Building a 5C collet holder

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Hopsteiner

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I started this project to fill some time during the Covid shutdown. I’ve had a set of 5C collets for awhile, but they‘ve been of limited value. When I saw an article in an old issue of Home Shop Machinist for a collet adapter I was interested. I just finished the project and I’m very satisfied with a 2/10‘s runout result. More then adequate for a ‘hammer mechanic” such as myself. This is a picture of the collet body mounted on my drill press. Dowel holes for location and attach screws. You might be wondering about the old C clamp in the picture. It’s a feeble attempt to hold vertical location when the table is moved up or down.
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Hopsteiner

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Here are a few more photos of my 5C collet build and an explanation of them. I‘m going to start with the last photo first. The attach holes and dowel locating holes have been drilled. The adapter body has been mounted in the three jaw chuck and I’m parting off the portion which will mount on the lathe spindle threads. As you can see, I’ve gotten a little nervous. I decided to finish with my hack saw. In the first photo, I’m rough boring out the body of the chuck. Precise boring will come later. In the third photo, I’m showing a comparison of two threading tools. With the smaller one, I was doing more thread “chasing” than actually cutting. I had a “chuck‘ thread plug which I used to check the thread as I was cutting it. I decided with the smaller one, I was wasting my time. I made a heavier threading tool and rapidly finished the thread. The second photo shows the attached two pieces. Of the three dowels one is larger guaranteeing that reassembly is correct. More photos of the build to follow.
 

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Hopsteiner

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In the first photo, I’m finishing the thread which is 1 1/2-8 NC. In the second the fasteners and dowels have been added and the adapter body is mounted on the spindle. The third picture is just a finished shot of the two pieces put together. There are also three small set screws 3/4 inch long. These are push screws which allow you to push the threaded portion off the dowels. In the fourth picture I’ve mounted the unit on the drill press to drill two small holes 180 degrees apart, 5/16 inch by 3/8 inch deep. These holes with a tool which will be shown later, allow to leverage the adapter off the spindle. In the last picture, the compound has been accurately set to 10 degrees and the collet taper is being cut. To do this, I took a 5 inch sine bar with the appropriate spacer. I this case, if memory serves .862. With the use of heavy rubber bands the sine bar and spacer were attached to the adapter which mounted on the lathe. Then with an indicator mounted on the compound, I could traverse back and forth from one end of the sine bar to the other. When a zero indication is attained at both ends the compound is set to the desired angle. I hope I have made the process clear and only wish I would have taken a picture. More explanation and pictures to follow. Thanks for looking.
 

Hopsteiner

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In the first picture, I’m cutting the taper on the collet body. Nothing precise here, just lightening the mass. After this was cut, I ran it at a higher speed and cleaned the tool marks out with a file and abrasive paper. In the second picture, turning the collet holder out of stainless. I like stainless, because it doesn’t rust. And in a garage shop, well, you know. In the third picture, I’m milling hex wrench flats. I’ve taken a couple of nuts and bored them out to fit the shaft. I glued them on with crazy glue, so I could index to mill the flats. Afterward, I turned them off. The next photo shows the polished adapter body and the stainless steel collet holder. The collet threads into this holder. As you can see I have duplicate pictures which I’ve tried to delete. I’ve included one more picture of a cross section of the project. Thanks for looking.
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Hopsteiner

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These are Photos of the aluminum handle I made which attaches
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to the drawbar which pulls the collet in tight. I could have bought a handle from McMaster Carr for about $10 or 11 dollars, but I had the round stock. And we’re machinists, right, we can make anything. The first is just a rough in of the handle. Next I ground a form cutter to cut the radii. Then it was off to the mill/drill press really for roughing in the openings. I did some more profiling and a lot of handwork. In the last photo I’m tapping the handle with another tool I made. Thanks for looking.
 

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Hopsteiner

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In this group of photos, I’m showing you some not all of the parts to the 5C closer I built. The handwheel has been shaped. The drawbar is there, along with a collet stop for repetitive manufacture of duplicate parts. There is also a tool to hold the collet by sliding it on the collet , aligning it with the key which is in the foreground. This key will be silver soldered in the tool. Hasn’t been done yet. In the second photo you can see the spacer and handwheel on the drawbar. In the third photo, is a picture of my parting tool. You’ve probably never seen a tool quite this shape. Well, its modified by me. I needed a parting tool and wanted one with inserts. i bought one on Ebay. Not knowing what I was doing/buying, it was too large. I ground it to fit my holder. So far, has worked well. This last photo shows the apparatus almost complete. The pin in the spacer by the handwheel is an addition made by me. What I found When completed and mounted in the lathe, I could not remove the drawbar, it was captive in the spindle. My solution was to drill a perpendicular hole through the spacer for pin to allow me to remove the handle. Then the handle could be removed and the drawbar pulled out through the front of the lathe. Maybe not the most elegant solution, but it works.
 

