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collet chuck question/opinion

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  • collet chuck question/opinion

    I am looking to get a collet chuck for my 4003 Grizzly lathe, and have been looking at the Bison chuck that Enco sells. Is there any advantage to this type of chuck over the draw bar type. There is a difference in price but I am more concerned with ease and accuracy of use.

  • #2
    I have a Bison Set-tru 5c collet chuck for my lathe. It is very nicely made and easy to use. However, changing collets takes a while (and many, many turns of the chuck-wrench). I really prefer a lever-style collet-closer over any other collet system because it is much faster to use. Sadly, a lever-style collet closer isn't available for my lathe, which is why I got the Bison.


    • #3
      Anything added to the lathe spindle will add another layer of tooling and potential for runout. The direct mounting spindle nose adapter and drawbar or lever closer will be the most accurate, and probably most economical.
      Jim H.


      • #4
        You could find yourself an old Harding Sjogren 5C or 2J collet chuck. I have the factory spindle nose on my 10EE and picked up a Sjogren 2J collet chuck a couple months ago and just got a set of collets x 16ths round and square a couple days ago. Parts are still available for these chucks.

        The 2J's will go to 1-3/8" round and 1" square.

        Another option is finding an old Jacobs rubberflex chuck. These are supposed to be really nice. 6 collets to cover an entire work range.

        All of these chucks are available with various backs so you should be able to adapt something.


        • #5
          ER series

          Why use the "C" series of collet?

          Why not use the ER series as they have no and need no draw bar and each collet has a gripping range of 1.0mm (0.040") and so will cope with inch and metric.

          I have an ER-32 adaptor for my lathe and I am very satisfied with it. I bought it from either or (USA).

          It is fitted directly to the spindle flange on the lathe. I made sure that there is 0.002">0.004" clearance between the adaptor and the flange. I just "nip" the mounting screws, put a test bar or the job in the collet I want to use, put a Test (or plain) Dial Indicator (DI) on the test bar (or the job) and rotate the lathe by hand and "tap" the flange of the collet adaptor until the total indicated run-out is as accurate as I need. I then tighten the mounting screws and check to see that the TIR is still OK and then I am ready to go.

          This is a "tap true" version of the much-vaunted (and much more expensive) "set true" feature and process. It is in effect the same principle as setting (up) a a 4-jaw chuck.


          • #6
            Sorry to butt in on this thread but it has reminded me to ask the question - just how are the collets held in the 5C chuck, ie do you have to wind the handle to pull the collet into the chuck, if so it doesnt seem to be all that speedy with multiple turns.
            I have tools I don't know how to use!!


            • #7
              Yes I believe the Bison 5C adapter does require a lot of turns. I believe someone suggested an electric screwdriver or drill with a mating piece in the chuck to turn the chuck rapidly. Cheap drills can be had from a variety of sources and can be kept at the lathe just for this purpose.

              I have been debating between making a Bison like adapter for 5Cs or making one like Oldtiffie shows for the ERs. The only disadvantage for the ERs that I can see is that you can only find round ones. It is easy to find square and hex collets for the 5C series. Perhaps I need both. Aaaaagh!
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

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


              • #8
                Metal Lathe Accessories sell a set of castings and instructions for building your own 5C collet chuck. It is very nice!


                • #9
                  I would recommend the drawbar type collet chuck over the wrench operated type, and if you have small production runs I would go the lever operated chuck, they are much faster and more consistent.
                  The 5-C system has the most versatility of any collet system I've seen. You can get the standard round, square, and hex collets, soft collets, expanding collets, pot collets, stock stops for secondary operations, and so on.
                  The only advantage I can see for the ER style collets, is the gripping range of each collet.


                  • #10
                    With ERs you are limited to short length stock. No through spindle which really comes in handy. Like Harry said, with 5C and 2J collets there are a whole lot of shapes available, square, hex, rectangular. Plus there are emergency collets which can be bored out to hold special parts. Plus there are internal collets as well.


                    • #11
                      As an alternative to the Bison collet chuck(currently on backorder at Enco, BTW) and the D1-4 backplate for the same (total cost $440) you could order the Grizzly collet adaptor for the G4026 collet closer (part # P4026001) for about $40 and make the rest of the collet closer for about $30. There have been several articles in HSM on how to do this (search the index for HSM) or do a search on the yahoo 12 x 36 lathe group on more info and photos. After reading how long it takes to remove a collet from a 5c collet chuck it makes me think I can operate my manual system about as fast and for about $370 less in cost. $370 will buy a lot of 5c collets and other stuff.


                      • #12
                        Not so.

                        Sorry macona, but my ER-32 set and adapters (other than for the mill spindle adaptor) have a pass/right through capacity in excess of my largest ER-32 collet (20mm ~ 0.800").

                        The same applies to my "Spindexer" (John Stevenson's invention/design) which uses both my C5 and ER-32 collets both of which range up to 20mm. The C5 collets are fastened/loosened via a fine-threaded draw-bar and the ER-32 collets are adjusted by the "C" spanner on the "nose" of the adaptor.

                        I also use my ER-32 adaptor on my mill table and rotary table where the front adjustment is a real asset. The "built-in" "tap-true" adjustment makes setting it up concentric to the rotary table and the mill spindle very easy - all at no extra cost.

                        Because of the relatively large number of "cuts" in the ER collets compared to C5 or morse taper and the over-lapping 1.0mm (0.040") adjustment range inherent in the ER series, I have no real problems holding square or hexagonal stock. Hex is no problem anyway as I have a similar "tap-true" adjustment on the chuck-to-flange connection on my lathe so I can "true it up" and use my 3-jaw chuck as a collet very easily, very quickly if needs be - and at no additional cost. For most other shapes (square??) I can mount soft-jaws on my 3-jaw chuck and bore them out to suit. It doesn't take long and it too is very effective.

                        I have a 3-jaw chuck (also with soft-jaws) that is bolted to the lathe and the mill table or rotary table direcly via 3 hex socket screws which pass through the front face of the chuck to the lathe flange, rotary table or mill table as required - with "tap-true" adjustment as well.

                        My C5 collets came with my Tool & Cutter grinder else I would neither need nor have them as my ER32 collets have done all that I need so far.

                        Its "horses for courses".

                        What I do/have suits me and may not suit others.

                        Tread your own path.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the feed back I do apprecate the responses, think I have talked myself into the draw bar type as speed is not an issue for my home shop. Besides I like the idea of less over hang since it is a 36 inch bed I push the limits once in a while.and the draw bar is cheeper than a chuck and back plate.


                          • #14
                            Amost the same as Old Tiffie

                            I've gone in the same direction as old Tiffie but with ER40. using the collet chuck from Chester UK about £40 I can get the so I can realise the full thru headstock bar capacity of my lathe - from 2mm to 26mm. However I can see that for Old Tiffie and me making up adapter plates is a alot cheaper/easier for us than for someone with a cam lock spindle. (I have no option with a Barker bar Bed but to hew them out of cast iron round bar slices at £28 each). in my case collets will be used in MT3 adapters for the tailstock and mill, and eventually INT 40 for the dividing head and possiblly int 30 for the other mill spindle.