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Thread: 5C collet for lathe

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2002
    SE Texas


    I suspect that his statement about not being able to buy enough collets to cover the entire range was not due to the availability, but rather the price. A one inch range with each collet covering a range of about 0.005" (which may be generous), would require about 200 collets, You are not going to find cheap import collets in those sizes, so you are going to pay top price. Perhaps you can make a deal for $25 per collet: that's about $5000. I don't know about you, but I AM NOT able to do that.

    I have seen shops with such a collection, probably even finer steps than 0.005" and I would bet large sums of money that most of them are just collecting dust and rusting. A complete waste.

    This is why people buy ERs.

    For myself, I do plan on using 5Cs in my shop. I already have a set by 1/16s. One reason why is that odd sizes and shapes are more readily available than almost any other type you can name. Square collets, for instance. Or hex.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Sure you can. You can buy them in 1/16 sets, 1/32 sets, or 1/64 sets. You can also buy them individually in .001 increments, or bore emergency collets to any desired size.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2007



    No one ever tries to buy every 5C collet size available. Buy a set of 1/16" steps and then maybe buy a few in between sizes as needed. Or even better buy a couple emergency collets and size them to what you need as you need them. You can even remachine them multiple times as you need different sizes. This isn't as complicated as many here think.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2016


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    I suspect that his statement about not being able to buy enough collets to cover the entire range was not due to the availability, but rather the price. A one inch range with each collet covering a range of about 0.005" (which may be generous), would require about 200 collets, You are not going to find cheap import collets in those sizes, so you are going to pay top price. Perhaps you can make a deal for $25 per collet: that's about $5000. I don't know about you, but I AM NOT able to do that.
    The clamping range of a 5C collet is a lot more than your "generous .005", so your estimate is way off.

    I have a 46 piece set of Hardinge collets, 1/64" increments up to 1/2", then 1/32" increments on up. The set was about $1100 new, purchased directly from Hardinge. A complete set of off-brand collets would, of course, be considerably less expensive.
    Last edited by tomato coupe; 07-29-2019 at 05:39 PM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    NE Ohio USA


    I've just been through this dilemma. My EXL had a 5C attachement already when i purchased it. But came with a set of Ames Collets. Nice set of collets, but not usable. So I traded them for a 6 x 18 mag-chuck for my Sanford and an almost complete set of 5C in 8ths (extras that the guy had). So I was off on my journey into 5C tooling.

    I then kept searching to fill in the extras that I needed, buying lots off Ebay, Craigs and locally. I soon had a pretty complete set of 16ths with several 32nds that came in the lots. Still I kept running into jobs where i did not have the right collet on hand and had to sacrifice an emergency collet or make shims / bushing to do the work. Last project was a piece of SCH 40 Aluminum pipe. The OD was closest to 1 3/64 which I did not have... again. I finally found a place where I could by singles at a reasonable price and broke down to complete the set of 64ths. Victor Tool

    So I have a few comments for those following down the same path: If I had it to do over again, I would have bought a complete set of 64ths Asian collets for @ $200. As it is now I have collets of all different makes , Hardinge, South-Bend, MHC, Rivett, Lyndex... The list goes on and on. I had maybe $400 invested by the time I was done, albeit ending up with several sqaure and hex collets and some emergency, expanding, and tooling collets as well. Another thing to consider is that the threads vary for each manufacturer as much as 0.020". If you buy one full set you can make your draw bar to suit and limit the chances of damage.

    Still 5c collets are my go to and I do recommend them because they are ubiquitous and I use them in my collet blocks, and spin indexers and jigs. great for holding small stuff with short lengths. Hope this helps anyone considering 5C.

    Best Regards,
    Last edited by rjs44032; 07-30-2019 at 10:24 AM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    I'm exclusively 5C, mostly Hardinge (I do have a business). All my lathes and mill and grinding fixtures accept 5C's, some use power closers, a couple lever and a couple hand wheel. A wild guess would be about $6K invested since most were purchased at auctions.

