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Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 10:14 ET

This is the way the collet closer works on my lathe.  This lathe is a 13x40 South Bend made around 1976.  It has a threaded spindle nose.  I have the three-jaw and four-jaw chucks, but I find myself using the collets whenever I can.  The collets run very, very true -- better than most chucks and generally better than I care to dial in a 4-jaw.  The collet closer uses a drawbar that fits through the spindle and pulls the 5C collet back into the nose.  

This shows the lathe spindle nose with a collet installed:

The parts of the collet closer are shown here.  There are a drawbar, the threaded nose cap, the collet holder, and the collet.  A pin wrench is used to remove the cap:

The drawbar fits through from the rear of the spindle:

Next, the nose cap is installed.  Failure to use the nose cap makes the collet virtually impossible to remove!

This piece centers the collet in the spindle:

Finally, the collet itself is seated and pulled tight by the handwheel on the drawbar:

This shows an example of a use for the collets.  I turned an adapter to hold a Mauser barrel shank.  

That adapter can be held in the collet, and I can then cut and crown the barrel in the steady rest:

I hope this helps you guys with collet questions.....


Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 13:57 ET

It sure does Clemson, thanks for the pics.

I think your's is very similar to the one that I got plans for making.  Here is the one I have plans for.

If you don't mind, can I pick your brain later on about it?

I like the end cap that you showed.

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 14:00 ET

A pic of the rest of it.

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 14:24 ET

Now I got to go back and search for where I found the pictures....LOL

I thought I had saved the page to my favorites.  I think it was in Metal Web News.  I'll post it when I get it found.  I knew when I found it that it was an answer to my prayers.

Thanks again Clemson.

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 14:30 ET

It was on Metal Web News.

Here is a link for the collet adapter:


and here is the link for the collet chuck closer:


I plan on making this for myself here very soon.  

Clemson, did you make yours on your own or did you purchase it?

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 15:47 ET

That looks like my South Bend Heavy 10 'cept that'un is much cleaner / nicer looking than mine..Mine has had the hellbeat out of it with an ugly stick ......I put a 3jaw chuck on mine one time since I've had it and all the rest of the time it is a dedicated 5-C lathe... 5-C is great because one full set of collets can be shared with couple different machines and also various indexers..I have set of collets by 32nds but occasionally kick myself for not having a set to 64ths........I had a young fellow hard after me to sell him the South Bend lathe but I have come to depend on it - because of that collet closer.

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 16:42 ET

I think the guy that made the one in my pic made his like the SB closer.  He said it was on the one in his shop class.   Now all I need to do is get to building.

Posted: Jun. 30 2006, 20:03 ET

My closer is a Royal.  It has a larger handwheel than the South Bend closer.  Otherwise, pretty nearly identical.