Lathe collets

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Lefpanhorf, Apr 6, 2020.

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  1. Lefpanhorf

    Lefpanhorf Registered User
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    Wanting to buy a lathe and I see different makes all saying 8mm, my question is will collet makes fit other makes of lathe as long as they are 8mm?
     
  2. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    No, absolutely not. There are a few (several?) different flavors of 8mm collet. The most common are 'WW standard', which is the type of lathe you want to buy. It will be much easier to find collets and accessories if you buy an 8mm WW standard lathe.
     
  3. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    The first question should be, are you doing watch or clock work? The 8mm is designed for watchmaking, but is the wrong lathe for clock work in my opinion. For the latter you should have something like the Sherline. Full disclosure, I am a Sherline dealer, but I have both that and a watchmakers lathe and the Sherline is the one used daily
     
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  4. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    You could get hold of a copy of DeCarlè's book 'The watchmaker's and Model Engineer's Lathe'. The book describes what was historically produced and what you may encounter on the second market. There is also a table that lists the exasct dimensions of 8 mm, 6.5 mm and 6 mm collets for each make. From this you can deduct compatibilities.

    Starting to build a usable outfit for a secondhand watchmakers lathe can take quite a while an be rather costly these days. So a careful analysis of the anticipated need is a good idea.

    As you are in the USA, a Sherline lathe might be a good starting point, as you can use 8 mm collets with an adapter on them. So you can build up some 8 mm spindle tooling that you can also use on a watchmakers lathe (if compatible) for finer work. Sherline themselves sell 8 mm and 'WW' collets. The WW-collets are compatible with Lorch-lathes. I don't know, whether they are compatible with Boley-lathes and their clones, which seem to be more common in the USA.
     
  5. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Lefpanhorf,

    Levin, Derby, Peerless will interchange on an American made WW lathe. Schublin fits as well.

    It is important to have a full run of collets from one maker. One maker's size 11 can be another maker's 12 and yet a 10 from another. A full set of Levin collets is worth the price and eliminates time spent hunting for the odd collet.

    Be aware that Derby made Derby Large and Magnus collets as well.

    I advise people to not bother with unhardened collets like Starret which is not associated with the venerable tool maker.

    Some American named lathes (Paulson) were made in Europe and probably want Boley collets.

    I believe it is the Peerless lathe which has the shortened spindle which will not accommodate some of the usual accessories.

    Truth be told, for most things a watchmaker does, a nice 6mm stick lathe serves well (Lorch, Bolely, Star) and can be found inexpensive in a complete set because everyone wants a Levin WW.

    Good luck. Good equipment is hard to find today. A used Vector (new German used by the schools) can be a good choice. And depending on your expected working life and intentions, you cannot go wrong with a new/used Horia. I have seen both of these lately on the auction site.
     
  6. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User

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    It would be best to avoid Peerless collets unless you have a Peerless lathe. Peerless used a curved taper on the end of the collet while everyone else used a straight conical taper. If I recall correctly Peerless made three different collets ,only one of which had the straight taper. The Peerless headstock also used the curved taper instead of the straight taper. The Peerless collets will work in a WW lathe, but don't true-up consistently and can be damaged by over-tightening.
     
  7. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    What kind of work do you want to do on the lathe?
     
  8. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User

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    Peerless on left, Levin on right. The lengths can be accommodated with a spacer or drawbar, but the taper can't. For most collets the differences can be compensated for with a different drawbar. The most common difference between the collets you run into is the non-standardized threads, but they are all fairly close.

    Mark Butterfield is right about the watchmakers lathe not being large enough for most clockwork.

    Peerless&Levin.jpg
     
  9. Lefpanhorf

    Lefpanhorf Registered User
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    It's a good thing I asked, I didn't realize there was so much to watch for.
     
  10. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    #10 DeweyC, Apr 9, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    Smudgy,

    I believe you are showing and describing a Mosely Connoidal, not a Peerless collet. The Peerless works well in any American Made lathe without the spacer required to accommodate the extra length of the Mosely collet. This is why I did not recommend Mosely.

    Please see the pics below. Click to expand to read the markings.

    IMG_0314.JPG IMG_0315.JPG
     
  11. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Dewey is correct. Your collet on the left is a Moseley conoidal which is longer and has the conoidal shape. Peerless made 8mm WW lathes, although sometimes their collets are found to be 0.01-.02mm oversized and may not fit in other brand lathes. (I have, in the past, had Peerless collets returned to me because of this. Now I always try them in my Derbyshire before shipping.)
     
  12. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    For Horological work either watch or clock, I would also suggest the capability to utilize either WW or 8mm collets because of the wide range of available holding options. If purchasing used collets, one must be familiar with your lathe spindle requirements and order/purchase based on dimensions rather than brand name only. The Moseley collet being discussed is an excellent example of this.
    While the Moseley Conoidal collet is a particular style of collet, Moseley also made a longer collet dimensioned the same as a 8mm collet that will fit most common 8mm Lathes. Of course for non Moseley lathes requires a drawbar bushing to compensate for the longer collet. Both examples can be seen in the first photo. In addition, many manufactures made collets for various lathes including the Moseley conoidal as can be seen in the second attached photo.

    As collets become more expensive, less common styles are still occasionally available in sets that are reasonable in price. If your Lathe has a large enough spindle bore to utilize an adaptor, in can open up many options not available to a dedicated spindle.

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_54f.jpeg fullsizeoutput_550.jpeg
     
  13. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User

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    You're right, I confused myself. Sorry to clutter the thread.
     

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