I bought the collet chuck when I had some Woodcraft gift certificates to burn and had one of those “this would be perfect for…...” ideas. My general rule is to avoid all cutting tools or tools requiring any sort of precision that are made in China. For the most part this rule has served me well, however in this case the fit and finish of the set seemed very good, so with gift certificates burning a hole in my pocket I decided to take a chance.
The intended project never made it to the to do list so the collet set sat on the shelf until I decided to break it out for my final entry into the “Event Horizon” project series.
I wanted to use woodworking tools instead of my watchmaker’s lathe.
Only when I put the chuck into my lathe it wobbled so badly that it was unusable and very quickly worked its way out of the headstock. A little investigation revealed the end of the taper was too long and was bottoming out in the lathe spindle.
The taper as purchased.
Modifying the taper in the lathe. With care you could do this with a drill press and file.
The finished taper.
Thus modified the collet chuck seated properly in the lathe. This weekend I decided to make a drawbar, as luck would have it a M10×1.5 x 120 bolt was just long enough for my Jet Midi lathe. To make it a bit more useful I ran a hole through the length of the bolt, this allows running the workpiece through the headstock of the lathe. A word of caution, never run a lathe with a long unsupported length of material exiting the other end of the spindle (through the knob).
Installed in the lathe.
A quick check shows a TIR of about 0.010” not the greatest but adequate for my purposes.
I considered making a knob for the drawbar but if I did it wouldn’t fit into the case.
-- Troy in Melrose, Florida