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  • ER Collets and Drill Bits

    I'm thinking about getting an ER32 collet set, with an R8 holder for my mill-drill and a collet chuck for my lathe, make it all one system for convenience. Using the same holder for both drilling and milling will be nice in the mill, because of the issues with round column alignment. Switching from the drill chuck to the R8 collets is a constant issue with only 4" quill length.

    eBay has lots of ER32 set offerings, I'm wondering if anyone can weigh in if the 16ths set would hold all the bits in a 64th drill set? How much larger than the nominal do the collets go when released? Can they reach up/down a 32nd from nominal to cover the range of drill shanks? I assume some small increase in runout will happen but it probably still beats the drill chuck.

    Thanks for the insights, gang.

  • #2
    Discussion here: http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...clamping-range

    Ken

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    • #3
      If you only wnat to buy one set of collets get a metric set in 1mm increments for more versatility. ER collets wont expand beyond their natural resting size (you shouldn't do this.....). They will however collapse 1mm or 0.04".

      For holding endmills and such, get fractional inch sizes in the shank size you need. While they do collapse 1mm, the more they collapse, the more potential for runout you introduce. Collets run truest at or very near the size they were ground at.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
        If you only wnat to buy one set of collets get a metric set in 1mm increments for more versatility. ER collets wont expand beyond their natural resting size (you shouldn't do this.....). They will however collapse 1mm or 0.04".

        For holding endmills and such, get fractional inch sizes in the shank size you need. While they do collapse 1mm, the more they collapse, the more potential for runout you introduce. Collets run truest at or very near the size they were ground at.
        Thanks for the link, I did a search but nothing stood out on the first page of results.

        Perhaps going for the set of 32nds (25pc) will be a better choice then. Cheaper than a 2-20mm metric and 16th fractional set combined. If they can move 1mm, they will be able to reach down the 1/64th for those drills, and the vast majority of my tooling and stock is fractional so I will be working at the nominal values almost all the time. The only time I'd have to go out of nominal is for holding a worked surface in the lathe, and the 64ths drills.

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        • #5
          I bought a full set of fractional ER16 & ER32 then filled in any available odd gaps between the fractional sizes with the appropriate metric sizes later. I used to have a list showing what those 'tween metric sizes were but can't find it right now. Seems like it was 7 maybe? They were organized on a homemade collet rack with labels signifying their decimal sizes; not fractional or metric. There are also a few larger than standard sizes too like 25/32" & 7/8" available from Maritool that really come in handy on a lathe.

          Drill chucks are for drill presses & hand drills!!
          Milton

          "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

          "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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          • #6
            I've been real happy using ER32 in 1mm increments up to 1/2 on my mill/drill for decades. Above that I just have a 3/4 for big cutters. I do have a 1/4 Jacobs on a 1/2 straight shaft that comes in handy for tiny bits or quick changing small ones. I have a regular collet set (C3?) and closer for my 10" lathe.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #7
              U.S. Shop Tools has a nice chart of their ER collets that lists the nominal sizes, useable range, etc.

              http://www.usshoptools.com/prod_page...%20130012_81_5

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              • #8
                I've got a set of ER32 collets in 1/16 increments, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I've used a 3/32 bit in a 1/8 collet, or thereabouts. I can also neither confirm nor deny that while that seems to be regarded as bad practice, it worked out alright. Allegedly.

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                • #9
                  Epic', always ready with a definite maybe, eh?

                  Looking at the preferred range from the Accu-Collets chart it looks like the range for smaller bore ER32's is only .02'ish. But in the larger bore sizes it's up to more like .04. I've noticed that some smaller size collets will have two slot widths. Large out where it doesn't matter than smaller in tight to presumably give more support to the small diameter stock. And that narrower slotting would seem to be indicated by the reduced compression range in the small bore sizes. So you might need to fill in with a few more collets with less gap in sizes under 1/8" or so.

