Episode 97 Upgrading the SuperNova2 to Infinity

Episode 97 Upgrading the original SuperNova2 to be a SuperNova2 Infinity chuck, with quick-change jaws

Nova Infinity holding mechanism

A general comment I made in an earlier post about the Nova Infinity warrants further clarification about what I like about the Infinity, and what concerns me about another system (as highlighted by the “Easy Chuck”).  Please note, my original article did not make mention of any other specific brand, so this new article is a direct response to the question posed in the comments of the earlier post, which is why it includes reference to the Easy Chuck product.

Please also note, this is my own opinion, and I have not performed any tests or made any formal assessment of either chuck.

easychuck easy2

The Easy Chuck uses a spring loaded key (blue arrow) that engages the underside of the jaw.  The forces experienced by the jaw during operation are exerted directly onto this key (in an outward direction – red arrow)

If that key becomes worn, if the spring becomes weak, what I see is a potential for the jaw to feel engaged to the user, but could be released from the key during operation.  While the chuck is new, not likely to be an issue.  But what happens in years to come as the chuck is heavily used?  Is there a mechanism that positively stops the jaw from being able to fly out if the key disengages?

The Nova Infinity takes a different approach:

MailScreenSnapz001The jaw slides in from the side, so the primary direction of force is resisted by a permanently fixed shoulder.  Furthermore, during normal turning operations, the v-shaped wedge is forced further into the slot, so even if the restraining mechanism fails, normal operation will still restrain the jaw in position. If turning in reverse, then yes, it is again reliant on the mechanism, but all 4 would need to fail, and you tend not to use a lot of force when the lathe is reversed in any case (and most lathes can’t do that).

So two very different approaches to a quick jaw changing chuck.  And the reasoning behind my comment.

BTW, what you can see here is the kit that allows owners of existing jaw sets to be able to upgrade them to make them useable on the Nova Infinity chuck.  Nice that it can also equally be undone as necessary, without any more difficulty than if the jaw you wanted to use was fixed to any other chuck.  Based on this, I’ll probably look at getting a few of the upgrade kits, so pretty much all my jaw sets can be used on the Infinity, and upgrade most of my chucks as well with the retro fit kit..

Apparently, the Infinity system will be available in January next year – might have to add it to a Christmas wish list.  Perhaps Nova should come out with a free wish list card so turners can tick what they would like (new chuck, # retro kits, # jaw upgrade kits), then they can have that given to them for Christmas, and trade it in for the real thing when the sets become available!


Mounting the Longworth

Despite knowing the Nova DVR XP is a pretty substantial lathe, I was still a bit iffy whether the Longworth chuck I had picked up at the wood show would actually fit.  It wasn’t whether it would fit and be able to be spun up – being able to turn the DVR head outboard means the lathe can mount a huge turning.  The question was whether the outboard tool rest would clear the chuck sufficiently so I didn’t have to find an alternate tool rest.


I needed have worried.  A 24″ chuck fits just fine on the DVR.  It is too large for me to be able to use the tailstock, but that is just the price I have to pay for such capacity.

The Longworth chuck design was inspired by Mr. Longworth from the Hunter Valley Woodturning Club, NSW, Australia in 1989.  One of those simple yet cool concepts (or applications of a concept) that makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of it.


Still, turning a bowl that then justifies having it reverse-mounted in this Longworth (at maximum capacity) would be quite an experience.  Or should I say will be!

disk-3On the back is a simple metal disk to be held in the jaws of a chuck.  In this case, nothing beats the power of the Titan II chuck, with the power jaws to boot.  Seems fitting to use the most powerful Nova chuck to hold such a large aftermarket chuck on the lathe.

Looking forward to giving it a workout!  Will need the room of the new shed however – the chuck may fit the lathe, but the combination is too tight for the current space.


A Question on Drill Presses

It was a good question posed in a recent comment, so thought I’d post the response here.  The issue experienced (and I’ve had it as well, as have many others I’m sure), is the morse taper that holds the chuck of the drill press falling out. (The other benefit of posting the answer here, is it then is a post about drill presses that I’ve apparently been somewhat remiss in my coverage 😉 )

My first solution in this case, is to wind the jaws fully into the chuck (so they don’t get damaged), then tap the base of the chuck with a wooden mallet to drive the taper tight.

Over time, if there is any slippage, the taper can become rather polished, so rubbing a bit of chalk on it, then tapping the taper home can help dramatically.

Getting more involved, you can coat the taper with Engineering Blue, push the taper home, remove it and see where contact is being made.  If there are  few high spots, you can carefully polish them down with a bit of wet & dry sandpaper.

If the contact area is very poor (and that would be an obvious reason why a taper just won’t stay put), you can get a morse taper reamer for about $A40 or so.  Given it is pretty much a 1-use tool (you really are unlikely to ever need it again!), it is debatable whether it is worth going this far.

Finally, I’d recommend staying away from Loctite – it makes removal when required very nasty (needing heat etc).  I also would stay away from deliberately roughing up the surfaces.

I wouldn’t be against using a touch (as in a single small drop) of Cyanoacrylate (aka SuperGlue).  The reason is – it is a very brittle adhesive, so when the taper needs to be removed (assuming you have one with a slot higher up to use a wedge and hammer to remove the taper), the glue will fail under impact loading (hammer!), can be removed with a solvent, and does not permanently damage the metal surfaces.

So there are some options – hopefully one poses a good fit 🙂 (pun intended!)

Want a FREE Nova Chuck?

The New Zealand company Teknatool, manufacturers of Nova lathe chucks (and lathes etc) are giving away free chucks to celebrate 20 years of Nova Chucks.

Even though it decreases my personal chance of winning one, ya’ all might as well enter and have a chance of winning one of the best lathe chucks in the world.

Home Page here, and look just below the 20 years logo for the link for the free draw.



And just for that, they are also going to get my “Tool of the Month”, because they are an awesome bit of Kiwi Engineering!

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