    I have square, hex, expanding for internal chucking, 5C step chucks up to 6", dead length collets, emergency collets, even 5C's that take Morse taper.

    For business purposes ER collets would not be an option. But for hobbyist use they're okay (not great, but the price is right).

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    York, PA


    I have bought a cheap Chinese 5C chuck from Bostar Precision Tools on Ebay about a year ago. What a piece of junk that thing was! I have left a detailed review on Amazon for a very similar chuck called Kosmo Supply, here it is.

    "First of all I have to admit I have purchased 5C collet chuck from Ebay. It was sold by bostarprecisiontools. Visually it is an exact copy of this chuck in every respect. Most likely they are coming from the same place in China. I decided to leave this review on Amazon to warn people about this product.

    When I received the chuck, it was looking pretty good. Even the fit to my D1-4 spindle was good. But everything else was a disappointment. The runout near a good collet's face was around .002", 1" away from the face the runout was much higher. Such chuck belongs to a garbage bin. But I decided to open it up and see what I can do.

    The internals screamed trouble right away. The parts were dirty and soft (not heat treated), the gears were not machined (most likely just casted or forged to save money), big runouts everywhere. Obviously the manufacturer had no idea how to make a precision chuck and probably did not care.

    I have re-machined the base and the nose, cleaned and deburred all parts. Now the runout on the ground pin near the collet face and away from it does not exceed .0005". It took me awhile, but I am happy with the outcome. The chuck should be OK for occasional hobby use even with soft internal parts. I would not recommend purchasing the chuck of this appearance under any name or for any price."

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Metro Detroit


    Thank you for your input/experience with one of the cheap collet chucks.

    I got a quote back from JFK Co. A 4.5MT to 5c adapter runs $250 and 2-3 days lead time. I think that is a reasonable price for a product to be use commercially to make money. As a hobbyist I have a need to avoid spending excess monies since I do not do anything for pay. I have decided to modify my existing 4.5 to 3 MT adapter. Grizzly still sells the 4.5x3 MT adapter for $44 (same as when I bought it from them 2-3 years ago) so I'll buy another 4.5x3 MT adapter as a replacement. I plan to use the lathe compound for the taper. I'll cut the taper so that the collet sticks out of the adapter by 0.040 to 0.060 inch by design. If the taper ends up being off, I'll have additional stock to play with to dial the taper in. I figure that I will mark both the adapter and the spindle so that the adapter is installed in the same position - shouldn't matter but I might as well aim for the best repeatable accuracy.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Green Bay, WI


    I have a Clausing 6300 that I got from a gunsmith friend
    Here is a photo of the stock Clausing 4 1/2 MT to 5 C Adapter for a L00 Spindle ( which the 5900 also has)
    The adapter is ejected by the stock L00 Collar that is part of the arrangement.
    My friend made an extended tube and 6 inch handwheel and as you can see, it uses a bronze bushing for a bearing and works fine.
    He built the extended tube so it was easier to separate it from the 6300 spindle hand wheel which is slighty smaller. The tape on the wheel accommodates arthritic hands, but the force is sufficient for 5 C operations....nave had a collet slip !
    As another note, why all the concern here about odd diameters ? The Op said he has a Jacob Rubberflex ( as do I) and that will handle any odd dimensioned material ! Frankly, I love it.
    As for Chinese 5 C collets . When I started my 5 C collection, I had Hardinge and Royal and some name brand tool makers and the collets were dead nuts less than .0005 ' Runout ( thats .00025" error from CL)
    Never found a Chinese collet that was CONSISTENTLY there ! The best I found was Lyndex and they varied up to .0015" TIR.
    Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 08-04-2019 at 12:16 AM.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Northeast, PA


    I spent some time on a Clausing 6300 lathe at the last place I worked, they are very similar to the 5900 series Clausings.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Chesapeake, VA


    Albert, I made 5C adapters for my lathe from MT5 to MT2&3 adapters bought on ebay cheap, used. Works well, machined in the lathe spindle.

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