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Lever collet closers - how to operate

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  • Lever collet closers - how to operate

    First, the only collet closer I've ever used was a handwheel version on a '70s Webb. Worked great.

    I've got a 5C lever closer that came w my 15" Leblond Servoshift - I just can't figure the damn thing out 100%. Based upon the color and texture of the paint, it sure looks like a factory deal but I can't find any Leblond manuals online that make mention of a collet closer.

    A picture of one installed and locked would probably be great. I've been searching but closest I came was this
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=43698

    I've also found shots of the 5C adapter in a spindle nose, but that's self-explanatory. I need shots of the rear of the headstock.

    Question 1: Specifically, I seem to be missing the actual lever your hand would touch. I see a threaded hole (maybe 5/16 or 3/8" coarse) where the lever should be. I'm just not sure if the lever is supposed to be straight or?

    Question 2: I'm not fully understanding how the closer stays locked closed. I've got three teeth that ride up a taper, but they never seem to engage anything?

    Question 3: I've got an odd "button" that seems to determine when the closer freewheels, allowing you to spin the knurled body by hand, and when it locks, but I'm not completely clear on its operation.

    Question 4: more general: at the spindle adapter, do I really need the pin which engages the flat in the OD collet threads? Much like R8 seems to me this is not really necessary, and would allow me to spin the collet by hand until it engages its taper a bit. The handwheel closer I used had no pin and it was really nice to be able to spin the collet by hand.

    Oh, and I'll get pics but the wife has the camera and I really need to get this going ASAP.

  • #2
    Digging thru search results further I found some pics here
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=40144

    but I'm still in need of understanding how mine is supposed to stay locked and be released.

    Comment


    • #3
      Question 1: Specifically, I seem to be missing the actual lever your hand would touch. I see a threaded hole (maybe 5/16 or 3/8" coarse) where the lever should be. I'm just not sure if the lever is supposed to be straight or?
      -The lever can be anything. Whatever fits and works.

      When I got my Logan lathe, the closer simply had a chunk of 7/16" stainless rod threaded on one end, as the lever. It worked, but wasn't particularly comfortable and didn't look right. I made a replacement out of some 5/8" steel with an old angle-grinder handle as a knob.

      The lever on a Monarch 10EE has a sort of dogleg in it, to move the handle closer to the operator. All you need is something you can reach, in whatever shape is comfortable, and made out of something strong enough to hold up.

      Question 2: I'm not fully understanding how the closer stays locked closed. I've got three teeth that ride up a taper, but they never seem to engage anything?
      -You won't see it "lock" until it's mounted, with a collet, and with a workpiece in the collet. On mine (mostly Royals or close clones) there's two or three "fingers" that ride up a short cone, then "trip" over to the outer rim of the cone. It's kind of an overcentering thing, and again, it needs to be installed and properly adjusted before it'll do so.

      Question 3: I've got an odd "button" that seems to determine when the closer freewheels, allowing you to spin the knurled body by hand, and when it locks, but I'm not completely clear on its operation.
      -That's the adjustment. You install the closer, the nose taper, the collet, and then the workpiece. You make sure that button (small lever) is open, letting the collar spin more or less freely. You spin that collar to screw the drawtube onto the collet.

      Adjusting is pretty simple- put a workpiece in the collet, and screw the drawtube in, but not all the way. You keep trying the lever, and adjusting the collar, until you feel the lever get snug as it 'trips over', and the workpiece is held securely. As in, turn collar a bit, push lever. Is the workpiece held tightly? If not, open lever, turn the collar again. Repeat until the workpiece is held solidly, and the lever "trips" or "locks" as you push it.

      Then, flip that little lever (or button) on the collar back down (so it's flush with the outer surface of the collar) and twist the collar slightly 'til the lever locks into a groove. (At which point it'll be flush.)

      Question 4: more general: at the spindle adapter, do I really need the pin which engages the flat in the OD collet threads?
      -Yes, definitely. The collet closer like this was designed for multiple parts, production runs of hundreds or even thousands of pieces. Without the pin, the collet can unscrew from the drawtube as it's cycled open and closed, and as it unscrews, the grip on the part reduces, and if you're trying to make multiple identical pieces, the distance from the spindle nose changes and throws off your dimensions. (Admittedly not really a factor for people using the collet for a single job, but it is important.

      Doc.
      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Doc, thank you! I had it installed today but basically just bottomed the drawtube in the collet, being that I'm used to the handwheel style perhaps. I'll try adjusting tomorrow as you suggest.

        Yeah, I'm not worried about the lever now that I know it's just a straight piece; at first I thought it had to hinge and lock/bind against the headstock body in some fashion too (before I understood it's supposed to "cam" and essentially self-lock).

        I'm guessing w/out a lever of minimal length I may be lacking proper leverage to "over center" the assy too...... Turns out the lever threads are 1/2-13 so it'll be easy enough to make something for the short term.

        Comment


        • #5
          A big thanks again. With a bit of work I got this going.

          I've read some of the debates on the board but I definitely see the advantage of the lever closer for production runs. With a stop threaded into my collet I was banging out parts in no time - - and let's face it: slamming that lever back and forth is just fun.

          I searched further thru the cabinet 'o doom and found the lever itself. The one I have isn't elegant but it's got a nice hard rubber on it, which is perfect for hands coated in cutting oil.

          My lever wobbles around noticeably but it appears to be mostly due to slop in the various pivot points. If I gently hold the handle it stops moving.

          Comment


          • #6
            Try adjusting the adjusting screws in the ring around the bearing. If the screws don't have jam nuts, you should consider adding them.
            The closer on my 10EE seems to get out of adjust quite easily, but I think the problem is a worn pin, or bushings, on the headstock bracket.
            Harry

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            • #7
              When I can use it I like the lever closer. Nice quick tool changes!

              Video of me using mine, not changing tools but running the lathe using the closer.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0vk2SQRQnQ
              Andy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by beckley23
                Try adjusting the adjusting screws in the ring around the bearing. If the screws don't have jam nuts, you should consider adding them.
                The closer on my 10EE seems to get out of adjust quite easily, but I think the problem is a worn pin, or bushings, on the headstock bracket.
                Harry
                Hmm, the top of my bearing surround does have a black socket head cap screw (which honestly looks a bit too long, making me think it's not factory) and a jam nut.

                I didn't even think about adjusting, but good idea!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's another sorta-related question:

                  the cabinet 'o doom had an L-mount nose protector. I also read the debates on the necessity of this but I do like the idea of the retaining ring NOT rattling around.

                  My nose protector had two holes drilled and tapped around the outside circumference, probably only 20 degrees apart or so. I'd guess 10-32 but didn't check. Any guesses as to what the holes are for?

                  I've got lots of pics now but the board appears to not allow attachments and I guess I'm too lazy to host them elsewhere - my loss.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The idea behind the protector ring is to use it for ejecting the collet adaptor. The one I had on my Harrison was aluminum and was servicable for its intended job, but I found it easier to knock the adaptor out with a bar through the spindle. A couple of easy bumps and it was out, and the for the naysayers of this method, the adaptor wasn't hurt.
                    BTW, it's a good personnal safety device for the times you're working very close to the spindle.
                    Harry

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      On a threared spindle the protector ring is not needed. But on a L spindle it must be used. I have seen one lathe that was run a very long time without one and it beat the nut and the spindle so bad that the nut would not stay on the spindle or hold the chucks on the spindle any longer. Ken

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                      • #12
                        collets : speed of loading parts

                        Loading parts in running 5c collet.



                        Jim

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