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View Full Version : Anybody Ever Make a Collet?



Tuckerfan
08-09-2003, 02:18 AM
I'm working on a project in school, and it requires me to use our watchmaker's lathe, and it's missing some of it's collets (amongst other things like the 3-jaw chuck). Specifically of the size I need to use. I can probably improvise and shape the stock to fit in one of the existing collets, but if it's not terribly difficult, I wouldn't mind making a collet or two for the thing.

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winchman
08-09-2003, 02:51 AM
I've made several collets from 6061-T6 aluminum. They ranged in size from 1 3/8" to 2". After the turning, boring, and threading was done, I made six or more equally spaced cuts into the end of the collet on the bandsaw. They worked well and didn't take very long to make.

Roger

[This message has been edited by winchman (edited 08-09-2003).]

Stepside
08-09-2003, 09:49 AM
I have made small collets in steel. It is just careful work. I would cut the outside shape and threads being very careful to get the taper correct. Polish the taper while being careful not to change the angle. Use a Last Word" to set your compound to the taper in the lathe.
Once the outside and threads are done, center drill and drill/ream the thru hole to proper size. This I would do on the lathe I was going to use the collet on. Remove from the lathe and split with either a slitting saw on the mill or a Exacto hobby saw. Debur and use.
While this seems to be a lot of work, it isn't. While you are making the tapered and threaded blank, make several as the machines are set-up and that is the part of the process that takes the time. Don't drill the blanks until you need them.

gizmo2
08-09-2003, 11:09 AM
Tucker, the pisser is the set up. Once you get the angles right, and know the numbers, make extras. Then the next time they'll just need drilled and split for the job at hand.

ibewgypsie
08-09-2003, 12:59 PM
I spent most the day making a kwik switch collet. It was not as neat or hardened like the factory ones, but it works.

John Foster
08-09-2003, 04:01 PM
The Home Shop Machinist, Sept/Oct 2002 page 50 "Making Your Own Collets" pictures, procedures, etc.

Thrud
08-10-2003, 05:09 PM
Tuckerfan:
As was said the hard thing is getting the body angles correct - once you have done that - make a "**** load" of blanks for later use (easy with a CNC lathe to help!). If this lathe is the WW series collets, then I would make a "**** load" of them as they are a PITA to do right.

Have fun!

Tuckerfan
08-10-2003, 06:15 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thrud:
Tuckerfan:
As was said the hard thing is getting the body angles correct - once you have done that - make a "**** load" of blanks for later use (easy with a CNC lathe to help!). If this lathe is the WW series collets, then I would make a "**** load" of them as they are a PITA to do right.

Have fun!</font>

Well, it's a Boley lathe, and unfortunately, our CNC lathe (an old Okuma) isn't set up to be able to make such small things. (In fact, we're pretty much limited as to what we can make on it because it only has one set of jaws and if you want to do anything that's different sized than the projects we have for it, you have to make your own set of jaws.) Also, I haven't learned how to program the thing yet.

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[This message has been edited by Tuckerfan (edited 08-10-2003).]

Cass
08-11-2003, 06:47 PM
Make a flanged bushing that will fit the ID of one of the large collets that you have and then put saw cuts in that before or after you drill the ID to the size your part requires. Easy to make out of aluminum or brass.