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5c collet closer handwheel type fitment/bearing questions

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  • 5c collet closer handwheel type fitment/bearing questions

    When I first got my Lathe, I bought a used closer, unknown brand. Just a handwheel and a tube. It was too long so I cobbled a spacer/stepped collar.. the step inserting into back of spindle.

    Anyways, working my way through the long list of 'things to do proper' and the closer is next up. What is the best way go about it? I plan to shorten the tube first off. Are thrust bearings generally employed? If so, type? And to align the tube shaft in the spindle.. cone? Stepped collar?

    Fwiw, even with my stop gap fix, slippage has never been an issue.

    I've done some image searching and can't find anything conclusive...

  • #2
    I recently did my own 5C adapter and draw bar for my own lathe. You can see it in the "Shop Made Tools" thread. Or in my pictures album here on the forum.

    I opted for simple and went with just a 45° taper at the end of a step which is a close but slip fit in the tail end of the head stock. The taper makes it self centering as I gain tension. I just put a smear of good grease on the taper and it's working like a charm. A MODERATE hand bump on the wrench in the pictures with the spindle locked by engaging back gear is able to easily hold 7/8 stock for turning with a fairly heavy .070 DOC. So for my case I just don't see a need for a thrust bearing.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada


    • #3
      I've had both: A factory made (maker unknown) handwheel closer, that used a conical seating element with a ball thrust bearing between it and the handwheel, and a homebrew unit I made myself, that just had a fixed conical seat.

      The roller model was far smoother and more pleasant to use, while the plain model galled in short order (mild steel cone) and felt rough and sticky both opening and closing. The roller version never came unlocked on me, but I admit I worried about it.

      If it were me, I'd split the difference- use a separate conical element, but instead of a roller bearing, use a hard steel thrust washer, or one in bearing bronze, or even one of thin teflon or Delrin.

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


      • #4
        Of the half dozen or more 5C equipped lathes I have (or had) none use any type of conical centering. The draw tubes have about .010 to .020" clearance in the tail end of the spindle. One I recall used a set screw centering collar over the rough machined end of the spindle. (If a lathe didn't come from the factory ready for a collet closer there's no assurance the ID of the spindle tail end will be concentrically machined.)

        Only one for sure didn't have a roller thrust bearing, just hardened steel contact surfaces, that's on a Hardinge mill. It has a smallish hand wheel, a pin to lock the spindle and a factory supplied "cheater" handle fitting over the hand wheel for final tightening leverage. Without that leverage I'd want a thrust bearing.

        I've shortened two 5C draw tubes. Quality ones are heat treated on the end where the collet threads are. I wanted to preserve those smooth hardened threads. I cut the tubes in the middle, bored one piece, turned the other down to fit into the bored one, sleeved them together and silver soldered the joint.
        Last edited by DR; 04-19-2017, 08:52 AM.


        • #5
          Thanks all. It has a very thin hard chrome washer between the wheel and spacer now. I plan to shorten tube on hand wheel end...looks straight forward. The wheel was not designed to use a wrench.


          • #6
            I finally got this project wrapped up. The hard washer mentioned above was actually a thrust bearing race. Once I had everything measured up, I only had to take .250 off the threaded end, turn the handle shaft a bit to fit through gear cover hole, and make a spacer that slip fits over rear spindle and is held in place with a set screw. Now there's nearly full thread engagement on a loaded collet, and the handle protrudes a usable amount out the back with the gear cover closed. Closes up tight and spins wobble free.