Threaded chuck is stuck

silverhawk

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I would avoid heat - you don't want to warp the spindle at all. I'd take the spindle out and soak it in a penetrant before using heat. A simple and good penetrating oil can be made using acetone and ATF fluid (1:1 ratio, and it does not have a good shelf-life).

If you can lock the spindle from rotating without using back gears, you can get away with this next method. A lot of people put the spindle in "back gears" while keeping the non-back gears engaged - this effectively stops it from turning, and is a bad idea because of the potential to break teeth off of your spindle or back gears). Take a piece of stock and bolt it to the chuck back plate. Centering the stock is not essential, nor is the material (e.g. a piece of 2x4 works just as well). Then, with a good sized hammer, knock the wood in a counter clockwise rotation (front side goes down). It may take a couple of good whacks, but once it starts to move, you should be able to do it by hand.
 

Technical Ted

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I bought a lathe one time that I just fixed up to sell and that had a 3 jaw chuck on it that was stuck. I cut the end off a larger size allen wrench and chucked it up in the 3 jaw chuck. Used an impact wrench on the allen wrench piece and after a few whacks it came free. The sudden jar can break things free.

I suggest you do NOT use the back gears to hold the spindle from turning. You can easily break teeth off the gears.

Use penetrating oil though. That can help as well.

Ted
 

vocatexas

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Good luck. I've got a 26 inch chuck stuck on a spindle I've been trying to get off for months. Hopefully when I get it where I can power it I can pop it off.
 

benmychree

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I think that it is generally safe to use the back gears to remove chucks, if shock is not used, of course it would depend on how robust the lathe may be, such as the materials used in the gear train. generally, I think the problem lies in the fact that the chuck threads force the backplate against the shoulder of the spindle, not sticking of the threads themselves, thus, penetrating oil is not going to be much help; I would cut a piece of wood to fit between the chuck jaw and the rear way of the bed, and in back gear, pull the belt by hand to try to unscrew the chuck, repeatedly trying to break it loose. On larger lathes of industrial size, this can be done under power.
 

benmychree

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Good luck. I've got a 26 inch chuck stuck on a spindle I've been trying to get off for months. Hopefully when I get it where I can power it I can pop it off.
I had to remove a chuck from the spindle of a 36" swing Nebel lathe over 50 years ago, I spit a number of 4 x 4s trying to get it off, to no avail, I finally used a 4"square boring bar between the chuck jaws (4 jaw) down in between the ways, in the lowest speed, and bumped reverse repeatedly with a 30 HP motor, direct connected; after many repeated attempts, it finally came off without damage, it was not corrosion or crud, it was just years of heavy interrupted cuts that hammered the chuck against the spindle shoulder. The lathe was a POS, poorly designed and made and taken care of, finest feed was something over 1/64".
 

michieltje

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So i tried to run the lathe like this and i tried a 6 foot cheaterbar on the faceplate with no succes. Im lifting the 3000 pound lathe with it. Anyone have more ideas?
 

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DavidR8

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So i tried to run the lathe like this and i tried a 6 foot cheaterbar on the faceplate with no succes. Im lifting the 3000 pound lathe with it. Anyone have more ideas?
Wait... if the spindle is reverse threaded (as I expect it is...) and you're lifting the lathe in this configuration then it seems to me that you're further tightening the chuck.
I had a 5" chuck well stuck on my South Bend and I had to spin the chuck backwards to break it loose.
 

michieltje

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I bought a lathe one time that I just fixed up to sell and that had a 3 jaw chuck on it that was stuck. I cut the end off a larger size allen wrench and chucked it up in the 3 jaw chuck. Used an impact wrench on the allen wrench piece and after a few whacks it came free. The sudden jar can break things free.

I suggest you do NOT use the back gears to hold the spindle from turning. You can easily break teeth off the gears.

Use penetrating oil though. That can help as well.

Ted
I'll try this tomorrow but i done have high holes as the 6 foot cheater bar didnt work..
 

michieltje

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I have locked the spindle so no gears are engaged. Ive removed the Chuck before so I know which wat of has to come pdf.
 

DavidR8

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I have locked the spindle so no gears are engaged. Ive removed the Chuck before so I know which wat of has to come pdf.
OK, it just seems to me that if you're lifting the end of the wood that is pointing down that it's tightening the chuck. Or at least it would be on my lathe.
 

Diecutter

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OK, it just seems to me that if you're lifting the end of the wood that is pointing down that it's tightening the chuck. Or at least it would be on my lathe.
I agree with DavidR8 that you are probably further tightening it based on your photo. Most chucks I've seen in my limited experience tighten against the direction of the cutting tool. Otherwise, the tool's cutting action would tend to unscrew the chuck when heavy cuts are taken. Hope that's it.
 

Twirpunky

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I would have to agree with DavidR8, It looks to me like you are tightening it. If it was a left hand thread like you are trying to turn it, the chuck would be coming loose and threading off the spindle while you were turning or threading a part. I had a threaded spindle lathe and disabled the reverse switch so there was no way I would be tempted to run the spindle backwards just for that reason.

D
 

silverhawk

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Wait... if the spindle is reverse threaded (as I expect it is...) and you're lifting the lathe in this configuration then it seems to me that you're further tightening the chuck.
I had a 5" chuck well stuck on my South Bend and I had to spin the chuck backwards to break it loose.
I don't think it is reversed, I just think it is being tightened. If it is lifting from the side the pictures were taken, it is tightening the chuck. The side that the apron controls are on should be going down while the spindle is locked. With the spindle locked and the plate being turned the way it would into a tool, the back plate or face plate should break free of the spindle.

joe
 

Technical Ted

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I'll try this tomorrow but i done have high holes as the 6 foot cheater bar didnt work..
I agree that from the picture it sure looks like you are turning it the wrong way to take it off... That was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it.

Ted
 

NortonDommi

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acetone and ATF fluid (1:1 ratio, and it does not have a good shelf-life).
I can remember when this Acetone and ATF started being talked about and it is rubbish. The original recipe was 50/50 ATF and Kerosene. AFT and Acetone don't mix.
To verify this mix up some ATF & Acetone ,shake/stir well and leave overnight in a glass jar. Do the same with the ATF/Kero/Diesel mix. Check again after a week.
A good mix is 1:1:1 ATF:Kerosene:Diesel and yes I know Kerosene and Diesel are very close but I have been searching for the perfect penetrating fluid for decades and this one works. Add 10% by volume Isopropyl alcohol after mixing for a faster penetration.
If Alcohol is added it has to be kept in an airtight vessel.
 

NortonDommi

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michieltje,
I agree with the comments about the thread. If you can bolt a bar across the face place a substantial piece of timber on the back way and jog the motor in high gear in reverse. Safest way is set it up ,stand back and flick the power on and off at the wall. Sometimes it might take two or three whacks.

A note on heat. When you heat something like a nut/sleeve etc it will expand, unfortunately they usually shrink a little on cooling making things tighter. The amount of heat needed to get meaningful expansion can be quite considerable.
 
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brino

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The amount of heat needed to get meaningful expansion can be quite considerable.
.....and you are working awfully close to the headstock bearing to apply much heat.
-brino
 

Shootymacshootface

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Replace that chunk of wood you've got there in the picture with a solid piece of steel or rod ,at least 1×1" or larger and 12-18" long. Put it on your backplate opposite of how you have the wood. Put something down to protect the ways, I would probably use some wood with a moving blanket on top. Lock the spindle without using back gears, and give the bar a mighty whack (down) with a 2 or 3 lb hammer. Repeat until the backplate is free.

Another option would be to carefully, and I mean carefully make a horizontal cut on the collar of the backplate with an abrasive cut off wheel until you can just see the top of the threads and drive a chisel into the cut without going into the threads, surgery.
 

michieltje

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Huge cheater bar and an adjustable wrench in an anti clockwise motion and of came loose after i put my whole body weight on it, thanks doe all the suggestions!
The hex bar and impact wrench didn't work with the Chuck this tight but it is a nice one to keep in mind.
I 'd like to put some anti seize on the threads, is it safe to do do? I don't have copper or ceramic grease on hand but i do have petroleum jelly and lithium grease, do those work as well?
 

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Cooter Brown

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I 'd like to put some anti seize on the threads, is it safe to do do? I don't have copper or ceramic grease on hand but i do have petroleum jelly and lithium grease, do those work as well?

I prefer Blue Moly for machine tool threads but lithium grease should be alright..... just make sure to keep it clean of chips when putting the chuck back on... and try to keep the layer of grease very thin....

Dont use copper anti-seize on steel or iron machine tool parts it can cause rust....
Try not to use any grease or anti-seize with metal in it.....
 

michieltje

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I prefer Blue Moly for machine tool threads but lithium grease should be alright..... just make sure to keep it clean of chips when putting the chuck back on... and try to keep the layer of grease very thin....

Dont use copper anti-seize on steel or iron machine tool parts it can cause rust....
Try not to use any grease or anti-seize with metal in it.....
Really good point on the galvanic corrosion
 

NortonDommi

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I prefer Blue Moly for machine tool threads but lithium grease should be alright..... just make sure to keep it clean of chips when putting the chuck back on... and try to keep the layer of grease very thin....

Dont use copper anti-seize on steel or iron machine tool parts it can cause rust....
Try not to use any grease or anti-seize with metal in it.....
Huh? I've taken apart stuff that was put together probably before I was born that have worked outside all its life and been so, so grateful to the guy that used Copperslip. I've never heard of it causing rust.
I wouldn't use it on Aluminium though because of that Galvanic thingy. I use Copperslip on steel and have done for years without a problem. I usually carry some Nicklecoate with me now as it can be used on anything,(I prefer the Loctite stuff as it is silver, the CRC one is black and looks messy), and for marine work it is damn near impossible to beat Rescuesteel.
 

Tozguy

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Since the spindle won't be getting very hot I'd be tempted to use waterproof bearing grease (like for boat trailer wheels). The anti seize lubes rated for high temperatures are messy and unnecessary for this application.
 

Cooter Brown

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Huh? I've taken apart stuff that was put together probably before I was born that have worked outside all its life and been so, so grateful to the guy that used Copperslip. I've never heard of it causing rust.
I wouldn't use it on Aluminium though because of that Galvanic thingy. I use Copperslip on steel and have done for years without a problem. I usually carry some Nicklecoate with me now as it can be used on anything,(I prefer the Loctite stuff as it is silver, the CRC one is black and looks messy), and for marine work it is damn near impossible to beat Rescuesteel.

All I know is when I cut copper on the lathe and dont clean it up my whole bed turns red with rust........lol
 
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