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Hopsteiner

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Thanks, its been quite a project. It is finished at this point. Ive got a few more posts detailing the construction.
 

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In this project, once you put the collet body on the spindle, you need a way to remove it. This is part of the project, I wasn’t looking forward to making. It didn’t have any technical problems I had to solve. Just basically straight forward turning. But why not do the best job, I possibly can. I like making something out of nothing. I have a bunch of brass from an estate sale. You never know what you’re going to find at one of these. Pennies on the dollar. The last photo shows the turning of the handle. Well, if you turn it, you’ve got to knurl it. The next photo shows roughing out the ’business” end of the handle. The last photo shows the completed handle and how it is used.
 

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Hopsteiner

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In this project, once you put the collet body on the spindle, you need a way to remove it. This is part of the project, I wasn’t looking forward to making. It didn’t have any technical problems I had to solve. Just basically straight forward turning. But why not do the best job, I possibly can. I like making something out of nothing. I have a bunch of brass from an estate sale. You never know what you’re going to find at one of these. Pennies on the dollar. The last photo shows the turning of the handle. Well, if you turn it, you’ve got to knurl it. The next photo shows roughing out the ’business” end of the handle. The last photo shows the completed handle and how it is used.
 

Hopsteiner

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This is a picture of all the parts for the 5C collet closer. The small round piece in the center with the small brass handle holds the collet and allows you to thread the part stop into the collet. This stop is for repetitive parts. Don’t know if I’ll ever use it. But there it is. The next photo shows me indicating a 5C collet. I mentioned earlier in the build about the method i used to set the compound precisely. Well, the build was completed, the moment of truth. Have I achieved accuracy. It’s a relative term. Your three jaw is maybe within three thou, maybe closer. Well all this work and I had achieved 1 1/2 thousands concentricity. Where had I gone wrong. I need better. Im not building watches but.... When you have a problem sometimes its best to step back and think. Well, I had bought a tool post grinder about a year ago. Hadn’t used it yet. It’s a guy thing, you never know when.... Well, when had arrived, with much trepidation I must add. I’ve got three months in this project and this is the most important step. The third picture shows me dressing the wheel. I’ve set the compound. Just maybe 10 degrees Chinese is not 10 degrees American. Just maybe. Well,I started to lightly touch off on the taper. i was stunned. My heavy boring bar had ”sprung’ when I was cutting, even with light cuts. The final result of internal grinding yielded 2-10ths concentricity. More than adequate for a “hammer mechanic“ like me. This completes my journey and project. Thanks for looking. My next overlooked project is wiring my Round Ram Bridgeport so I can use it. I’m tired of using my Atlas milling attachment.
 

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RonW

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Hi hopsteiner, what make is your grinder? A few pictures of the unit itself would be nice. Most of the tool post grinders I've seen are huge and not terribly practical in a small shop setting. Yours looks a reasonable size. I see it's made in the US.
Congratulations on a good build. I'm just mounting a Chinese scroll type 5C but running into problems with one of the pinions jamming when you wind them in. There's a sharp bit some where that's catching. Just need to find it.
RonW
 

Hopsteiner

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Ron, it’s a Themac 40. I bought for $375 at the North American Model Exposition In Wyandott, MI. They didn’t hold it this year. If you’ve never attended, its worth going. You’ll be stunned at what these guys make, amazing. You see them on ebay occasionally. I bought the diamond dresser separate on ebay. You have to have one, $20 bucks. I just attached it to my 3 jaw To dress the wheel. This a very well made unit from the 50’s or 60’s. Hope this helps. Oh, by the way, use a pair of cut up blue jeans to protect your lathe from the grit.
 

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Hopsteiner

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It’s always interesting trying to sort a problem with something you’ve just bought. Hope you can take it apart, use dye chem to find the offending part. Regards
 

RonW

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Ron, it’s a Themac 40. I bought for $375 at the North American Model Exposition In Wyandott, MI. They didn’t hold it this year. If you’ve never attended, its worth going. You’ll be stunned at what these guys make, amazing. You see them on ebay occasionally. I bought the diamond dresser separate on ebay. You have to have one, $20 bucks. I just attached it to my 3 jaw To dress the wheel. This a very well made unit from the 50’s or 60’s. Hope this helps. Oh, by the way, use a pair of cut up blue jeans to protect your lathe from the grit.
Thanks Hopsteiner, I just looked up their website and they still make them. Yours now sells for $2165. I think you got a bargain.
RonW
 
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