                  Mind you another option in that case would be to find a good precision Jacob's chuck in 0-1/4" and mount that on a 1/2" stub that fits a collet. And in fact doing this on the smaller sizes could even again reduce the times you need to move the head up and down by making the smaller sizes roughly equal in length to the 1/4" and larger drill lengths. And it would avoid needing to buy a whole lot more collets.

                  If I were doing what you plan I think I'd also make up my own "drill and collet index" where I have the collets and drills all mixed up on one larger size board with the nominal size collet next to the same drill bit and the one or three sizes down sitting between that and the next size drill and nominal collet down from that. It would sure make grabbing and putting away the drills and collets a far faster and more obvious operation. Otherwise I could see a lot of time fussing about with picking a drill from one index and then reading the collet sizes to find the right collet. And with how poorly the sizes are often stamped or etched that could be annoying.

                  In any event it won't be me doing this. I'm too used to just spinning in and out the keyless chucks on my drill press and lathe to take a fairly regular progression of tapping drill, clearance drill then finish with a counter sink or counter bore. Doing those three things with a collet to fit each and the need to use the wrench on the clamping nut would drive me to drink... er... to MORE drink. I see where and why but I also think it could rapidly become one of those "be careful what you wish for" situations.
                  Last edited by BCRider; 10-19-2017, 04:20 PM.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    I have ER 32 collets in metric. I did add 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" sizes. I couldn't get the metric collets to hold the end mills when hand tightening. I didn't have three hand to hold the tool, the spindle brake and the collet wrench all at the same time. By using those fractional sizes I can hand tighten the collet enough to hold the tool in place. 5/8" and 3/4" hold by hand tightening the collet. Once the tool is held in the collet I have two hands free to hold the spindle brake and the collet wrench.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Illinoyance View Post
                      I have ER 32 collets in metric. I did add 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" sizes. I couldn't get the metric collets to hold the end mills when hand tightening. I didn't have three hand to hold the tool, the spindle brake and the collet wrench all at the same time. By using those fractional sizes I can hand tighten the collet enough to hold the tool in place. 5/8" and 3/4" hold by hand tightening the collet. Once the tool is held in the collet I have two hands free to hold the spindle brake and the collet wrench.
                      Hey! That's what your pinkie finger is for... Hold the collet wrench with your thumb and index finger and the pinkie keeps the endmill/drill from falling out while you tighten the draw ball with your other hand... EDIT: Assuming you've already snugged up the R8 collet holder first. now the draw bar turns the collet holder while you hold it with the wrench and your pinkie keeps the endmill from dropping while you tighten the collet nut.
                      Last edited by ; 10-19-2017, 04:49 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Illinoyance View Post
                        I have ER 32 collets in metric. I did add 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" sizes. I couldn't get the metric collets to hold the end mills when hand tightening. I didn't have three hand to hold the tool, the spindle brake and the collet wrench all at the same time. By using those fractional sizes I can hand tighten the collet enough to hold the tool in place. 5/8" and 3/4" hold by hand tightening the collet. Once the tool is held in the collet I have two hands free to hold the spindle brake and the collet wrench.
                        If you want carefree usage, you need to get one for each drill size or change to a toolholder like Tormach.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by elf View Post
                          If you want carefree usage, you need to get one for each drill size or change to a toolholder like Tormach.
                          Speak of the devil.. The ER20 R8 holders and ER20 collets I ordered last week just arrived from banggood.. I plan to setup 4 different tools in the 4 holders and keep them there until I need to change something.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                            Epic', always ready with a definite maybe, eh?
                            .
                            Well, if I actually did what I allegedly did someone would be jumping down my throat about how it's improper to compress an EAR collet more than a few thousand the and I'm destroying my tools and yadda yadda yadda.

                            Hypothetically of course

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by epicfail48 View Post
                              I've got a set of ER32 collets in 1/16 increments, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I've used a 3/32 bit in a 1/8 collet, or thereabouts. I can also neither confirm nor deny that while that seems to be regarded as bad practice, it worked out alright. Allegedly.
                              It's ok. I heard about a guy, from a friend, who used a 1/8" shank cutter in a 2-3mm holder once or ten times. I mean who does that......hacks.....

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