I have an older 12x24 Grizzly lathe, it's ended up being a really good machine for what I do, but I've recently discovered a flaw. I'm currently playing around with a QB HPA conversion, and needed to turn some new valve parts. Problem is, my chuck won't hold anything under about 1/4" diameter, but I'm working with 1/8" O1 tool steel for valve stems. I've actually resorted to using my mill as a vertical lathe, stick the stock in a collet and clamp a lathe tool in the vise. It works, sort of, but it's a lot of by guess and by god
. And it makes a simple little valve stem and head more work than turning a new valve body would be.
So how do you guys handle small stuff? Am I going to have to invest in a collet chuck, or is there a less expensive alternative? Thanks.