Collet Maintenance Guide
Have you ever been frustrated trying to figure out why your tool life and cut quality has decreased? If yes, some of the reasons could be related to poor collet maintenance. As collets get worn, they become out of round, which can lead to a loss of concentricity, damages tools and equipment, or damage critical parts during machining.
There are many ways to keep these valuable elements of your production process in good working order. Clebitco expert tips will teach you how to clean and handle your collet system properly. Understanding these machine parts and accessories can help you avoid costly downtime and injuries.
What Makes a Collet?
We are going to describe what details make up a collet to help you understand the importance of routine maintenance.
Internal Collet Clamping Surface
The most critical component of the collet that is used is the internal clamping surface. It is extremely important that the inside is free of debris before placing a router bit or spiral back in. Since the collet has slits that allow it to collapse against the taper it is very easy for resin build up to occur with the dust created from routing out various materials. As stated, if the slits in the collet show up on the tool this is a sign that your collet needs replaced. Be sure not to let the fluting enter the collet when replacing, as this may induce a not cylindrical surface the collet will tighten down on creating distortion which increases runout and poor performance. To ensure proper clamping make sure the completely round part of the shank takes up the full depth of the collet depth.
Main Collet Taper
The Main collet taper is just as important as the internal clamping surface because debris on one or the other will affect the tool performance. Ensure both the inside of the taper in the tool holder and the main collet taper are clean and free of any burrs and debris.
Taper Seat for Collet Nut
This part of the collet is generally the first item wear you will see some material gauled up from over torquing the collet nut or jamming debris between the collet nut and this surface. When this happens it increases runout since the collet nut and collet don't have a perfectly surface contact providing nice and even pressure.
Use a Torque Wrench
A method to increase the lifespan of your collets is to use a torque wrench to tighten the collet nut. This repeating accurate tightening of the nut will not only ensure your tools are in with just the right amount of ft lbs of force but help keep your collets from being over torqued which can cause premature failure.
Torque ratings will vary depending on the size and type of your collet nut. All Collet Key Adapters have the specific torque setting information.
We have a variety of torque wrenches and collet key adapters available in our store.
Whether it's a tight space, corrosion, or a buildup of dust and swarf, a clogged router collet can be a nightmare for woodworkers. However, there are easy fixes for the problem. Collet cleaning is essential to extend the life of your router tooling and ensure that you get the best cuts possible. We do provide maintenance kits for a variety of tool holder and spindle configurations. Proper maintenance of your collets will save you lots of headaches and money in the future.