Mini-Lathe Chuck Spiders

These chuck spiders allow me to hold very thin parts in the three- and four-jaw chuck. They are another example of tools that I've made by making use of the work 3D printer. Having said that, I've since changed job so that's a facility that's no longer available to me. In principle, the spiders could just as easily be laser cut as it's a 2D profile, but you'd need to find a laser cutter that could cut very thick material or have a stack of thinner parts.

The parts were modelled using the free online 3D CAD application Onshape. This is a very easy-to-use, yet powerful CAD tool that allows a parametric model to be built and parameters early in the design (such as the thickness of the chuck teeth, or the number of jaws) can be tweaked as required without having to redraw the design from scratch. This enabled me to create a single model and (by tweaking parameters) generate two output files - one for each chuck.

The photos above show the spiders in place on the chuck. The part being held in the three-jaw chuck was put there just for the photo, but hopefully it gives an idea of how it helps mount parts on relatively short sections of material and still have them parallel to the back face.