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ddickey

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#1
Are there some good alternatives to R8 quick change tooling?
I haven't looked into Tormach TTS much but I came across an Erickson R8-NMTB30 quick change at an auction that sparked an interest in learning more. I find changing collets and then to a drill chuck, changing the table height to get the chuck in place a pain in the arse. I'm not willing to give up any rigidity though.
I see there is an Ultron Snap Change R8 Tool Change System up for auction here this week.
 
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RJSakowski

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#2
I use the Tormach TTS system on both my Tormach machine and my old mill drill. In my mind, a quick change system has the ability to change tooling quickly and without losing tool height registration. The TTS system uses the R8 collet to hold the 3/4" TTS shank and to draw the flange of the TTS holder tight to the face of the spindle. Upon releasing the drawbar tension, a light tap on the drawbar will release the TTS tooling.The relatively short length (1-3/8") of the shank means minimal clearance is required for a tool change.

I use the ER20 collets but holders are available for ER16 and ER32. I also have a boring head set up for the TTS system and rnd mill holders for Weldon tooling. When I need to use larger tooling, I can fall back to my R8 collets. I use a digital dial indicator to set my tool height. It is permanently set up in one of my TTS holders. I set my zero height reference on my work and zero out my off side height gage with it. Tool height settings are then done off side which means I can change end mills, drills, etc. without disrupting work in progress.

To effectively use the system, multiple collets and tool holders are required. Minimally, one should have enough holders to accommodate the tools needed to complete a job. I have 16 collet holders, 6 end mill holders, and 6 drill chucks in various sizes. Four are dedicated to an edge finder, the dial indicator, a laser centering device, and a simple point for rough x-y positioning.

As to disadvantages of the TTS system, the main one is that adding to the drive chain will necessarily increase runout. I suspect that rigidity is lost as well. There is a cost factor because of the TTS tooling holders but ER collets are cheap compared to other collets. I have multiple collets for the common end mill shank sizes as well as a full metric set for use with drills.
 

TomS

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#3
I have the Ultron Snap Change system on my mill and like it a lot. They are still being made by and old German guy in Long Beach, CA. Be forewarned that if you get him on the phone he doesn't want to quit talking, LOL.

There is no adapter holder/collet so overhang is minimal. Tool changes are quick and easy, similar to the TTS system. Instead of a power drawbar used on the TTS you raise and lower the quill about an inch to release and lock in the collet. So no advantage or disadvantage there. The collets are secured in the spindle with a gripper and integral pull stud to the collet. No chance of tool pullout but I understand the TTS system when setup properly really doesn't have this problem either.

The downside is new collets are a bit expensive, e.g. about $100 each. However, used collets can be found on eBay from time to time for about half that. The collets are heat treated (hard as hell!) but very accurate. While the TTS system has a large following if you can get a Ultron Snap Change system that is complete and comes with an assortment of collets I would seriously consider it.

If you need more info let me know.
 

ddickey

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#4
How much extension do you need to keep the tool in?
I see a possible problem in finishing a cut and open your quill lock and the tool falls out. Is that concern?
If you don't have a collet for a certain tool and need to use an R8 what is the process to use an R8. Looks like you'd have to take the top piece off?
This is a pic of the system for sale.
 

ddickey

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#5
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TomS

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#6
How much extension do you need to keep the tool in?
I see a possible problem in finishing a cut and open your quill lock and the tool falls out. Is that concern?
If you don't have a collet for a certain tool and need to use an R8 what is the process to use an R8. Looks like you'd have to take the top piece off?
This is a pic of the system for sale.
If I understand your question correctly you need 1/4" of quill travel to release the collet and about 1" of travel to insert and lock in the collet.

I've never had a collet fall out during a cut or when the spindle is turning. The design parameters prevent this from happening.

If you need to use a standard R8 collet you have to remove the entire Snap Change system. The draw bar and gripper are not compatible with a standard R8 collet.

Not sure what type of mill you have but if it's not a Bridgeport you may need to make a draw bar spacer. I've got the dimensions in my files if you need them.

That's a nice set. It's got everything you need to get up and running in short order. For info Snap Change will inspect the components at no cost. At least they did it for me a couple of years ago.
 

ddickey

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#7
I have a PM-935TS.
 

TomS

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#8
I have a PM-935TS.
If you go the Snap Change route you will probably need to make a drawbar spacer. Or if the distance through the head is shorter than a Bridgeport you can cut and rethread the drawbar. I have a PM-932, which is smaller than a Bridgeport, and just made a spacer.

For reference I've attached an old price list. It will give you an idea of replacement cost for the kit you are looking at.
 

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ddickey

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#9
The holders have a grub screw to hold the end mill?
Doesn't this create problems or potentially?
I was just reading an article about that.
I could be wrong but Bridgeport clone mills like mine should have the same head measurements as a Bridgeport.
 

TomS

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#10
The holders have a grub screw to hold the end mill?
Doesn't this create problems or potentially?
I was just reading an article about that.
I could be wrong but Bridgeport clone mills like mine should have the same head measurements as a Bridgeport.
It could depending on how the collets are made and the shank diameter of your end mill. Don't quote me on this but I have read where high end collets are bored slightly off center to compensate for the set screw pushing the end mill to one side. I don't know if Snap Change does this, or not. If you use small diameter end mills runout becomes more of a problem. I rarely go smaller than 1/8" and have had good experience with the Snap Change collets.
 

spumco

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#11
Royal makes an R8 quick change system. Z-height is very repeatable, and it's a one-handed (mostly) tool change to snap them in and out. I'd use them for anything except big insert face mills and huge shell mills - they won't take the side loads of huge tools.

http://www.royalproducts.com/product.cfm?catID=11

They're ferociously expensive brand new. If you want a pretty complete set let me know. I have a set that came with my mill but I'm switching to a BT30 soon and don't need them.
 

TomS

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#12
ddickey - What collet system did you decide to go with?
 

ddickey

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#13
The Ultron went really cheap, ~$130. That's what heppens when you put a max bid in thinking you'll steal it and miss the ending of the auction.
Then I was thinking about an ER32. I see no reason for ER40 but since I already have ER40 collets I will probably get a decent quality R8-ER40 collet holder.
IDK for sure.
 

TomS

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The Ultron went really cheap, ~$130. That's what heppens when you put a max bid in thinking you'll steal it and miss the ending of the auction.
Then I was thinking about an ER32. I see no reason for ER40 but since I already have ER40 collets I will probably get a decent quality R8-ER40 collet holder.
IDK for sure.
Wow! That was highway robbery for $130. My guess is replacement cost would be about $2,500.
 

ddickey

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#15
Yes. Also missed out on an Erickson quick change for the about the same price. I guess it wasn't supposed to be. There will be more.
 

TomS

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Yes. Also missed out on an Erickson quick change for the about the same price. I guess it wasn't supposed to be. There will be more.
Hang in there.
 

Cadillac STS

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#17
I ended up getting a set of Bridgeport brand quick change R8 gear

I took a long time and searched “Bridgeport Quick” on eBay. Got a couple sets and some single parts.

That way for tool changes the lengths are preset and it is easy to just change out. Never use the drawbar. R8 chuck stays in all the time. Edge finders, endmills, etc. and I was able to get 5 Jacobs chucks that fit.
 
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