How to Disassemble and Deep Clean a WEN Lathe Chuck

Models LA4275LA4374

Hello, proud owner of a WEN Lathe Chuck! Whether this is your first foray into the wonderful world of woodturning, or whether you have been turning heads with your turned projects for years, your friends at WEN have some helpful pointers to help keep your WEN chuck in mint condition for years to come. The more you care for your chuck, the longer it will last.

You will need the following items, which are not included with your chuck:

  • Dry lubricant (PTFE is recommended)
  • Rags, cloths, or compressed air
  • A Phillips-head and a flat-head screwdriver
  • A set of metric hex wrenches
  • The included hex wrench
  • Optional – a wire bottle brush
  • Optional – an old toothbrush
  • Optional – snap-ring pliers
  • Optional – a punch (a flat-head screwdriver may be used, but a punch is preferred)

1. Unplug your lathe.

2. Prepare a staging & cleaning area for all hardware, fasteners, & chuck components.

3. Dismount your chuck from your lathe.

4. Wipe or blow off chips, dust, and debris from the exterior of the chuck.

5. Using the included hex wrench, remove the jaw-mounting screws that secure the jaw to the jaw carriage. Refer to the figure below.

6. Use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the stop screw from behind jaw 4. Refer to the figure below.

7. Turn the chuck key in the keyhole to fully loosen the jaws. Eventually, you will be able to slide carriage 4 off, then 3, 2, and 1, in that order. Set the jaws and carriages aside.

8. Turn the chuck over. Remove the two Phillips-head screws shown in the figure below, then the indexing plate.

9. Use a hex wrench to remove the two pinion screws shown in the figure below. Remove the pinion screws and pinions and set them aside.

OPTIONAL – if desired, remove the snap ring using the snap-ring pliers. Set it aside. This will allow you to remove the bevel gear from the main body of the chuck for cleaning.

To remove the bevel gear, turn the chuck right-side-up. GENTLY, using a punch, press or tap the bevel gear downwards and out of the chuck. Place a small piece of fabric, shop towel, etc. between the tool tip and gear to protect both the gear and tool. You may need to work around all four carriage slots to get it off.

10. Wipe off any and all debris, grease, sap, chips, dust, and other detritus from all components, using a soft cloth or rag. Lubricate all parts with a dry lubricant (PTFE is recommended) to ensure that such detritus is less likely to get stuck in the chuck in the future. Wipe off any excess lubricant. Use an old toothbrush to remove stubborn chips and dust.

OPTIONAL - Re-assemble the chuck body and bevel gear. Re-install the snap ring, ensuring that it is fully seated in the groove.

11. Re-install the pinions and pinion screws.

12. Re-install the jaw carriages in the slots. The carriages can only be installed in the order 1, 2, 3, 4 (that is, the reverse of the order in which they were removed). Each slot is numbered.

12.1 Use the chuck key to turn the scroll screw so that it is positioned to catch the teeth on the bottom of jaw carriage 1. Refer to the figure below (where the screw is shown in slot 4).

12.2 Tighten the chuck about 1/4 turn and ensure that carriage 1 can no longer be pulled out of its slot.

12.3 Repeat steps 12.1 – 12.2 for jaws 2, 3, and 4, in that order.

13. Re-install the jaws on the carriages. Each jaw is engraved with a number on top which corresponds to its carriage number. Tighten the jaw-mounting screws, but do not tighten them all the way yet. There should be some play in the jaws atop the carriages.

14. Use the chuck key to close the jaws. As the carriages and jaws get close to the center, make adjustments to their position so as to ensure that they close perfectly and line up with one another. Once they are positioned properly, tighten the mounting screws using the included hex wrench.

15. Re-install the stop screw.

16. Ensure that everything slides smoothly, without any noise, and that all chips and debris have been removed.

17. You can now re-mount your chuck on your lathe and begin using it again. Happy turning!

QUESTIONS? PROBLEMS? Call our Customer Service hotline at 1-800-232-1195, M-F, 8-5 CST, or email techsupport@wenproducts.com.

Next article How to Deep-Clean a WEN 4-Inch 4-Jaw Lathe Chuck

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