Are Pen Mandrel Collets a Standard Size?

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drumley

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I was wondering if I purchased one of the collet pen mandrels, is it a standard size? Can additional collets be purchased to use with the collet for different size mandrels?
 
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eharri446

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If you got a Beall collet then you can use the ER32 collets. If you got the one from Woodcraft, then theirs are a proprietary size that I have not been able to find out. If you get one from Amazon, then make sure that it will fit the threads on your lathe and that it is an ER32 standard.
You can get sets of ER32 collets from Amazon in either metric or standard.
 

drumley

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Thanks, one of the ones I was wondering about was the Woodcraft collet. I've read a lot of good things about the Beall collet here.
 

its_virgil

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If the Woodcraft collet chuck and collets are a proprietary size then I would stay away from that set. You will not be able to get different size collets. I have not been able to find out whether or not the collets are proprietary but they sure seem to be. Information is vague at best.

The Beall collet chuck is an excellent choice and uses industry standard ER32 collets which are available individually or in sets both metric and SAE. Several vendors sell ER32 chuck/collet pkgs. They normally come with 5 collets and other sizes can be purchased as needed or in complete sets.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
 

monophoto

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Is this the set you are looking at?
1618935061330.png


First observation is that this is a morse taper collet chuck. If you do some research into collet chucks, you will see that female thread collet chucks that screw onto the lathe spindle are usually considered to be 'better' than chucks that attach to the spindle via a morse taper because the screw fixing is less likely to experience runout. And as Elwin notes, the Woodcraft system is designed around proprietary collets - which means that finding replacement or different collets will be difficult and expensive. Finally, if the tailstork is not use for additional support, any morse taper fixing should be captured with a drawbar, but according to the Q&A portion of the Woodcraft web page, their chuck isn't designed to receive a drawbar.

The Beall system is very good, but its also very expensive. PSI and CSUSA both offer collet chuck systems that have good reputations and are more affordable. There are two differences between them - PSI packages theirs in a red plastic box, while CSUSA uses a black plastic box. More significantly, the 'native thread' of the PSI chuck is 1"x8tpi and it comes with a 3/4"-16tpi adapter, while the CSUSA native threading is 1.25"x8tpi and comes with a 1"x8tpi adapter. Both accept standard ER32 collets that can be purchased either individually in sets. That's important because the 'working range' of a collet is only about 1mm. Metric collet sets typically come in 1mm steps and give the ability to accept a continuous range of diameters. Imperial collet sets usually come in 1/8" steps but it is possible to buy additional collets in intermediate dimensions.
 

darrin1200

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@drumley
Is this the mandrel you are talking about?
If so, I don't believe they use any type of standard collet. I think it is proprietary and that there aren't any other sized collets available.
1618947901735.png
 

MRDucks2

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I have 2 or 3 of the mandrels in at least 2 different sizes and 2 different of the taper adapter mandrel collets from 2 different manufacturers and they all work together. The mandrel sizes are not that great a difference. Obviously the only one doesn’t work are the ones that have the taper adapter attached to one end of the mandrel.
 

monophoto

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OP asked about 'collet pen mandrels', but that term is subject to potential misunderstanding. To clarify the language - - -

Pen turning mandrels usually use a collet to grip the mandrel rod that holds the pen blanks, but they are usually referred to simply as 'pen mandrels'. Most pen turning mandrels are designed to use a 1/4" rod (referred to as an "A" mandrel), but a few manufacturers also offer a version with a larger rod for use in making pens with larger diameter bodies. To my knowledge, the collet in these mandrels is not interchangeable.

There are also collet chucks that can be used for a variety of purposes, including gripping the mandrel rod that holds the pen blanks for turning. Collet chucks are general purpose tools that can grip items over a wide range of diameters using interchangeable collets - the ubiquitous ER32 collet can grip diameters up to 20mm depending on the collet being used.

Both 'pen turning mandrels' and 'collet chucks' are available either as screw or morse taper versions.
 

drumley

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@drumley
Is this the mandrel you are talking about?
If so, I don't believe they use any type of standard collet. I think it is proprietary and that there aren't any other sized collets available.
View attachment 304588
Yes this is what I was initially looking at, a pen turning mandrel, sorry about the fuzzy language.

Based on what I have read here and some further research, I think I would be better off in the long run getting a ER32 collet holder that threads on to the headstock of my lathe. I believe that it would be more versatile as my skills progress than a dedicated pen mandrel.
 

darrin1200

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Yes this is what I was initially looking at, a pen turning mandrel, sorry about the fuzzy language.

Based on what I have read here and some further research, I think I would be better off in the long run getting a ER32 collet holder that threads on to the headstock of my lathe. I believe that it would be more versatile as my skills progress than a dedicated pen mandrel.
Good decision. They are worth every penny.
 

darrin1200

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Yes this is what I was initially looking at, a pen turning mandrel, sorry about the fuzzy language.

Based on what I have read here and some further research, I think I would be better off in the long run getting a ER32 collet holder that threads on to the headstock of my lathe. I believe that it would be more versatile as my skills progress than a dedicated pen mandrel.
Good decision. They are worth every penny.
 
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