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Collet Closer Finished ... finally

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  • Collet Closer Finished ... finally

    This closer has been a long term process. It was on the lathe when I brought it home a little better than a year ago, and it's taken until now to finally get it right. I learned a lot from doing it and again I need to extend my personal thanx to all of you who have helped me along the way.

    The 1st thing that irked me about it was the way it mounted. It screwed on in place of the take up nut on the end of the spindle and completely blocked access to the gear cover. I've got a QCBox but having to release the bearing pre-load just to get the gear cover open however infrequently bothered me. So I went with 2 pieces where the original had one.

    First an extended take up nut ....

    The bevel on the corner lets the gearcover slide by nicely and no, this wasn't my 1st attempt at this part! My early efforts were so far off the end of the closer was floppin' up and down in the air going ga-dung, ga-dung, ga-dung. It was horrible.

    Next is the mating piece that supports the closer.

    The hardened ring with the 24 holes in it is OE but I made the part under it and that was a real tricky dicky deal. It butts against the back of the spindle much like a chuck does on the front so having parallel surfaces is critical. Otherwise the hardened ring would be cocked off. Soft jaws saved the day but I'll bet a surface grinder woulda been handy ......

    The 3 mounting screws for the ring have oversized holes so I set the runout with those and then doweled it just like I learned here. .127 pins cuz the existing locating holes in the ring were wollered a little, but a half thou under and over carbide reamers did the job very nicely. I was all jazzed over that!

    That hardened ring at under .001 in both planes is probably the most accurate work I've ever done in my entire life.

    Here's a pic of the mounted assy.

    There's a lock pin in there I made you can't see that engages the ring. The original was worn down to a nub and wouldn't engage half the time. Used O1 on it and attempted hardening but not sure how well I did. But hey, if it don't last ..... I'll make another.

    The original bearing was a swedged in affair and definitely on the chunky side. Again with the help and advice I receive here on an ongoing basis I made up a new and redesigned mount for the bearing. An .002 pressfit and a snap ring for insurance are doin' the job.

    Made the last pieces for it just last night. It was linked to the hinge pin with a piece of all thread but I wanted a quick disconnect type set up. That knob on the right with the ugly knurling, (need to work on that), is actually a loose fitting pin. Once the pin is out the link I made slips out along with the drawbar tube and it's off. That leaves the hardened ring still blocking the gearcover but that's easy enough. The main thing is I won't have to release the pre-load on my spindle bearings to get in there.

    So Thanx again guys. I learned a lot from this one .....


  • #2
    Nice job,making attachments to fit exisiting machines is always fun,so if you only had to fight with one piece your getting good at it
    I just need one more tool,just one!


    • #3
      Very nice!

      I wish someone would do an article on building a lever-operated closer from scratch. They're hard to find at any kind of reasonable price.

      I notice 800watt is selling drawtubes with nothing on either end. Maybe folks are making their own closers from them.


      Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


      • #4
        I agree.nice looking job. Love running collets in a lathe.


        • #5
          Very nice job! I thought I was doing good to make a tube closer. Keep up the good work.