How to Make Cole Jaws For Your Lathe
You can make cole jaws with a lathe if you have one. The first step is to cut a piece of vinyl tubing in 1 inch lengths. Once you have the tubing cut to size, you can drill the center hole for the eight bolts. The wood jaws can be drilled to fit your lathe. If you use wood, make sure to drill them at slow speeds.
If you have a chuck that is not large enough to accommodate a set of cole jaws, you may need to get a different set. Nova has a set of Cole jaws that are available in three sizes to fit different sized bowls. You can also buy mini Cole Jaws if you make smaller bowls. These are designed for lathes with smaller swing diameters.
When mounting a bowl in the lathe, you can set the tailstock so that the small tick mark on the tenon base is in line with the live center of the tailstock. Then, place a tool rest on the outside edge of the bowl and manually rotate the bowl. This is an important step for successful jam chuck use, as it is crucial to get the bowl as close to the center as possible.