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Boucher
08-22-2009, 04:40 PM
I am seriously interested in putting one of these on my Bridgeport. Does anyone have any input regarding the Mechanical Power Lock versus the Automatic Power Lock. I got a Pacemaker about a month ago and have had some lifting arm and weight restrictions on the left arm. I can scratch my ear with the right hand but that is about the limit of raising it. I will be able to raise the left enough to reach the lever on the Mechanical Power Lock but streaching to the height of the regular drawbar is not recommended. I have other mobility issues with the ladder and water meter box that I have been trying to use. I think that I would prefer the power drawbar to the collet system.

Mark Hockett
08-22-2009, 04:51 PM
I have the Kurt Mechanical Powerlock Drawbar on one of my mills. Although I would highly recommend getting a power drawbar I would not get that one. It has been very unreliable. The set screws that hold the impact gun are constantly coming loose and the linkage binds. This is the one I have,

http://www.kurtworkholding.com/powerlock-power-drawbars-mechanical-powerlock-drawbar-c-36_151-l-en.html

I would pay the extra money and get the Kurt Automatic Powerlock system.

http://www.kurtworkholding.com/powerlock-power-drawbars-automatic-powerlock-drawbar-c-36_150-l-en.html

Frank Ford
08-22-2009, 06:54 PM
I'll second that recommendation.

I've had the auto power lock Kurt since 2004, and I couldn't be more pleased with the operation. Reaching up to the top of the mill head is not the most convenient for some of us, er, "altitudinally challenged." On occasion I use a mill without the power drawbar, and I surely miss it. Makes changing collets as fast and easy as changing bits in a keyless chuck. In fact, if I could find a deal on 1/64" increment R8s I'd quit using the chuck for most drilling.

Boucher
08-22-2009, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the information! That kind of response is what makes this forum so valuable. I was kind of leaning toward the mechanical one. When I spend the money I really need it to work like it is supposed to.

Boucher
08-22-2009, 07:49 PM
Frank brought up the subject of collets. How do the import collets compare with the Lennox. All my 5C collets are Lennox so that is all I have used. What are the options in this area.

gnm109
08-22-2009, 08:05 PM
I understand that the Kurt uses standard R8 endmill holders and collets. That would make it a good choice. When I got my used Webb Mill recently, it was fitted with a "Snap Change" changer that uses a special drawbar and proprietary collets. Unfortunately, there were none with the machine.

Thiis unit tightens and releases the collets with a lift of the quill handle when the quill is at the top of its stroke.

I almost choked when I checked prices and availability of the units on the internet at the company website. Availability is great. All the special, proprietery collets and holders you want at from $100 to $200 depending upon size! I sold the head and drawbar on eBay the following week.

The only problem now is that the Webb is tall,. The nut on the drawbar is up there around 7 feet plus and it's hard to see from the floor. Although I'm 6' and I can reach it, it's a pain if you need to tap on the drawbar with your deadfall hammer to remove a tight collet. I'll have to get a footstool until I can affiord a Kurt changer.

If the quality of the Kurt changer is anything like the D675 vise I got last week, it would be my first choice. They are made in USA and the quality is clearly visible.

Black_Moons
08-22-2009, 09:18 PM
Heheh.. thats one advantage of my 7' ceiling.
I had to make a 20" tall stand for my IH mill, and most of my milling is done with the head down (square collumn mill, not knee) so the drawbar is right at eye level!

Now if i could only remember to take that wrench off all the time, especialy when using my mill to manual tap (just to guide it and get it started, using a wrench to manualy rotate the spindle), I would'nt put anymore dents in that motor capacitor cover..

Really dramatic when it flys across the shop simutaniously loosening the drawbar.

Btw iv heard good results about just making your own power drawbar.. outta a $30 1/4" drive impact wrench, $20 pnumatic cylinder and about $80 worth of other assorted parts and a little mill time.

Regnar
08-22-2009, 10:23 PM
I have made one of these and it didnt even cost 80 dollars once you have a HF coupon and pick up a used but good bimba air cylinder. Here is the video of the one I made getting. This is on my X2 mini mill with a R8 Collet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H4Br40055g I will be adding a system just like this to my new BP mill that I just picked up.

medwards
08-23-2009, 09:22 AM
I have the Kurt Automatic Drawbar on my mill. After a DRO, this is the best addition to a mill you can do. I agree with Frank Ford, I actually use collets much more than I do the chuck, even when drilling and taping holes. I would probably use them exclusively if I had more than an 1/8th inch set. I can change collets in about 10 seconds.

The drawbar uses a block with "IN" and "OUT" buttons. I mounted mine next to the drum switch so my left hand turns off the mill and actuate the drawbar. Leaving my right hand free to swap tools and hold the quill up while the drawbar is tightening.

As for collets. I assume you meant Lyndex. My R8 collets are Lyndex and I'm more than happy with them. Grip is excellent and runout is un-noticeable compared to the handfull of cheap chinese collets I have. I'll be adding a set of Lyndex 5C collets to my lathe as soon as enco runs another big discount.

Boucher
08-23-2009, 10:28 AM
Yes, I did mean Lyndex. Since having a stroke what is going through my brain is not necessairly what comes out my mouth. O well at least Brain *arts don't smell a s bad as the other ones. Thank you for your information regarding the import collets.

lazlo
08-23-2009, 10:33 AM
Yes, I did mean Lyndex.

Modern Lyndex collets are imports (China). Royal collets are too: their ER collets come from India, the R8's from China.

Lew Hartswick
08-23-2009, 10:39 AM
Now if i could only remember to take that wrench off all the time, especialy when using my mill to manual tap (just to guide it and get it started, using a wrench to manualy rotate the spindle), I would'nt put anymore dents in that motor capacitor cover..

Really dramatic when it flys across the shop simutaniously loosening the drawbar.

THAT is a very good reason to use an OPEN END wrench for that
operation. I'd like to saw off the box ends of the ones at school
but they aren't mine.
...lew...

lazlo
08-23-2009, 11:02 AM
THAT is a very good reason to use an OPEN END wrench for that operation.

Doh! That's frightening -- like leaving the chuck key in...

I use one of those manual drawbar socket hammers -- that has the drawbar socket on one end, and a little brass hammer on the other for knocking-out the collet.
Something like $12 at Enco, and impossible to leave that on the drawbar.

Lew Hartswick
08-23-2009, 03:14 PM
Doh! That's frightening -- like leaving the chuck key in...

I use one of those manual drawbar socket hammers -- that has the drawbar socket on one end, and a little brass hammer on the other for knocking-out the collet.
Something like $12 at Enco, and impossible to leave that on the drawbar.
That could be left on while an open end will fall off if you let go of it.
At least on all the mills I've used.
...lew...

DaHui
08-24-2009, 01:15 AM
You could always make your own :) This one cost me about $300 in parts but half of that was on a new Chicago Pneumatic wrench, but low noise level is worth it.

http://www.the-alchemist.com/Images/Shoptask/powerdrawbar/DSC05472.jpg

Black_Moons
08-24-2009, 06:12 AM
Is that a custom drawbar? im kinda wondering how long till it rounds off the tip of my drawbar head heh.