Woodturning is said to be the safest form of woodworking, that said it can still be dangerous and care should be taken at all times

The methods and procedures I show here are what I do at the moment and feel safe doing, I am not suggesting that you should do things the same way, that is up to you, if you don’t feel safe doing it one way find another way of doing it.

Above all take care and remember if this is your hobby it is supposed to be fun so enjoy it.

Glue chucks are very useful items and when used properly provide a very strong hold.

I use them often for a variety of projects and have only had two pieces come adrift, on both occasions I had been holding the piece of wood I was using as the glue chuck in the jaws of a standard chuck.   I had a catch which pulled the glue chuck out of the jaws, now I always mount the glue chuck on a screw chuck or face plate and since then I haven’t had a piece come adrift.


The first thing you need to do is choose a suitable piece of wood for the glue chuck, I recommend that it is at least 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the piece you are going to be turning.   So if you will be turning a 6” piece of wood the glue chuck should be between 3” to 4” diameter, for an 18” piece the glue chuck should be between 9” & 12”.

Mount the glue chuck on a screw chuck or faceplate and round it off.

I now make the front of it concave and bevel the edge, this is to make sure the piece I am turning sits flat and the bevel gives me an area to fill with the glue.

I now mark the center of the piece and put it in position brining the tailstock up to hold it firmly in place.

Now I apply the glue, I have found the best glue to use is hot melt glue.   The main thing when using hot melt glue is to make sure the glue is hot enough before applying.   I turn the gun on about 10 minutes before I want to use it so that it gets hot enough that the glue is dripping out of the end of the gun.

Once the glue is up to temperature I apply it in one continuous bead, I place the tip of the gun in the grove and start applying the glue turning the piece slowly towards me.   Doing it this way makes sure there are no unwanted air pockets.

I now leave it for 2 or 3 minutes to start hardening before turning, I leave the tail stock in position for as long as possible, especially when first truing the piece, to give extra support.

To remove the piece I use 2 methods, firstly if it is a small piece and the back of it is not finished I use a parting tool, if however it is a large piece or I do not want to mark the back of the piece I use a hot air gun or hair drier.   To remove using a hot air gun do not hold the gun too close otherwise you risk over heating and cracking the wood, hold it close enough to warm the glue and slowly turn the piece by hand until you can pull it free.


For larger items that are too big for the swing of my lathe I mount them differently.

First mount the glue chuck on a screw chuck or face plate and true it up, make the face slightly concave and bevel the edge then remove from the lathe.

Find the center of the piece you want to mount and draw a circle the same size as the glue chuck.

With the piece laying on a flat surface hold the glue chuck in place and put a dab of glue in 3 or 4 different places around the piece to hold it in position then after a couple of minutes when the glue has set enough mount on the lathe and fill in grove as above.   After about 10 minutes the glue should have cooled enough to give a good grip and you can start turning.   However if I am using this method I usually glue it up an hour or two before I want to turn it to make sure the glue has gone off completely.

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