the chuck key in any position except insertion at the top. If I had a long nose key I could adjust the chuck a lot more freely/speedily (eg just rotate the bottom jaw up a bit, bosh in the key adjust - back down...then adjust the top up etc)
I'd get a long 3/8" socket extension and tommy bar and grind the end to suit...
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