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BTC Chucks?

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Janderso

Jeff Anderson
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I have an 8" 3 jaw BTC chuck on the Clausing Colchester 15 I picked up a few months ago.
It is a great chuck.
I know nothing about BTC.
Do you have one?
Any good?
I see my chuck on MSC for over $1,200. Not cheap.290458
The label says, "BTC Los Angeles California"
 
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Nogoingback

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Janderso

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I'm sold, It has almost zero TIR when measuring the body and the jaws hold work with minimal run out. Just a bit of a tap here and a bit more there, perfect.
Great lathe!
 

darkzero

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BTC chucks are made in China, well they have been for a while now. I've heard the early ones were made in the US but not sure of the truth in that. They seem to be fair quality chucks, at least the ones I've seen in person, but I do remember seeing complaints about some. I always thought they were overpriced for what they are. Seems like they are even more over priced now.
 

Janderso

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On mine, the label says, Los Angeles, California.
I assumed it was manufactured there.
There are no Chinesium attributes with my BTC.
You may be right, the newer chucks may be made in Asia?
 

darkzero

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Who knows, maybe they were made in the USA at some point & maybe you have an older one. Doesn't matter if something has a city name, doesn't necessarily mean it's made there. Chinesium.... China makes crap if you want them to make crap. China can very well make quality products if you pay for it.
 

mksj

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Nice discussion on this question in 2009, about 6 years ago I was looking to buy some chucks for my lathe and BTC was one that I checked out, similar to Feruda which became Gator, current chucks are made in China. Gator chucks are hit or miss as to the quality, supposedly they are direct copies of the Bison, I use their back plates on my Bison chucks. Most likely your BTC is old production made in the US, but current production chucks get mixed reviews. I have a two Bison chucks and a Pratt Burnerd America (PBA) made in the UK, they are very nicely made and are accurate. The Taiwanese chucks made by Chandox are also well made, as well as a few others. As with buying anything these days, you need to often look past the name and checkout the details of the product.

From 2009
"BTC chucks are definitely made in China. When I was at the IMTS show some years ago, I was talking with a guy from P-C chucks and he told me his company makes all of the chucks for BTC. Ironically, their booth was just across the aisle from BTC's. I'm not saying the quality is bad, but you are mainly just paying for a name. If you are OK with buying a Chinese chuck, just buy a P-C.. same chuck, way less money."
 

darkzero

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....Feruda which became Gator..... Gator chucks are hit or miss as to the quality, supposedly they are direct copies of the Bison....
Haha, funny I can relate. I remember checking out Fuerda chucks at a Westec show many years ago, before they launched the Gator brand name. I was surprised how well their chucks were, being made in China, the ones at the show anyway.

Fast forward to when I was looking to replace the sloppy 4-jaw that came with my lathe. Didn't want to spend much cause I don't use the 4-jaw a whole lot, I went with a Gator direct mount which seemed the be the best option at the time. I have been happy with the chuck. I paid $350 shipped for that chuck. Today, that same chuck costs $550 from the same vendor, even more elsewhere. Gator chucks were well worth the price back then, these days not so sure anymore & it seems like many vendors that used to carry Gator don't anymore. I wonder what happened. Maybe has something to do with the increased prices & hit & miss quality you mentioned?

Later on I bought a Gator 3-jaw Tech-Tru chuck, again price was right. The top jaws had some casting imperfections. Didn't effect anything except being hard on my eyes but I sent GTS (US Gator dist) an email even though I got it through a vendor. I received a reply directly from Andrew Latawiec. Andrew used to be the VP of Operations (or something like that) at Bison who left & went to Gator (hint hint). He replaced the chuck no questions asked & the replacement was fine. A yr later I sold that chuck cause my salesman at my local MSC gave me a smoking deal on a Bison 3-jaw Set-Tru & backplate that I couldn't refuse (had no idea they could sell em for that low). Doubt I would ever consider buying or recommending a Gator anymore.
 

mikey

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It has almost zero TIR when measuring the body and the jaws hold work with minimal run out. Just a bit of a tap here and a bit more there, perfect.
As long as the chuck is accurate then it doesn't matter where it is made so be happy, Janderso.

As an aside, the run out of a 3 jaw is not critical. It is a first operation chuck so anything that you turn from nominal stock will be concentric with the spindle and will be accurate. It's when you slap an already turned part in the chuck that the accuracy of the chuck matters and no 3 jaw chuck, aside from maybe the adjust-tru types, will give you balls on accuracy. Just the nature of the beast, so to speak.
 

wrmiller

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As long as the chuck is accurate then it doesn't matter where it is made so be happy, Janderso.

As an aside, the run out of a 3 jaw is not critical. It is a first operation chuck so anything that you turn from nominal stock will be concentric with the spindle and will be accurate. It's when you slap an already turned part in the chuck that the accuracy of the chuck matters and no 3 jaw chuck, aside from maybe the adjust-tru types, will give you balls on accuracy. Just the nature of the beast, so to speak.
You sound like a machinist in a production shop. ;)

I have lots of uses for a 3-jaw besides being my 'first-op' chuck. And can get the TIR down to nothing on my big chuck. And it repeats to less than a half thou on multiple pieces or a re-chuck. This was my primary use case when shopping for my main 3-jaw, so I wanted something with a good reputation.

Just pointing out that there are different use cases and differences in quality across various chucks. :D
 

mikey

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I have lots of uses for a 3-jaw besides being my 'first-op' chuck. And can get the TIR down to nothing on my big chuck. And it repeats to less than a half thou on multiple pieces or a re-chuck. This was my primary use case when shopping for my main 3-jaw, so I wanted something with a good reputation.

Just pointing out that there are different use cases and differences in quality across various chucks. :D
Yeah, but you own a PBA set-tru chuck, right? You cheat!
 

mikey

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Yeah, but in 20 years your chuck will probably still be just as accurate as it is today. I wonder how long a cheap Chinese chuck will hold tolerances.

Talking about cheap, I was just working with my Sherline 3 jaw chuck last night. When I got it, it had 0.001" TIR, which is good for a 3 jaw. I checked it again last night and it still holds a thou. Amazing that a chuck that costs a bit over $100.00 can be that good after 30 years of hard use. Then again, it was made when Joe Martin was still heavily involved with production and the quality of Sherline tools was awesome.
 

darkzero

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As long as the chuck is accurate then it doesn't matter where it is made so be happy, Janderso.

As an aside, the run out of a 3 jaw is not critical. It is a first operation chuck so anything that you turn from nominal stock will be concentric with the spindle and will be accurate. It's when you slap an already turned part in the chuck that the accuracy of the chuck matters and no 3 jaw chuck, aside from maybe the adjust-tru types, will give you balls on accuracy. Just the nature of the beast, so to speak.
Now that I have a Bison 3-jaw Set-Tru I've been using it more & use my 6-jaw as intended. 6-jaw chucks generally are considered second op chucks but I personally never really had problems using it as my my primary chuck. My love is still for the 6-jaw & I still use it the most. It's so much easier to rechuck a part in it to run true especially when the part is short. With the accuracy of both the 3-jaw & 6-jaw Set-Tru chucks is the reason why I rarely use my collet chuck. In fact I hate using the ER collet chuck. I'd prefer to have a 5C collet closer but that means I'd have to invest in a boat load of 5C collets. I loved using a collet closer, so quick to release & engage swapping a part, in some cases don't even have to turn off the spindle.
 
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