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Key for a Cowells lathe chuck

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Hollowpoint24/05/2022 23:09:47
476 forum posts
59 photos

Anyone know where I might obtain a chuck key for a Cowells 3 jaw chuck? It's the "TML" version chuck with the toothed outer ring like a drill chuck.

Failing that is there anything I could modify to fit or a drill chuck key size that might work?

peak425/05/2022 01:19:56
avatar
1782 forum posts
193 photos

No, but I did photograph mine for someone a while ago;
Here's a link to the album https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/albums/member_album.asp?a=40346

and one of the four photos.


In one of the others, you should be able to count the number of teeth.

Bill

Michael Gilligan25/05/2022 06:04:33
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

By sheer chance … I found this a few days ago: **LINK**

https://altrish.co.uk/2020/05/20/replacement-chuck-key-for-a-cowells-me-lathe/

MichaelG.

not done it yet25/05/2022 07:00:12
6887 forum posts
20 photos

Looking at the wear/machining marks on the pic by peak4 might give one the impression that the gear is just a plain spur gear that has been tapered? It did, to me.

Andy Carlson25/05/2022 08:00:40
435 forum posts
132 photos

If you are on Facebook then there was a post by Stephen Benson on 29 March 2020 in the 'Cowells Small Machine Tools' group with some photos showing how to modify an off the shelf drill chuck key to suit. The group is public so you probably just need to be on FB to see it.

I have the tommy bar style 3 jaw so have no first hand knowledge of the other kind.

Hollowpoint25/05/2022 09:58:54
476 forum posts
59 photos

Thank you for the replies, very helpful.

Peak4 - thanks for that. It's useful to have.

Michael - thanks, unfortunately I don't have the skills to produce gears.

Not done it yet - it does look like that. Maybe an option to modify a bog standard gear?

Andy - I don't do faceache but I'll take a look. Sounds promising.

I actually need 3 of these keys! (don't ask) so all help is invaluable!

Emgee25/05/2022 11:07:36
2445 forum posts
291 photos

The key size used on the Emco chuck of a similar type/size is Jacobs K3, it needs lengthening to save the knuckles and perhaps the spigot modding to 7mm diameter, it has 11 teeth.

Emgee

Nigel Graham 225/05/2022 12:04:18
2281 forum posts
33 photos

Daft question I know... but as their ads keep appearing next to this very thread, do Cowells not stock replacement keys?

Jim Guthrie25/05/2022 15:16:53
110 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 25/05/2022 12:04:18:

Daft question I know... but as their ads keep appearing next to this very thread, do Cowells not stock replacement keys?

 

They have supplied a different model of three jaw chuck for at least the last twelve years which has the bevel gear on the scroll within the chuck body. So I suspect that they probably don't support the exterior bevel chuck any more.

 

Jim

Edited By Jim Guthrie on 25/05/2022 15:19:47

not done it yet25/05/2022 15:53:05
6887 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Jim Guthrie on 25/05/2022 15:16:53:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 25/05/2022 12:04:18:

Daft question I know... but as their ads keep appearing next to this very thread, do Cowells not stock replacement keys?

They have supplied a different model of three jaw chuck for at least the last twelve years which has the bevel gear on the scroll within the chuck body. So I suspect that they probably don't support the exterior bevel chuck any more.

Jim

Edited By Jim Guthrie on 25/05/2022 15:19:47

Likely would, at an astronomical cost.🙂

Hollowpoint25/05/2022 19:23:03
476 forum posts
59 photos

Though I would post this because it might be of interest to some of you.

The keys on the left and middle are genuine Cowells keys and the one on the right is a generic drill chuck key for a 1/2" chuck.

It's hard to see in the picture but interestingly the one on the left is slightly smaller in diameter and has shallower teeth than the middle one. Both fit and work fine but the larger key feels a little bit better which is great because the larger key is more similar to the bog standard drill chuck key.

Andy Carlson26/05/2022 07:44:17
435 forum posts
132 photos

The generic key looks promising. Hope it works out for you.

I actually need 3 of these keys! (don't ask) so all help is invaluable!

I tried not to ask but I can't resist... three chucks? or three Cowells lathes?

Hollowpoint26/05/2022 08:16:21
476 forum posts
59 photos
Posted by Andy Carlson on 26/05/2022 07:44:17:

The generic key looks promising. Hope it works out for you.

I actually need 3 of these keys! (don't ask) so all help is invaluable!

I tried not to ask but I can't resist... three chucks? or three Cowells lathes?

Both! 🤦🏼‍♂️

I've owned a Cowells lathe for a few years now but when I bought it, it had nothing with it. Even the chuck was missing. I've steadily been buying accessories for it ever since but as you probably know they don't come up for sale often and when they do they are expensive. So when the opportunity to buy another lathe with some of the accessories I wanted cropped up I went for it. Thinking I would keep the accessories and sell the lathe on. Unfortunately the chuck key for this lathe is missing so I held off selling it. In the meantime another Cowells lathe popped up in a local auction, again with some accessories. I put a cheeky bid in not expecting to win but to my surprise I did! No worries ill keep the accessories I want and sell the rest on I thought. Guess what? No chuck keys!!! I now have a not unsubstantial amount of cash tied up in lathes I can't sell until I find keys! 🤦🏼‍♂️

Edited By Hollowpoint on 26/05/2022 08:21:20

Edited By Hollowpoint on 26/05/2022 08:22:44

bernard towers26/05/2022 08:40:31
689 forum posts
141 photos

Hollow point, I notice in your pics that you say that the left and centre keys are cowells but they are different shapes, the one in the centre looks like Jacobs pattern. If the one on the left is correct it can’t be that difficult to copy especially as you need 3 and several other people as well. The body of key with the teeth could be separate to the spigot which could be fitted with loctite later. Just a suggestion.

Hollowpoint26/05/2022 12:57:43
476 forum posts
59 photos

Bernard - heres another picture.

Im going to try modifying a drill chuck key. I'm just waiting on the post. I'm not using the one in the picture I need it! 😅

Howard Lewis27/05/2022 18:49:29
6306 forum posts
15 photos

If the "gears" match, turning down the "shaft" can be pretty simple.

Hope that this is not a Catch 22,, "Ttere's a hole in my bucket, Dear Liza" job!

Remove the lever arm, mount in the lathe (I used the 3 jaw to be quick and nasty ) and turn down the spigot to the required diameter and length.

Refit lever, and hopefully, all will be well.

In the past, for drill chucks, rather than a Cowells chuck, this has worked for me.

Howard

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