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Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Ricky Vaccarello (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 27, 2018 01:00PM

Hi everybody. I recently decided to upgrade my Pac Bay Power Wrapper chuck and install the Alps Chuck Upgrade. I usually hand wrap but recently had a wobble going on in my Rikon lathe, so I decided to turn the cork grips on my power wrapper. The plastic chuck that comes with the power wrapper doesn’t hold up long so I haven’t used it in years due to it starting to wobble too. Pac Bay was nice enough to send me a complete replacement after sending the chuck back in to them, but I wouldn’t trust it to keep true enough for turning cork grips from any pressure put on it. So I went to the locally owned fishing store that sells all kinds of rod building supplies and picked up the Alps chuck upgrade for a good price, installed it at home and it had a big wobble in the front of the chuck while the rear pulley turned true. So I returned it for their last one in stock, brought that one home and it also had a wobble in the front of the chuck.

The boxes showed no sign of any damage to them like they were put on the bottom of a pallet with boxes putting weight on it or anything like that. The store checked both of them out and were surprised to see how much they wobbled. I used my micrometer to make sure it was all lined up correctly and centered when drilling the forward holes and tightening it down. Everything on the chucks also seems to be all tightened up right. So I ordered one from Get Bit Outdoors (great company) and asked if they had any returns on them since all the reviews I read online about the Alps Chuck Upgrade have always been positive other than the jaws opening up. Most likely a problem from not tightening the set screw behind the chuck jaws to help keep them locked in place.

So I installed the new Alps Chuck Upgrade this morning, made sure everything was perfectly aligned before doing a final tightening of the base, put it all together, re-checked everything and found that it also had a very noticeable wobble going on ONLY in the front of the chuck jaw area. It also has 3 different good size burrs all the way down the chucks pulley that looks like it had a file run down across all the different grooves that’s for different speeds. They look like they will chew up the belt over time too. I could deal with that and just file them down if the chuck spun true. But it’s wobbling all over the place and very noticeable. I have always received good quality products from Batson and the Alps brand so I am wondering if they are having a different company make them for them now and people have said that they have all received good true running chucks from them through the years. I have 9 switch grip sets, 2 DH rod spey grips and 1 casting set to finish. So I am starting to stress out lol. Is anybody else having QC issues with these Alps Chuck upgrades lately. I really want to stick with this chuck upgrade since it seems to be a nice and stable upgrade compared to the more expensive Pac Bay upgrade. UUUGH lol. Thanks for the help everybody and have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 27, 2018 01:57PM

I assume that this is the "alps upgrade chuck" which is the subject of your post?


Lets do some checking on the chuck. Start by removing the jaw covers from the front of the chuck jaws so you are only dealing with the metal chuck and the metal jaws.

Then, turn the jaws in tight.
Then, with the wrapper motor hooked to the chuck and active when the foot pedal is pressed, hold a pencil near the backside of the chuck to check for any runout.

Basically, you should be able to hold the pencil within .010 or less with no noticeable run out or wobble on the back of the chuck.

Then, with the jaws screwed in tight, repeat the test - holding the pencil near the front side of the chuck while your motor spins the chuck. Again, with this side of the chuck you should have essentially 0 wobble.

Then, if you have a piece of pipe, drill rod, a nice sized drill bit or similar - chuck it into the chuck to check for any wobble with the jaws holding the straight piece of stock.

Again, you should have negligible wobble or run out. If you do, make note on the side of the chuck where you are getting the large run out. Mark that jaw, and then, to double check, loosen the piece of straight stock and rotate the stock 180 degrees or 1/2 circle around and tighten the chuck and repeat the test. See, if you get the same jaw giving you the large run out.

If the chuck itself is running true on both the front side and the back side of the chuck, but you are getting runout when holding the work you have a jaw issue with the chuck.

If you have a good caliper, measure the depth of each jaw from the back side of the jaw to the front side of the jaw - take these measurements next to the chuck as well as near the top edge of the jaw.

Then, repeat these same two measurements for each of the two other jaws.

Essentially, you are looking for 3 identical jaws to fit onto the chuck base. If one of the jaws is not identical to the two other jaws, you will have wobble.

If you do have one jaw that is effectively thinner, you can then use a machine tool or grinder to reduce the two other jaws to be identical to the first thinner jaw.

if you are unsure on your ability to do this, take the chuck and jaws to a machine shop and have them true up the chuck over lunch sometime.

If you want to get the chuck running 100% dead true, take the chuck upgrade head stock and chuck to a good machine shop.
Then, have the machine shop remove the headstock shaft from the headstock.

Then, the machinist can insert the shaft into his metal working lathe.

Spin the chuck onto the end of the head stock shaft and get it nice and tight.

Then, with the jaws at a setting that will work for the machinist, He can insert a cutting tool into the tail stock and advance the tool into the inside of the jaws of the chuck.

Just have him run a clean up pass or two or three until there is 0 runout on the chuck.

After that work the chuck will run absolutely true with 0 runout.

After getting my wood lathe, I picked up several new chucks.
I took the lathe head stock shaft and chuck backplates and chucks over to my friend who runs a machine shop and asked him to get all of the chucks running true.
In this case, He spun the chuck backplate onto the headstock shaft and then used his lathe to true up the backplate as it was mounted and screwed onto the headstock shaft.
With a chuck that screws onto a shaft, there is almost always some runout or wobble due to the slight runout in different threads and attachments.
But, by screwing on the backplate that will be used only on a particular headstock shaft, the backplate can be made true and have 0 runout.

