Shars 5C collet indexer

This isn’t a review, its a complaint. One thing I detest is buying a tool and then having to fix the tool before I can even use it. That’s just plain B.S.

The tool in question is a 5C collet indexer from Shars. I had been looking at indexers for a while since I need to cut some gears and the rotary table can be a pain to use. Instead I can use the laser cutter to precisely cut whatever tooth count I need and ‘spindex’ my way around. I bought the one from Shars because all the cheap chinese clones come from the same factory and they had it on sale. I was pretty happy until I went to actually put a collet in it…..

The inch or so of collet hanging should go all the way back in the spindle, but it just stopped hard right there. Sh*t. Ok, so what was the problem? Collet oversized? Collet groove too shallow? Wrong collets? Nope, the side of the collet provided all the info I needed.

The left picture is of the collet base that slides in the spindle. See that shiny band just to the left of the threads? Thats where the collet was trying to stick in the spindle bore. EVERY collet I tried did the exact smae thing. Seems the chinese factory put the sleeve in the spindle (ring inside the spindle bore in right pic) and never bothered to bore it to size. What a pain in the ass. Now I have to do what the factory didn’t.

I had to drag out the fixed rest, center the spindle, make sure everything ran straight and true, set up the lathe to bore the spindle sleeve. About 30 minutes later I achieved what the factory didn’t, collets that fit.

Oh, and if you have a steady or travel rest with hard points instead of rollers, I highly recommend this grease for turning.

This stuff stays where it’s put, doesn’t sling off all over the shop, and I haven’t had a part bind up or gall yet.


Ok, end of rant.

This article has 2 comments

  1. textronicx Reply

    Then I got out my little Circle Boring Bar and made sure the ID on the chuck was true relative to the lathe’s axis and the collet on a live piece of stock.

    • Admin Reply

      Actually, if you take the time to do a proper set up on the lathe (mill/cnc/laser/ect) then your bore will be straight and true. The biggest worry would be tool deflection, so you do proper reduced cuts as you get closer to finished dimensions.

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