I bought a Goliath with either the Type G Gripper or Colossus jaws a couple of years ago with the intent of using it for coring large blanks. The chuck appeared very well made with good fit and finish. The key bothered me, though, since the "T" handle is very short and is fixed in the central position instead of being able to slide to either side for more leverage. Operating on the theory that the manufacturer would likely have made the handles short to prevent the operator from exerting more torque than the key or chuck could take I went ahead and tried the chuck out by coring a fairly small diameter cherry bowl blank (dry wood) that I had. After the third time I picked the blank up off the floor I reduced the tenon size and finished the job using my Talon chuck. I boxed the Axminster chuck and jaws back up and returned them. I then bought a Stronghold to do the coring.
I am buying an Axminster Goliath and 4 jaw sets from LV based on: price, size and flexibility plus free shipping to my door. The key is the same size for leverage as that provided for the Oneway Stronghold and the scroll ratio is as close as damn is to swearing too. The jaws are similar too; the type G gripper jaws and the Oneway are pretty much the same. All that to say that I don't know why Bob had such trouble keeping wood in the chuck but I will surely let you know if I have any issues. I anticipate no problems with the Axminster chuck.
By the by, I did all of my previous bowls and such on a Busy Bee B2249108 chuck and never dropped a piece on the floor. It has no gripper type jaws at all but only shallow dovetail jaws.
The key is the same size for leverage as that provided for the Oneway Stronghold
The "T" handle of the chuck key on the Goliath is only about 3" or 4" long and is fixed in the middle so you can't slide it all the way to one side or the other to increase rotational leverage, so the most you have is 2" of leverage. I seem to recall that it was actually just a roll pin through a hole in the vertical part of the chuck key and had square ends so was not very comfortable to try and twist. The "T" handle on a Stronghold is a solid 5/16" bar more like 6" long that freely slides through the hole in the vertical member so you can get something like 5" of leverage to turn the key and the plastic end caps keep the end of the bar from digging into your hand.
I suppose one could make some sort of "wrench" to increase the leverage to tighten the Axminster key but I would expect the roll pin would be pretty easy to bend.
Last edited by Bob Hamilton; 11-13-2013 at 11:25 PM.
Bob are you sure it was a Goliath? That chuck has only been out maybe 18 months and the key doesn't match your description at all. Mine has been relegated to a permanent fixture on home made extra large Cole jaws for which it is adequate. First one went totally TU when the front plate distorted under pressure and resulted in the chuck wobbling and losing grip. I returned it to LV and also notified Axminster. Axminster wanted to see the damage but as far as I know the chuck was probably put on the bargain shelf at LV. I have contacted both companies since and got no info at all as to what happened. Axminster gripper jaws are nothing like the Oneway Profiled jaws and definitely do not work as well as the standard smooth Axminster dovetail jaws. The Axminster Evolution is a far better chuck and on a par with a Stronghold IMHO
Bob are you sure it was a Goliath? That chuck has only been out maybe 18 months and the key doesn't match your description at all.
The key pictured beside item "C" in the link accompanying the original post appears identical to the one I am referring to, so obviously I am not describing my concern very well. It is the crossbar of the "T", at the top of the key shaft that I consider too short for adequate leverage. And, yes, I am sure it was a Goliath chuck. I ordered it very soon after Lee Valley started carrying them.
The cost of a Goliath chuck for my lathe was 2/3 of the cost of the Stronghold chuck and the jaw sets are generally about 3/4 of the Stronghold jaw set price. The variety of jaws available for both of these brands of chucks is one of the draws for me so the cost of the jaws is a factor. I ordered 3 jaw sets with the chuck!
The Goliath chuck is definitely not for the smaller lathes anyway so I suspect that any new lathe that I might buy to replace my currently brand new lathe will be the same thread. I would make that a purchase criterion, in fact. There is no loss of flexibility to me since I only have 1 lathe and it has one of the two most common thread sizes out there.
As I said earlier, I will report, in my usually frank way, on the chuck when I receive it and put it to use. If it has problems, I will let the forumites know. Honestly!
PS There are a couple of jaw sets that Axminster has that are not replicated in the Stronghold, which was another factor. I did look at buying the Stronghold from Busy Bee since buy Canadian is a bit of a mantra for me but I could not get the combination I wanted. Besides, if the chuck is as bad as you lot have intimated, I may end up with a Stronghold in the end anyway and forgo the flexibility that I was after!
Last edited by KenL; 11-18-2013 at 11:20 AM.
Reason: Added post script
Ken the great thing about the Oneway, (beside the quality, and made with hardened steel unlike all others IIRC), is that because of the patented jaws shape, you do not need all the different jaw sizes, unlike again the other chucks.
Of course I hope the chuck you are buying will serve you well and I hope you keep safe, IFO's are no fun and can be deadly, that would make the savings worthless
(IFO = identified flying object) (the wooden kind)
I ended up getting the talon as part of the free shipping form Lee Valley, along with another $250 worth of stuff, lol. Primary decision maker was that it's made in Canada. Tracking shows it'll be here tomorrow. Maybe I'll finally have some time to turn on my lathe for the first time, lol.