The purchase of a lathe by a prospective turner may be a considerable investment, but funding should also be allocated for other essential basic items such as a suitable chuck.
The ever-expanding range of Axminster woodturning chucks now covers almost every type of work-holding requirement, from dolls’ house chair legs just a few millimetres in diameter to 60cm diameter bowls weighing 20kg or more. Precision made in high grade steel, the chucks and their associated accessories have been developed over the years, in many cases in discussion with our professional turning friends, to cover almost every eventuality likely to be encountered by the amateur or professional alike.
One of our guiding principles has always been to ensure that as many different operations as possible can be carried out without removing the chuck from the lathe. This approach, combined with the provision of multiple gripping diameters on most of the jaws, gives minimum outlay coupled with maximum flexibility of operation.
Apart from the junior chuck which utilises engineering end mill collets to hold small work pieces, all the Axminster chucks use the tried and tested scroll mechanism to control the jaw travel. This system provides the dual benefits of a nominal half inch of radial movement of each jaw in expansion and contraction and a security of grip onto the work which is unrivalled by any of the collet style chucks on the market. They are also supplied with a set of SafetyJaw accessory mounting jaws with rounded corners which minimise the chance of injury should your fingers get too close to the rotating chuck.


Axminster Evolution SK114 Chuck

First drawn at a desk in Devon, the Evolution chuck has been machined and refined to make woodturning easier, accurate and more enjoyable. Our aim was to produce a chuck that was slim, keeping the weight of the work over the bearings. We achieved maximum accuracy by threading the body of the chuck for perfect concentricity. We also wanted a chuck that would suit the jaws already owned by our customers. Our first prototypes were tested by some of the most well known names in the woodturning world.
Taking the best features of our Axminster chuck designs over the past 20 years, we have in our view the most superb woodturning chuck ever made – the Evolution. We have introduced round the clock manufacturing at our production workshop in Axminster to keep pace with global demand.
Uniquely the Evolution body is made of stainless steel making it totally rustproof. Every millimetre of this chuck is made in the UK and assembled in Devon. All of the components are machined in our workshop giving us total control so that the chucks we produce are supreme in terms of longevity and quality. We even designed a box to have the perfect fit.
The Evolution is a revolution in chuck making and, we believe, it is the finest woodturning chuck ever made.

Axminster Clubman Chucks

Building on the proven success of our ever popular K10 and K8 Clubman chucks, we decided to improve the design by producing the SK80 and SK100 stainless steel versions. Using this material allows closer tolerances during the manufacturing process as the chuck body no longer needs electro-plating which can vary in thickness. The threaded body is now a one piece unit, improving concentricity and minimising vibration during use. These chucks are made by us in Axminster using the latest CNC production techniques. All Axminster chucks are part of an excellent woodturning chuck system, just add a set of jaws or accessories from our extensive range to suit your needs. Supplied with our SafetyJaw accessory mounting jaws which have rounded corners and a chuck key, they available in a range of thread options.

Lathe Thread Information

The table below lists all the stock thread types which can be used when ordering any of the threaded items, such as chucks, chuck backplates, faceplates and screw chucks. If you are uncertain about which thread to specify please ring our Specialist Sales Team who will be pleased to help. They will need to know either the make of the lathe or the dimensions of the lathe spindle as shown in the diagram. The column heading numbers refer to the dimensions in the diagram as follows:
1. Register diameter.
2. Register length.
3. Thread diameter.
4. Combined length of thread and register.
5. Thread pitch, either threads per inch or thread pitch if metric.
Thread diagram

Thread Chart


Some care should be taken when buying a chuck as they’re machined with an internal thread which must match the spindle thread of the lathe it’s going to be used on. The chucks are also supplied with a set of precision ground accessory mounting jaws, machined with threaded holes which accept the Axminster range of lathe jaws.


Specialist Chucks

Apart from a standard chuck, it’s also desirable to have a way of initially mounting bowl blanks for the first rough turning. Although a faceplate (usually supplied with the lathe) can be used, it’s probably more convenient to use a Screw Chuck, which are available in a variety of different designs. Turning smaller items present their own difficulties, as tools and hands may become too close to the rotating parts of the lathe. One solution is to use an Axminster Junior Chuck (supplied with three collets). As knowledge and skill increase, more specialist and advanced equipment can be purchased, such as an Eccentric Spiralling Chuck which allows a range of eccentric and spiral stems to be produced.


The choice of a basic chuck is fairly straightforward and if funds allow, the Evolution SK114 is the obvious choice for larger lathes, with the SK80 for the smaller range of bench top lathes.