I believe that the spindle nose taper is a Morse #2 taper, for which
commercial collets are available up to 1/2" capacity.
In Canada these are available for about CDN $12 each. I believe that
the magazine HOME SHOP MACHINIST has an Ad for same. I don't remember
the price, though.
These collets are threaded 3/8-16UNC in the back and can use a piece of
3/8 threaded rod for a draw bar. A better draw bar can be made from a
Grade 5 3/8" bolt which are available in lengths up to 8" in farm-type
hardware stores. Draw bars made from these bolts last MUCH longer.
The draw-back (love that pun!) of this type of collet is that they
cannot pass long work pieces through the body. But for semi-finished
work pieces they work very well with superb accuracy (concentricity).
I've used a set for over 10 years until I sold the lathe. I still use
the collets in a small dividing head and to hold cutters in the
EMCO-MAIER vertical milling head, now mounted on a separate X - Y
They are good value for the money.
Yes, I think their spindles were all M2. Such collets are available, bt
have the limitations you describe.
One can also get a Bison (or similar) collet chuck to fit this lathe.
This allows the popular 5C collets up to one inch capacity to be used.
Stock over 1/2 inch or so will not fit throught the lathe spindle,
though smaller items can pass clear through (unlike the case with Morse
The 5C collets are available in low cost import form, of mixed qualities
and price, but many are suitable for hobbyist use. The 5C collets are
also useful for MANY other applications (spin-indexers, collet blocks,
The principal downside of such a chuck is increased overhang (less
rigidity) and some loss of available length capacity (distance to
tailstock). If you get one, just don't get too ambitious with depth of
cut issues as rigidity is not their strong point (nor is it with this
entire lathe). Still, for many things they work surprisingly well, and
give the usual dvantages of collets.
Or -- it is possible to use 3C collets for up to 1/2" through the
spindle. You would require a hollow drawbar with an internal thread to
match the collet's external thread, and a proper nosepiece to adapt the
3C collet to the Morse taper No. 2. But I believe that this was
available from Atlas -- and from Sears when they sold this as the
smaller "Craftsman" lathe.
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