I have inherited a wood lathe (Spiegel "Precision Bilt" Model 87B630). The tail stock uses an 0.81" (assuming this is 13/16") diameter keyed shaft, and the live center screws into it with a 1/2-20 thread. I am trying to source a drill chuck to mount on the tail stock, but I don't know how to describe what I'm looking for. The shaft is definitely not tapered and is prevented from rotating by a set screw and keyway. I believe the lathe dates from the 60's. Was this a standard design that is no longer used, and if so, what it is called? Spiegel Model 87B630 Tail Stock Threaded shaft Live center threads

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    Sorry I can't answer this question, but I must say that it disturbs me to have someone refer to a machine from the 60's as vintage :)
    – Ashlar
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 0:30
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    @Ashlar, I know, right? I've seen many many tools from the 70s and even the 80s described as vintage! The rule of thumb appears to be ≥20 years (but less than 100, when something becomes antique), so strictly speaking even 90s tools are legitimately vintage now o_O
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:35
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    Tim, a little Internet sleuthing using "drill chuck female 1/2-20" seems to indicate that chucks with a female 1/2-20 UNF connection are widely available. I'm not certain but I presume this is what you're looking for.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:41
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    @Graphus Its good to know that I am way past vintage and well on my way to antique.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 21:51
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    Is that adjusting wheel loose/off-kilter? It doesn't look parallel to the shaft... Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 3:36

2 Answers 2


After a bit of research, I found that many impact drills also use a 1/2-20 thread to attach the chuck. I guess that due to the nature of what you're doing with an impact drill the chuck has a limited lifetime, so they're made to be easily replaced. Once I had that figured out, it was a simple matter to find one. (I happened to find mine on ebay). threaded back of an impact drill chuck Here it is installed on my vintage lathe: enter image description here

  • So Tim, is this 1/2-20 UNF?
    – Graphus
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 17:43

I am trying to source a drill chuck to mount on the tail stock, but I don't know how to describe what I'm looking for.

I don't know how to describe it either, but it'd be simple to adapt a standard chuck to fit your lathe. Drill chucks are typically connected to a lathe or drill press using an arbor with a Morse taper on one end and a Jacobs taper on the other, with the latter fitting a recess in the chuck. Here's one example:

Bodee MT2 to JT3 chuck arbor

You could buy an arbor with the right Jacobs taper for whatever chuck you want to use (one will likely come with the chuck), and then cut the Morse taper off and drill and tap for the threads on your headstock. As a practical matter, it might be best to have a machine shop do the work for you: once the arbor is cut you'll want to mill the cut face flat and square to the arbor's axis, and it's critical to center the tapped hole precisely.

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    This solution could work, but it's a lot more complicated and expensive than I was looking for. I already had the arbor and just wanted to know how to find a chuck that would fit it.
    – Tim D
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 16:01
  • Glad you found an easier way!
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 23:06

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