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Collet Find!

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  • Collet Find!

    Wanted to share something I received today that made me very happy. My wife just rolls her eyes, so hopefully a better response here.

    I found a full set of Ames 1AM collets in 1/64 increments up to 1" for my Ames No 3 bench lathe! I had pretty much given up on finding a set, everything I could find was either missing collets, smaller sets, or cost an arm and a leg. I paid what I consider a fair price for this (especially with what UPS charged for cross-border shipping!), but am very happy with what I got. Nice wooden case with an adapter (thinking it's MT5 to 1AM), and a drawbar to boot! Look to be US Navy surplus, so they've got history to them as well.




  • #2
    Very Cool! Nice find w/ the case.

    I live near what used to be the Naval Gun Factory in Wash DC. Lot of stuff came from there. I have a P&W 3C mill is Navy surplus mill from there.

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    • #3
      that is a nice find, congrats!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by morsetaper2 View Post
        Very Cool! Nice find w/ the case.

        I live near what used to be the Naval Gun Factory in Wash DC. Lot of stuff came from there. I have a P&W 3C mill is Navy surplus mill from there.
        These came out of Massachusetts, so I believe that Portsmouth would be the closest yard.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tom S View Post

          These came out of Massachusetts, so I believe that Portsmouth would be the closest yard.
          There used to be a Naval Air Station in South Weymouth.

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          • #6
            WOW nice find!!! I have never heard of that type of collet, can you give details or typical use??

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
              WOW nice find!!! I have never heard of that type of collet, can you give details or typical use??
              Nothing really special, these would have been Ames equivalent of the 5C collet. Different angle, slightly different outer diameter. Later models of Ames lathes switched over to 5C collets as they became the industry standard. As far as I know only Ames and Hardinge produced 1AM collets, and with a limited number of machines that used them they can be hard to find in a complete set.

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              • #8
                There are all sorts of odd collets that have been made at one time or another. Good job finding those, and you have the matching machine.

                I got a bunch of 4NS a while back, which are probably more common by far that those, but I had never seen any before. Used on older Rivett 608 and 2 or 3 other places.

                I guess back when there were no accepted standards, making your own special ones was sensible, and not unusual. Some of them sure seem odd now, like the watch lathe collets that did not have a taper, but a trumpet bell shape to the end. Anyone with the matching lathe will play heck finding any of those.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

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                • #9
                  That anchor symbol and the U S look homemade. Doesn't look like official US Navy etching, which I would expect to be "USN" ...the navy has a certain pride (arrogance actually.)
                  Do they all look just like that?
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                  • #10
                    I think that is a great find. Congrats!

                    When I see a set like that, by 64ths or other fine increments, I have to wonder how many of the collets in it have never been used. I have sets by 16ths and half of them have never been used. Some will never be.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                      That anchor symbol and the U S look homemade. Doesn't look like official US Navy etching, which I would expect to be "USN" ...the navy has a certain pride (arrogance actually.)
                      Do they all look just like that?
                      Yes, they all look similar, some also have a serial/inventory number etched into them. Definitely done by hand. Not sure what to say to that, not sure who else would mark their tools with US and an anchor either. Perhaps the curved surface couldn't have a stamp applied without damaging the collet? Can't really attache a nice brass plaque like they did with their machines...

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                      • #12
                        Probably the hand marking was done after the set was purchased by the navy as a way to try and limit theft and establish US ownership.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                          That anchor symbol and the U S look homemade. Doesn't look like official US Navy etching, which I would expect to be "USN" ...the navy has a certain pride (arrogance actually.)
                          Do they all look just like that?
                          They were probably marked when they were delivered and received by the location they ordered by. The stencil for the etching waSsalso produced by contract, maybe with lax Q/C standards.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tom S View Post

                            Yes, they all look similar, some also have a serial/inventory number etched into them. Definitely done by hand. Not sure what to say to that, not sure who else would mark their tools with US and an anchor either. Perhaps the curved surface couldn't have a stamp applied without damaging the collet? Can't really attache a nice brass plaque like they did with their machines...
                            I wasn't doubting a navy connection. My thought was that rather than it being an "official" marking, it was applied by some enterprising, enthusiastic petty officer in charge of the section. I wasn't in the navy, but I can imagine, when at sea for a long stretch, a guy looking for a little project like that.
                            Last edited by lynnl; 05-21-2020, 10:00 AM.
                            Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                            • #15
                              A great find. Not 5C, but if you have the 5 Morse taper adapter
                              you can use it on any lathe of decent size. Love the engraving.
                              I share your joy. Love the wood box too.

                              -Doozer
                              DZER

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