8L Lathe Chuck Size

For my hobby I build 5" gauge ride on electric locomotives and wagons. I have been looking at the 8L Lathe to turn wheels and axles for my rolling stock. I expect after getting the 8L, I will find lots of other items to turn. However, the 8L lathe appears to be limited to only using a 4" 3 or 4 jaw chuck and 5C collet chucks. Some of the wheels I need to turn are 4" in diameter, and start from mild steel bar that is a slightly larger in diameter.

Does anyone have any experience of using a larger chuck on the 8L, or is the 8L limited to having a maximum chuck side of 4". Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, my budget and available electrical supply does not extend to considering the 15L Lathe as an option.

Many thanks

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Graham, my understanding is that the spindle nose on the 8L is 5c only, therefore, you can use whatever you want but it must interface with 5c. I don’t have any 8L experience to know if it has the torque to turn larger stock between centers. Any bar that you want to go through the spindle will need to be sized per 5c collet (maybe as large a 1 1/16"?)

Hello Graham,

You can also consider making a fixture plate which will reduce the mass of the holding and bring it closer to the nose giving you more rigidity. In this scenario you then can have the material clamped and turn the internal features then use those features to hold while you turn the OD and face the opposite side.

Here is a 4 inch diameter pulley a made on the 8L. I also use a 5in 3 jaw. The 8L is ideal for 5C collet work and you really have to take it easy on lager work with a 3 or 4 jaw chuck.

What are you running for feed , speed, sfm, depth of cut? I have some similar sized stuff I’m working on. I’m running 6061.