Skip to content
How to Deep-Clean a WEN 4-Inch 4-Jaw Lathe Chuck

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

Model LA4444

Hello, proud owner of a WEN Lathe Chuck! We are so glad you are here, as it means you are trying to maximize the lifespan of your accessory. Whether this is your first foray into woodturning, or your projects have been turning heads for years, here are some helpful pointers to clean and maintain your lathe chuck.

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

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. 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.

OPTIONAL – if desired, you can separate the two parts of the jaw body for more-thorough cleaning. To do this, use the snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring from its groove on the back of the chuck body. Refer to the figure below.

OPTIONAL - Once the snap ring has been removed, set it aside. Slide the two pieces of the chuck body apart, as shown in the figure below.

8. 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 pieces. Re-install the snap ring, ensuring that it is fully seated in the groove.

9. 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). Refer to the following two figures below.

NOTE: Jaw 1's slot has a notch (red). Open/close the chuck so the scroll screw (yellow) is positioned so that it can catch the teeth on the bottom of carriage 1.

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

11. Repeat steps 9 & 10 for jaws 2, 3, and 4, in that order.

12. 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.

13. Use the chuck key rods 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.

14. Re-install the stop screw.

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

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

QUESTIONS? PROBLEMS? Call our technical support line at 1-800-232-1195, M-F, 8-5 CST, or email

Previous article How to Disassemble and Deep Clean a WEN Lathe Chuck
Next article How to Clean and Maintain a Wood Lathe Chuck

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields