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What collets for my Craftsman 6"?

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teledan

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Hey guys, I am thinking about getting some collets for my 6" Craftsman (with the MT2 1"-10 spindle) and am wondering which way to go. I am thinking either a set of MT2 collets or an ER32 collet chuck with an MT2 shank. What would be the pros and cons between these two setups? I am kind of leaning towards the ER32 chuck as it seems like it would be a bit more versatile but I am very new to all of this so I wanted to ask your opinions. Just to give some context, I currently only have a 4jaw independent chuck and I do not have a 3jaw scroll chuck. Most of the work I do is smaller so I figured a set of collets would complement my 4jaw well.
 

Robo_Pi

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I am thinking either a set of MT2 collets or an ER32 collet chuck with an MT2 shank. What would be the pros and cons between these two setups?
I'm not clear on these things myself, but it seems to me that a better set up would be to have an ER32 collet that mounts on the chuck threads. I'm thinking this would allow stock to go further into the lathe spindle and even feed rods through the lathe spindle. If you have an ER32 collet chuck with an MT2 taper you lose the through-hole capability.

I could be wrong about this, But that's my current understanding of how these things work in general. My lathe has an MT3 taper in the spindle. I just bought a set of MT3 collets. But because of their design they do not allow the stock to be push into the chuck more than a couple inches. It's my understanding that if I went with an ER32 collet that mounts on the chuck spindle instead of using the MT3 taper, I could then feed entire rods through the spindle up to 3/4" in diameter and hold them in the ER32 collets.

But if I went with an ER32 chuck that mounts with an MT3 taper I'd have the same limitation as the MT3 collets have. Only a couple inches of stock could be put into the collets.

I don't know if this same situation applies to a Craftsman lathe? But if there is an ER32 collet chuck that allows the stock to take advantage of total spindle size that would be the better way to go, Mounting it on am MT2 taper is going to plug up the spindle hole.

Just my thoughts for whatever they are worth., As I say, this is just my current understanding. I'm no expert on these things.
 

Aaron_W

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I have an ER32 chuck for my Sherline which has proved to be handy, although the 3 jaw chuck still gets the bulk of the work.

Personally I'd look at a thread on ER chuck vs an MT2 shank, as that would allow you to pass longer small stock into the head, which chuck with a shank would prevent.

ER 32 vs MT2, the ER collets can accept up to 3/4" and there are even a few offering 7/8" ER 32 collets. MT2 only goes up to 1/2", or possibly 5/8".


It's not an either or situation though, I'm not that familiar with MT2 collets but I'm sure there may be some uses where an MT2 collet may offer advantages and they are relatively cheap.
 

teledan

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Thanks guys, I have thought about an ER32 chuck that threads onto the spindle as well but I didn't think being able to pass stock through the spindle would be that much of a benefit, and I haven't been able to find one with the 1"-10 threads that I would need so that means I would need to make one myself. That probably wouldn't be that big of a deal to do though.

Actually since I have been thinking, what I might do is pick up one of these for now:


And then work on making a mount that will thread onto my spindle. The one above is cheap enough and it would give me the closer nut that could be used on my threaded mount too.
 

mikey

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If I were you, I would find a good 3 jaw chuck first. It is vastly more useful than a collet chuck and will do 90% of your work. Collet chucks are fine but a 3 jaw is foundational equipment. The ER chuck can come later.
 

Robo_Pi

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Actually since I have been thinking, what I might do is pick up one of these for now:
Absolutely. At that price you can't go wrong. You can always upgrade to a different style later if you ever find you need the deeper capacity.
 

Aaron_W

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The one you linked would certainly work, and it is cheap. Cheaper than most of the individual collets I've bought. At that price it is hard to go wrong as long as you don't set your expectations too high. You will need a set of collets to go with it.


I have a Beall collet chuck, it is a well made chuck and not particularly expensive as ER32 chucks go. They offer it in a variety of threads from 3/4" up to 1-1/2" but unfortunately only 1"-8 thread, not 1"-10. You could always make a thread adapter to fit your lathes spindle. I think I've read that the 6" Craftsmen lathes were available with both 1"-8 and 1"-10 spindles, so you might find a thread adapter useful for other accessories in the future.


Another option would be this style with a back plate to fit your spindle.


with one of these back plates



You would want to verify that the predrilled backplate will fit the collet chuck. I don't have experience with this particular collet chuck, but have bought from Little Machine Shop on several occasions and have always had a positive experience.


Also I agree with Mikey, a 3 jaw is more useful unless you have a specific need, I have done most of my work with the 3 jaw chuck.
 

David S

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Teledan when you say most of your work is smaller, what diameters do you most often work with?

I use my 618 mainly for clock repair work. My work horse chuck for big stuff is a 4 jaw independent. For stuff up to just over Ø 1/2" I use a screw on Jacobs 3 jaw key type chuck. This is nice since I can pass thru the spindle.

I did get a set of MT2 collets for the spindle, but found that their grip range is too restrictive for the wide variety of small diameters. So I went with the ER-11 to MT2 collet set. The ER-11 is smaller than the larger ER series and keeps me close to the spindle without so much hang out and the closing nut doesn't get in the way for small parts. A small set of ER collets takes the place of a huge range of MT2 collets.

David
 

wa5cab

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I agree that for general lathe use, the first two work holders that one should acquire are a 3-Jaw and a 4-Jaw chuck. With those, you can handle almost anything that comes along except holding milling cutters. For those, you need a collet or a milling cutter holder. If you only need to hold milling cutters, the least expensive set will be 2MT with 3/8"-16 draw bar. You will need to buy your cutters with 1/16" increment shanks.

If you also need to hold different size work pieces, then your best choice will be a screw-on collet chuck and one of the sizes of ER collets, for two reasons. First, 2MT collets only seem to be available in 1/16" diameter increments, and have a clamping range of about +/- 0.005". Second, the 2MT collets (and also the ER collet chucks with a 2MT arbor) don't allow you to pass stock through the spindle so in general will waste time and material if you are making several or many 1/2" diameter or smaller parts. Atlas did make and sell a draw-tube type collet set for the 618, 101.07301 and 101.21400 but the draw-tube and maximum collet bore restricted them to a maximum diameter of a little under 19/64". They are scarce and usually expensive when you find a set.

So all in all, probably the best choice for general use on an Atlas built 6" is an ER25 or ER32 collet set and a screw-on collet chuck.
 
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