Myford ML10 Lathe Chuck Soft Jaws




I wanted to hold a steel part in the chuck of my ML10 lathe without damaging the carefully turned surface. I needed some 'soft jaws'. These are aluminium covers to keep the hardened chuck jaws from touching the surface of a workpiece.

This instructable shows how it was done.

My chuck is a 'standard' Pratt Burnerd 4" diameter and 2" depth (stamped 1588-10000).

The scrap of aluminium sheet I used was 0.7mm thick. Any aluminium or copper sheet of roughly similar thickness would do fine.

Step 1: Template

The template was produced using paper by trial-and-error. The final dimensions can be seen in the photograph (in mm). The PDF file has six copies of the template (only three are needed) - double-check the dimensions if you use the PDF to create your templates.

Stick three templates on to the aluminium sheet using suitable glue (a Pritt Stick is perfect - the paper is held firmly while you work, but floats off easily in water).

Step 2: Cut Out the Soft Jaws

A junior hacksaw (or fine band saw) is ideal for cutting out the aluminium sheet. Holding the tiny aluminium pieces is a real problem. A clamp and wood block helps.

The cutting needs to be fairly accurate - the 'nose' of the jaws must slide into a gap in the chuck; the 'ears' of the jaws must not be too big, or they will not fold around the chuck neatly.

The rough corners and rough edges can be tidied up using needle files.

Then the templates can be removed.

Step 3: Fold the Jaws Around the Chuck

I removed the chuck from the lathe and placed it on the bench. I then used a hexagonal nut from a plumbing fixture to hold the aluminium in place - this worked really well.

The soft jaw aluminium sheet must slide right into the chuck and be square, before bending can begin.

Flat screwdrivers helped to start the bending process - followed by a wooden 'drift'. The soft jaws fold right around the jaws of chuck.

To use them, just slide them onto the chuck jaws - they keep in place automatically.



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    3 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I seen Keith Fenner on You Tube channel make basically the same thing. But then with typical chuck jaws, how could there be any different pattern. I have a lathe and it has the typical three jaw chuck. But I want to go to a four jaw for better removal of offset issues. Nice project you posted though. Thumbs Up!

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Many thanks - yep nothing innovative here - except the dimensions for the ML10 perhaps! Best wishes.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Just a note to say Thanks for this. I was just about to make a set for my own ML10 having also seen Keith Fenner's set neatly wrapped around his chuck jaws - whereas Abom79 uses separate shims which are a bit fiddly - but I'm going to make mine out of copper sheet salvaged from my old water tank and beaten flat. I confess that I'm tending towards the lazy end of things i.e. using tin snips and a belt sander rather than a hacksaw and files. Also a belated Thank You for your comprehensive ML10 toolpost instructable which is a very useful reference. I use two ML10 lathes in different locations and constantly struggle to get my various combinations of tools and toolposts to align with the centre height. Cheers!