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  • Using Full Circle Jaws to hold The ID of a Part

    Every year I get a few calls where a customer needs to grab the ID of a part, but they don’t have a collet chuck or just can’t justify the cost of a complete Expanding Collet Assembly for the one job they’re working on. I usually will suggest that they use a set of Aluminum Full Circle Jaws. Their response to my suggestion is usually one of open mouthed awe, this thought never having occurred to them before.

    When using Aluminum Full Circle Jaws for holding the ID of a part, all you have to do is simply turn down the OD (of the jaws) to fit the ID (of the part). Typically, you’d want the ID to be at least 3” or larger. Anything smaller, I’d recommend using a set of standard jaws. Obviously, this will not work for every application, but it is worth a shot when you find yourself in a pinch!

  • Sealing Expanding Collets

    Every so often I am asked if we offer our expanding collets with a rubber seal that fits into the slots. The purpose for this would be to eliminate chips from getting into the slots. Metal chips, in some instances, can get stuck in the slots of the expanding collet.  This can possibly prevent the loading and unloading of parts, in addition to causing the collet not to release upon opening.

    While we do not offer a rubber seal to prevent chip contamination, I can refer you to Tooling Productivity Systems. They have the ability to seal the collets, thus preventing chips from getting into the slots. They are a small company located in W. Farmington Ohio. You can contact Tony directly for more information:  anthonypresby1965@gmail.com  440-785-6980

    Please note that you will need to machine the collet to size prior to having this process done. I would advise that if you do this, to send your machined collet with the sleeve attached, so as to not break the concentricity of the machined collet. Do not hesitate to contact us for more info: 800-423-5145

  • When to use a Heat Treated Expanding Collet

    I get a few phone calls from customers every year regarding breakage issues with our Expanding Collets or the collet growing to the point that you can no longer get the part on the collet. Read on for a couple of simple solutions to these two problems.

    Rovi Heat Treated Expanding Collet

    Let’s begin with the breaking problem: 99.9% of the calls I get, are regarding an application in which the customer has a bore diameter that is close to the minimum diameter that the collet can be turned down to. An example would be the following: You have a part that has a .400” ID and the bore length which needs to be held is .600”. The recommended collet for this application would be our 1×1-2 Expanding Collet. The problem with this particular situation for this collet is that it is only machinable down to .375”. Remember that in this scenario the bore ID is only .400” so you will only be left with around .025” of material between your part and the expanding screw. Being that the collet is going to be turned back .600”, you now have a situation in which the segments of the collet become very weak and will most likely break. To remedy this, we offer a 1×1-2HT heat treated expanding collet. This collet is made from 4130 and heat treated to a 36-38RC. With this configuration, you now have a collet that is much stronger, thus eliminating the risk of breakage in most cases. It even will last longer for you.


    Argggghhh! My collet is Growing! In some cases a phenomenon occurs in which the collet will no longer return to its original position when the collet is released. This can be caused by a few different issues. For example, if you have a long run job in which you will be clamping and unclamping the collet over several hundred to several thousand parts, it can cause the collet to not return to it original position, even to the point where the part will no longer slide over the collet. We refer to this as “collet growth”. This happens because the material used in the manufacturing of the expanding collet “fatigues out,” or in other words it loses it memory. By switching to a heat treated collet made from 4130/4140, you will find that the life cycle of the collet is greatly extended. Another issue which may cause “collet growth” is the amount of pressure used to expand the collet. Today’s CNC lathes have the capacity to have several hundred pounds of pulling force on the draw tube. If you’re running a job in which you need to have a lot of holding force to insure the part will not slip on the collet, you obviously have to set the hydraulic actuator accordingly. The final result can induce enough stress into the expanding collet causing it to swell or grow in the unclamped position, making it impossible to get another part to slide on the collet. Switching over to a heat treated expanding collet would eliminate this problem!

    We stock a few sizes of our expanding collets in a Heat Treated material. Do not hesitate to contact us for more info: 800-423-5145