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  • #16
    Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
    Thank you for the information gentlemen. I will probably stick with my 3 jaw chuck. Now that I am retired, I can't justify purchasing a collet set up, but I did want to know a bit more about them.---Brian
    For me it's more about being able to use my other 5C work holders. Using my 5C lathe chuck is far less mission critical and is more of a "nice to have" in a home hobby shop.

    Far more important and useful for me is the 5C collet blocks and with the spindexer. Those items alone justified a set of 5C collets for me. And I'm glad that I picked up these items. Both the collet blocks and spindexer have been VERY handy on the mill.

    And with the more recent addition of the ER32 chuck with 5C shank I'm no longer limited to set sizes either.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #17
      I use my 5c collets more than my 3-jaw and 4-jaw combined, probably because most of what I am working with is under 1". If my lathe had not come with collet capability, it would have been the very first thing on my list. I just modified the bore on a couple of these knobs, holding them on the largest diameter in a collet. It would take a custom split bushing to do it in a 3-jaw.

      It's all mind over matter.
      If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
        My 12" x 28" lathe has an MT5 taper in the end of the main spindle. There is no measurable run-out. The 3 jaw chuck has about 0.003" total indicated run-out, which seems to be to be about normal for 3 jaw chucks in general. If I considered going to a collet system instead of the 3 jaw chuck, what would I need. I know of about three different collet closing options. One is a drawbar which extends thru the spindle and it tightened at the far end, similar to a milling machine, which pulls a collet into a recessed taper to close the collet. I have also seen a large handwheel that fits at the business end of the spindle, and turning it by hand tightens or releases the collet. A friend of mine has what looks like a chuck on his South Bend lathe, but it isn't a chuck. A collet slides or screws into it and the "chuck key" tightens it to pull a collet into a taper in the front of it and closes the collet. Which of these systems is most common and which is the most economical. The only reason I would consider a collet set up is a higher degree of accuracy in the work I do on my lathe. There appear to be many different sizes or grades of collet as well, ranging from MT2 up to MT 5. Any information would be greatly appreciated.---Brian
        Kinda weird for me, trying to answer Mr. Rupnow. A fine machinist and engineer.

        I have both the lever style pull for 5c on the sb and 10ee. I also have a wheel deal thats on the end and removes all the crap that the lever has.

        I like the wheel deal, manual vs lever collet closer. For both lathes. JR

        P.S> Opps, I meant to add if you do go with a draw tube type make sure the bearings are good. I had a hard time finding the bearings, But they have to be paired.. If you are making your own home groun like I did??

        If you are not then disregard lol. JR
        Last edited by JRouche; 06-27-2021, 12:23 AM.

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        • #19


          I think 5c in the spindle nose (adapter) would be the way to go as 5MT will fit 5c. Tighten with a drawbar. 5c are the most common split collet so good used ones often turn up. Its the most accurate and rigid arrangement and you could largely make it yourself.

          Don't go cheap on the collets. The good ones are within a few tenths and the whole point of collet is getting minimal run-out

          If you are not going with a spindle nose adapter and want to get a chuck, I'd go 2J. Same basic form factor but also fairly common and they hold up to 1 5/16". I've just found so many times I'm thankful to be able to hold stock over 1"
          Last edited by Mcgyver; 06-27-2021, 07:07 AM.
          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
            I will probably stick with my 3 jaw chuck. Now that I am retired, I can't justify purchasing a collet set up, but I did want to know a bit more about them.
            That is wise. If there is one problem with something like the 5C system, it is that there is always something new to buy

            As Bented pointed out, collets won't add any capability to your workshop: they just make certain jobs simpler to set up, or more repeatable.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
              My 12" x 28" lathe has an MT5 taper in the end of the main spindle. There is no measurable run-out. The 3 jaw chuck has about 0.003" total indicated run-out, which seems to be to be about normal for 3 jaw chucks in general. If I considered going to a collet system instead of the 3 jaw chuck, what would I need. I know of about three different collet closing options. One is a drawbar which extends thru the spindle and it tightened at the far end, similar to a milling machine, which pulls a collet into a recessed taper to close the collet. I have also seen a large handwheel that fits at the business end of the spindle, and turning it by hand tightens or releases the collet. A friend of mine has what looks like a chuck on his South Bend lathe, but it isn't a chuck. A collet slides or screws into it and the "chuck key" tightens it to pull a collet into a taper in the front of it and closes the collet. Which of these systems is most common and which is the most economical. The only reason I would consider a collet set up is a higher degree of accuracy in the work I do on my lathe. There appear to be many different sizes or grades of collet as well, ranging from MT2 up to MT 5. Any information would be greatly appreciated.---Brian
              These collet adapters show up on places like Ebay from time to time,, and sometimes for less money than what's listed here. This is the simplest way to hold the 5C collet, and being so simple it's also the most accurate, if the tapers are ground concentric. Hold the collet in place with a home made draw tube and hand wheel and you're good to go. Purchase the individual collets a few at a time, as the budget allows, and it's not too painful to get set up. From my point of view, for any lathe from 13" on down, having a 5C setup is a requirement. Well worth the modest investment.

              https://www.ebay.com/itm/28432104615....c101111.m2109

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              • #22
                Another option, which I am certain you can easily handle, is to MAKE the adapter.

                If it is made on your machine, with the boring of the collet recess done in-place, it will be essentially as accurate as you will ever get. Consistent rotational errors of your lathe will be canceled out as much as they can be. If you mark the position in which it was machined, and always replace it in that position, it will be as good as it gets.

                Then use the best 5C collets you can get. You should be well under a thou error, and may do better than that.
                CNC machines only go through the motions

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                  Another option, which I am certain you can easily handle, is to MAKE the adapter.

                  If it is made on your machine, with the boring of the collet recess done in-place, it will be essentially as accurate as you will ever get. Consistent rotational errors of your lathe will be canceled out as much as they can be. If you mark the position in which it was machined, and always replace it in that position, it will be as good as it gets.

                  Then use the best 5C collets you can get. You should be well under a thou error, and may do better than that.
                  That's exactly what I did with my ER setup -- bored and threaded directly in place. There is no measurable error, even with El Cheapo collets.
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                  • #24
                    5C collets in a homemade adapter would be the best setup. Especially since the collets can also be used in a variety of fixtures for the mill.
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

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