View Full Version : advice requested

02-27-2008, 05:05 PM
I am interested in outfitting myself with collet system, but have no experience with them. What is required for a basic set up?? Lathe has 2 1/4X8 spindle threads, and mt5 spindle taper.
Advice, suggestions, and/or re-directions welcomed.


02-27-2008, 05:25 PM
Well, collet discussions come up with regularity and draw fire from all sides. Doing a search of previous threads will give you a lot of commentary and opinions.

If you have any existing collet set you can get or make an adapter for that which would be the most economical solution. 5C is the most common giving you lots of new and used sources. I'll give the pig a start on this run by saying I like ER collets, and the ER-40 might be good for your spindle size.

02-27-2008, 05:37 PM
tnks for the reply, have read the archives, but having never been around a collet set-up, am ignorant of just what is required. Do 5c collets fit a 5mt?
I assume that would require a draw-bar. I see threaded collet chucks that go on the lathe spindle, and assume they have a locking nut, and no draw bar needed, but not willing to spend the dollars to find out if am right or wrong. Grizzly offers a couple of draw bars, but none for my lathe.
So am pretty much in the dark as to how to proceed.

02-27-2008, 05:38 PM
I would go for the 5C collet chuck, it will go up to 1.125" through the spindle.


I used to run a lathe that had a bushing adapter for 5C that pushed into the spindle taper and then the draw tube and cam lock hooked up on the back of the spindle with one pin. Its was quick and easy and nothing too complex to build if you wanted.

02-27-2008, 05:45 PM
the january/feb 1997 issue of hsm has a nice 5c collet system explained out in detail.don't know if this helps yah but thought i should let you know.

02-27-2008, 05:51 PM
MT5 to 5C adapter should be easy to find. Then you can use a closer tube, or lever closer. I have an adapter like that in my lathe and a Royal 5C lever closer, I like it very well. However, you will need to also make or buy an ejector for the 5C adapter. Basically screws onto your spindle before inserting the adapter. Unscrewing the ejector (also a spindle thread guard) will push the adapter out, and avoids having to beat it out from the back side. This keeps the collect in close to the spindle bearings for better accuracy rather than hanging out there on a chuck (where any inaccuracy will be magnified plus have more leverage for flex. Hard to beat the simplicity accuracy and cost of an in-spindle 5C collet system. Good collet chucks are undoubtedly good and accurate, but a good one is not cheap. The only time I see a collet chuck as making sense is if the spindle bore can't be adapted to 5C.

There is a big debate over use of ER collets for work holding, I won't get into that, search if you care.

Ed Tipton
02-27-2008, 06:31 PM
Bones, some of your main considerations in selecting a collet system is the overall cost involved, and the sizes of material you will be working with, and availability. The most common size is probably the 5C system which seems to offer a good compromise between being affordable, readily available, and offers a useful size range. Whether or not you need a draw bar depends upon your specific lathe set-up. I have a 3J collet system on my lathe, but I need that size to accomodate the size of my workpiece. If I was getting one for general lathe work, the 5C would probably be my first choice. A little research and DD will probably unveil which system will be best suited to your needs. In general, collets are faster, provide good accuracy, and are easy to use, but they do not lend themselves to working with irregular shaped objects. Although they do make square and hex collets, the round ones are the ones that most people use....but then you're pretty much limited to sticking with round workpieces. If you will be working with irregular shaped workpieces, you should probably look into a good four jaw chuck rather than the expense of a collet system. JMHO.

02-27-2008, 09:43 PM
Thank you, guys, for all the feedback,* it's truly appreciated. At this point, I don't know the difference between 5c and ER types, but will continue to study. Figure a collet set-up would be simpler than throwing on an 8" 4jaw for a 1/2 rod thats too short to work between centers,not as akward, anyway.