Every now and then I buy a tool/gadget that takes a time consuming process and just simplifies it. Yesterday I picked up a chuck reversing adapter from my local Woodcraft, and is it going to make life easy!
A chuck reversing adapter is used to take a turning that is mounted in a chuck on the headstock and rotate it and mount it on the tail stock so that you can align or center it correctly while mounting on a vacuum chuck or donut chuck prior to finishing the bottom of the piece. Or to put it more simply, it is a piece of metal with a morse taper on one side and a thread on the other that matches your chuck.
I normally don’t have any problems reversing a vessel with a wide rim, especially when using my donut chuck. However, for pieces with a narrow rim, like hollow forms, I have been struggling with alignment when reversing. The chuck reversing adapter has solved that. The following pictures illustrate how it is used.
Here is a hollow form that I’ve finished hollowing and am now ready to reverse and finish off the bottom. Without removing the piece from the chuck, I unscrew the chuck from the headstock and set it aside.
I then mount the back piece of my donut chuck to the headstock. You can see in the above image that I have attached a piece of scrap wood to the center and have turned it to a cone shape. Then I attached a couple of pieces of self adhesive fun foam. This cone will go into the mouth of the hollow form.
I then mounted the chuck reversing adapter into the tail stock and threaded the chuck onto it. Note, the chuck reversing adapter is not a live center! It does not rotate in the tail stock as it has no bearings. It is a temporary method to hold the chuck in the tail stock in alignment with the headstock. Don’t start the lathe with it in place, you’ll ruin your whole day!
The tail stock was then slid forward till the workpiece was almost touching the donut chuck. Then I locked the tail stock in place and advanced the spindle using the hand wheel until the workpiece was snug against the donut chuck, taking care not to crush it. The front piece of the donut chuck was then secured in place with the bolts.
I then loosened the chuck on the tenon of the hollow form, and withdrew the tail stock. The donut chuck held the piece securely and correctly aligned.
I then put a live center in the tail stock and brought it up to the work piece in order to turn the bulk of the tenon off, leaving just a small nub. It’s a good practice to support the work piece whenever you can using the tail stock.
The last little nub was removed with the tail stock out of the way and then the bottom of the piece was sanded.