making a collet holder for a a type of Utility Set For The Watchmakers Lathe

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by davestanda, May 1, 2012.

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  1. davestanda

    davestanda Registered User

    May 23, 2011
    i recently saw this type of lathe tool... ..i would like to try to make on for myself..the table seems pretty easy to make but i was looking for any info on making the collet holder..i was thinking of some sort of the sameting as a colletholding screwhead polisher..also i was thinking of making a collet holder runner for my tailstock..instead of spending 200 dollars on a pre made one..if anyone has any plans or ideas or websites, i would be extremely grateful..thank you
  2. StephanG

    StephanG Registered User

    Jun 24, 2007
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    Measure one of your own collets and your own lathe and work backwards from that. Should be able to get everything you need from the pictures.
  3. davestanda

    davestanda Registered User

    May 23, 2011
    thanks,but how would you make the collet holder?
  4. flynwill

    flynwill Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Rolling Hills Estates, CA
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    The collet holder looks pretty straight-forward to me, but you will need a bigger lathe than your watchmaker's lathe. Piece of square stock. Center in your four-jaw chuck (as accurately as you possibly can since you are going to use the sides of the stock as index surfaces). Bore a through hole of 0.314 - 0.316 (depending on which brand of collet you like). Cut the 20 degree taper in the mouth (this is the other place where accuracy ready matters I would probably try to use your lathe spindle as a reference for the angle). Fabricating the draw bar can get tricky. There are taps with the proper thread size sold on EBay, and also "generic drawbars", I'd be tempted to just buy one of the latter and cut it down for the purpose. All in all I'd say $200 was probably a fair price for the pre-made unit. Sherline sells an index block set which is the same basic idea, but physically quite a bit larger, but you can get adapters for it to hold 8mm collets. However you'll end up spending pretty close to that same $200.
  5. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    Some time ago I bought a square collet holder for 8 mm collets from a Chinese source through ebay. A lot cheaper than say the Levin. I could make one of my own, but the bought-in one is hardened and ground, for both of which I have no capability. If I was to make my own, I would start with a piece of round steel, drill/bore the hole and bore the cone seat for the collet. I then would mill the four flats onto the round steel, using an arbor in the predrilled hole, between centres in a indexing apparatus. This would ensure that the four flats are concentric with the axis of the collet holder. Doing it the other way round, trying to drill exactly down the centre of of a square block is likely to be not successful with the light equipment we usually have.

    The Chinese collet holder does not use a draw bar, but just a nut. Some years ago I was able to buy a Hardinge collet block, but the drawbar was missing. It was not really difficult to make one. The handwheel was turned from brass and pressed onto a knurled section on its end. Over the last few years taps for the various collets became available again, either directly from China or through western importers.

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