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Anyone using the SPI R8 Kwik-Switch style chuck and tooling?

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  • Anyone using the SPI R8 Kwik-Switch style chuck and tooling?

    I've been mulling around getting an ER collet set for my Bpt. But the cheap import sets seem to not be satisfactory for anything other than drill holders (see recent post on PM), and the better ones like ETM are VERY pricey. I was about ready to take the plunge when low and behold today I ran across an "as new" SPI Kwik-Switch quick change tooling set with R8 chuck (the nicer design with the outer clamp collar) and a set of 7 tool holders. 3 with different collet sizes (outer size, not ID), appears to my ignorant eye to be maybe DA styles? Smallest is rather tiny, only a bit bigger than the 1/8" ID collet it holds, might hold up to 3/16 or so max I would guess. The next up has a 5/16 ID collet and it might hold a 7/16, though I doubt it. The largest, and the only one showing any use (simply because of very mild patina on the collet, the holder and the rest of the set are literally blemish free) has a 1/2" ID and might hold 9/16 or a bit larger. then there are 4 JT1 holders, one with a 3/16 Albrecht chuck mounted, the other are virgin.

    So, the price was an "I can't pass this up!" deal, and I now own it and there is no way it was a bad decision. It's almost worth what I paid for it only considering the box it came in (ok, I'm exaggerating, but not by much!). But I have a few questions.

    1) I know the kwik-switch variety is very popular, but how does the SPI set rank? I’ll set it up tomorrow with an 0.0001 B&S DTI to see how TIR looks, but wanted a general feeling on the product from others who have used them, or even heard about them. A member of our local club has one and says I’ll love it.

    2) Do the Kwik-Switch line-up fit the SPI? I’m thinking yes. I’m hoping to find a few ER32 holder for it.

    3) How good are the DA style collets. Would I want to stick with them? And for that matter, there has to be a web site that details identification of all these collet systems. Anyone care to provide a link? I seem to recall seeing a site that compared the different systems and what they were best at, pro/con, accuracy, repeatability, that sort of thing. But can’t find it tonight. I did find http://www.collistool.com/collets.htm but seems like I’ve seen a more complete site somewhere. If it is DA, then it looks like I’ve got 1 each of DA 100, 200, and 300 holders. cording to specs on http://www.craftsmanindustries.com/dacollets.htm

    Or maybe get a few nice DA collets for major cutter sizes, and maybe an extra holder or 2 so I don’t have to swap collets all the time, then add an ER QC chuck with cheap ER25 import collet set (such as those where TIR is reported in the 0.001 range) and use them exclusively for drills so I can ditch the drill chucks and save on cranking the knee!!!

    What say you? I’m already really tired of cranking the knee and fiddling with that draw bar all the time, and I haven’t even been doing it long enough to rank as a novice yet! Seems like with a few tweaks, this set would be pretty much ideal for anything other than heavier stuff (like fly cutting, face/shell mill, large 4-6” dia. mills (the ones you use on an arbor), etc.) and stuff requiring the absolute best rigidity or most compact setup (for space). And honestly, this is so compact, it really doesn’t take up any more z-space than a typical end mill holder...
    Russ
    Master Floor Sweeper

  • #2
    The weakest link in a Bridgeport is the wimpy spindle. It's a long way from the lower bearing to the tool even in a collet. The more stuff you add (quick change tooling etc) the further the cutting edges are away from the spindle bearings. That QuikSwitch is a very good compromise offering the best speed of tool change and close coupling of all the contenders over the years. It's not hard to make new tooling to fit it either - setscrew endmill holders etc.

    Anyway, you done good. Remember it's intended for drilling and light milling. Don't try to run shell mills, extension endmills, and carbide face mills in it because it plain aint designed for that kind of stress.

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    • #3
      Thanks Forest. I figured it was best to keep it to light milling, and it's good to see confirmation of my impressions. In fact, I listed the same set of "avoid these" operations in my last paragraph above.

      As for making tooling, hadn't thought about that. The taper should be easy and short enough to do with the cross slide on my Rockwell, but those tangs would seem to be a problem. I guess when you turn the taper, you just leave a disk on the taper at that location, and then mill off what it not a tang using a rotary table?

      Any thoughts on the collet questions?
      Russ
      Master Floor Sweeper

      Comment


      • #4
        BadDog,
        In my shop I use three different collet systems, DA, ER and TG. I use the DA for drilling, ER for light duty end mills and the TG for heavy cutting. I use DA300, DA200 and DA180, ER16, ER32 and TG75, TG100. The DA collets are not as accurate and don't hold as well as the ER or TG so that is why they only see drill bits, inaccurate collets can kill end mills very quickly. ER collets are very accurate even most of the import ones. ER collets are also reasonably priced. The TG collets are also very accurate and can hog material like crazy, but cost more. Yesterday I was running a 3/8" 3F EM at 7500RPM, 160.IPM and .375"DOC with a TG100 collet. I'm sure with a DA collet it would have pulled the EM right out of the collet.
        Mark Hockett

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        • #5
          Awww shoot! I was hoping it would be the other way around since it would save me quite a bit to buy a cheap set of ERs. According to some of the posts/pages I've seen, the cheap ERs are sometimes showing TIR of up to 0.001, which I don't think a carbide end mill would appreciate. And the good ones (like ETM) are rather pricey for a set. That's why I thought a cheap set of ERs for drills (who cares about 0.001 TIR) and DA (that I thought was the more accurate) only in sizes needed for typical end mills would be great. <sigh> I saw that "DA for drilling" in the site I linked earlier, but thought I recalled seeing otherwise somewhere else...
          Russ
          Master Floor Sweeper

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