My friend did this with all of the chucks that I have for my wood lathe and I have essentially 0 runout on all of the chucks.

But, normally, with a generic backplate or chuck that screws onto a headstock shaft, the chuck can be very close but to insure perfection, the backplate and chuck needs to be made true while mounted on its future home headstock shaft.

Good luck

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Jay Dubay (---.clv.wideopenwest.com)
Date: May 27, 2018 03:07PM

I have one, NO Issues at all with run-out At All, Is your Mandrel straight?? If so You didn't Pay For Run-out, And should Not have to Deal With It !! Send it back!!, Right To Alp's or batson, Not the seller. Call and tell them the problem, Or email Geoff Staples <[email protected]> And relay your problem, They should Email you a Prepaid Return shipping Lable! Ask for one if they don't offer! You should not have to due anything to this chuck!! It should run True. I did buy mine early when they came out, If they changed manufactures? That's still not your problem it's their's!. All my wood Lathe's run Nova Brand chucks and I never had to touch them ether! Other then line up the lathes tailstock. Cheers Jaa

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2018 03:20PM by Jay Dubay.

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 27, 2018 05:34PM

Seeing as how you have had wobbles with at least 3 chucks, I'd look a little deeper for the cause, it may be something other than the chucks.

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Ricky Vaccarello (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 27, 2018 06:24PM

Thanks everybody. I took some time out today and took my micrometer to the base to make sure everything was straight and not bent. Then I checked the jaws and tried out a couple of the grip mandrels that I know run true and there is definitely a wobble going on in the whole front section of the chuck. The jaws seem to be fine and it looks to be in the main body in front of the part that tightens the jaws down. I also forgot to mention that the last one I received before this had the threads stripped that held the rubber jaw on the chuck jaw. So I am guessing that the company who is marking it for them, just doesn’t care and probably has bad QC. They just sent it out knowing that it was completely stripped. I also installed the plastic replacement chuck that Pac Bay sent me to replace the wobbly one and the replacement is running fine. But I won’t be turning cork grips with it. I am going to talk to Rikon Tuesday and talk to support to see what I could tighten up to get rid of the small wobble in my Rikon that just started. I have all new parts in it and it didn’t get bumped or had any heavy downward pressure applied to it. I also keep my lathe tools sharp using the Wolverine jigs and check the angles to be sure. The only thing I have done on the lathe lately was to turn down a bunch of reel seat inserts. Purchased the dyed stabilized reel seat blanks from the sponsor here and they look amazing! I have OneWay Talon, Barracuda chucks and a bunch of different jaws that I use for my lathe work. I might just make a drill jig and turn all the sets of cork grips for now while I wait for another replacement to come in the mail this week. Those jigs are easy to make and I can use a tail stock live center at the end of the jig to help support the grip mandrels or use the rod wrapper supports. Then I don’t have to wait any longer to get these rods finished up. Thanks again for all the help everybody and have a great weekend.

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 27, 2018 10:39PM

If, for what ever reason, Alps does not give you satisfaction; consider replacing the chuck only with a Taig Chuck:


I believe that the Aklp headstock is the Taig headstock with an Alps name on it. If so, then the Taig chuck will screw right onto the Alps headstock.

I have a bunch of the Taig chucks and have never had an issue with runout on any of them.

Just a possible consideration if you don't have good luck with your current source.

Good luck

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Matthew Paul (---.lightspeed.milwwi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 28, 2018 02:55PM

you can do 2 things go around the block several time to get next door trying to fix the problem as Rodger suggests or you can just contact the MFG and let them know your not happy with the quality of the product you purchased that is supposed to be the best and let them know that the reseller has worked with you and there has been no resolve to the problem and you feel that it should be right and ready for use not having to make it work by having it re-machined at your expense and time . don't know what the charge for having it machined to true but here it would be as much as the product costed to begin with so why would ever want to pay 2 x to get a working product . it is your money and time spend it as you choose.
I would contact ALPS directly and let them make it right for you and not at any extra expense to you

The best day to be alive is always tomorrow !!
Think out side the box when all else fails !!!

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 28, 2018 04:58PM

I agree 100% with your statement about the mfg resolving the issue for the client.

As much as anything, I was posting information as to determine the exact source of the issue for the client's personal information and to also use that information when the mfg is contacted for resolution to the problem.

Be safe

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: James Taylor (---.wavecable.com)
Date: May 29, 2018 11:17AM

If you ever have a problem with one of our products we're just a phone call away and a replacement can be taken care of. Just call 1-877-875-2381

James Taylor
Batson Enterprises
BatsonEnterprises.com | RainShadowRodBlanks.com | ALPSForeCast.com | Build2Fish.com

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: May 29, 2018 11:47AM

After you get it fixed, do fill us in on what the problem was an how it was fixed , we [ I ] would like to know what the problem was ,

William Sidney

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Re: Anybody else having QC issues with Alps Chuck Upgrade.
Posted by: Grant Darby (172.92.64.---)
Date: May 29, 2018 10:20PM

Nice one James. Good service. I'm a bit shocked that the original poster hadn't contacted you guys.

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