A simple split collect for the lathe

Making a simple split collet for use in the lathe is an old, and well established technique. This version has a slight twist to it, in that it incorporates a built in back stop. I made this in order to machine a number of electronic stand-offs to the same length. For this application concentricity isn't important, only length, so I just drilled the collet, instead of boring it. I made mine from aluminium, although brass or iron would answer just as well. I include no drawings, as it needs to be dimensioned to suit the job in hand.

Overall view of the collet. The split is quickly made with the hacksaw.

Back view of collet, showing flange. This is pressed firmly against the chuck jaws.

Collet showing backstop. This is achieved by drilling only part way through.

Collet holding rough sawn blank.

Collet mounted in the lathe. Here I'm using a four jaw, but a three jaw works just as well.

Spacer being machined to length. Remember to lock the carriage for this operation, so that all spacers finish the same length.

All done in a single pass.

This device makes light work of it.

Spacers finish up within a few thou of each other.

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