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  1. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    With the tax return coming soon, I've decided that I would like to get either a dividing head like the B&S "0" size or.. a collet block setup. One of those setups that have the 2 collet blocks, a mount / holder that can clamp to the mill table and an assortment of collets.

    Anyone have a preference? What would you buy first? TIA...
     
  2. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I chose the collet block set, then found out that they could be had in ER40 style, which collets I had several of. I'm not sure I'm going to the that (ER40), since I built an adapter to accept R8 collets in my 5C blocks.
     
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  3. Dave Paine

    Dave Paine United States Active Member Active Member

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    My first metalwork machine was a lathe. I purchased the 5C collet blocks (hex and square) and a set of 99 5C collets (32nds increments). I have used the collet blocks often in my projects.

    I now have a mill and would love a dividing head, but for my projects I use collets more often. The 5C collets in the lathe and R8 collets in the mill.
     
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  4. george wilson

    george wilson United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The question depends upon which,in your type of work,you are likely to use most often.
     
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  5. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    And this would be one of those times where, I just don't know, what I don't know..... my ultimate goal is to create a couple steam and later gas engine models.

    Thanks for all the replies so far!
     
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  6. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have collet blocks, a spin indexer, a rotary table, and a dividing head. The collet blocks are by far the cheapest, and I use them about 10 times more often than the other fixtures. They are quick and easy to use compared to the others, which are definitely needed for some jobs.
     
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  7. Uglydog

    Uglydog United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  8. intjonmiller

    intjonmiller United States Active Member Active Member

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    I'm in the same position (except that the tax return is basically gone, having bought my wife a new car (and I inherited hers which was a nice upgrade for me, and happy wife = happy life), and a couple smaller things for my shop). Of course I want the whole set of every possible tool that will work in my machines, but I have concluded as Bob said that the collet blocks will be the most useful of the fixtures for the type of work I want to do, and the collets will be useful for many other functions down the road. Rotary tables and dividing heads are very useful for specific tasks (and can also accomplish the same as the collet blocks for a lot more money), but everyone I talked to on the subject said that they are used far less often than the blocks.
     
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  9. Uglydog

    Uglydog United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  10. FOMOGO

    FOMOGO United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I had an opinion once, but my wife tells me I no longer do. :) Mike
     
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  11. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    Mine tells me that I can have an opinion.... sometimes it might even matter! :eek:
     
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  12. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    Thanks for everyones input!
    intjonmiller basically confirmed my suspicion... now to go hunting for new tools! woohooo...
     
  13. intjonmiller

    intjonmiller United States Active Member Active Member

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    Mine says that when she wants my opinion she'll give it to me.
     
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  14. bfd

    bfd United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    if you want to cut squares, hexes, or opposing flats then the collet blocks are the way to go but if anything else is needed then a dividing head or rotary table is the way to go. bill
     
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  15. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    Thanks for the input Bill.
    Appreciate it.
     
  16. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    I would go for the dividing head, myself. The collet blocks are a very handy thing to have around but in most cases where I've needed them, I could've developed a workaround and continued without them. When I've needed precision indexing, workarounds quickly get complex, time consuming, and generally sketchy.
     
  17. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    I look at this a little differently. I mostly buy used just because of the cost savings. I have a list of thing on a want list and buy when a deal comes along. I've only used my dividing head twice in the couple of years that I've owned it; but it was indispensable for the job at hand. This is a VanNorman 10" universal head that I found on eBay w/make an offer. I got it for less than a quarter of what new would cost. same with the rotatory table (10" too), local craigslist find for $100; it was locked up but wasn't too hard to clean the hardened grease out and get it working.
    I think you have already came to the conclusion, buy the collet block set now and keep an eye out for other tooling that you would like to have. Or like UglyDog and other's suggested build your own.
     
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  18. george wilson

    george wilson United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Then,there's the " When I want your opinion,I'll BEAT it out f you!"
     
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  19. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    In my house my word is LAW!

    I just have to ask my wife what to say.
     
  20. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    Correct. I did reach a decision some days ago and bought a 25 piece collet block "kit" from Shars. I already have a rotary table but for small setups I find it "clunky" to get setup and dial in.
    Like you I watch for C-list or the other auction sites ( doesn't everyone?) and when I see something I want/need I'll jump at the chance.

    Thanks for the reply too!
     
  21. 34_40

    34_40 United States A Most Active User Active Member

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    I can see we have a lot of married men here! :busted::mooning:
     
  22. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    When we are working with making arcs on our machines, the choice of what we want to use is highly influenced by whether we want to truly index something, or set specific angles. Collet blocks, spindexers, super spacers, and dividing heads are examples of indexing tools. We want to divide a circle into even intervals, even if we are only going to be using one or two of those intervals. The tooling I mentioned, and others, do that well and accurately. The other thing we might want to do is to make, say, three curved slots in a plate at a specific radius, to specific and different angular lengths in the specified clock positions. Now, I am quite sure you can do something like that on a dividing head, but it is certainly not the easiest way to go and would be prone to error. A rotary table is nearly ideal for the job (but would be even better if they had adjustable stops for multiple parts.) The two types of angular tooling do not overlap very much in what they do well, but a rotary table with dividing plates does make that possible. The question to ask if you are buying tooling is "Am I going to be making divisions, or am I going to be setting specific angles?" Or both...
     
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  23. GarageGuy

    GarageGuy United States Active User Active Member

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    I bought a used 5C spin index on CL for $20 and have used it with good success. I have several rotary tables and two dividing heads, but I still don't own a set of collet blocks. The collet blocks and spin index are the lowest cost, and you can do a lot with them. Even though I have more complex tools, for simple things it takes less set-up time to use the spin index. Making a square or hex head bolt is a good example. I generally don't break out the dividing head unless I'm cutting a gear. Someday a set of collet blocks will show up on CL at a decent price, and I will snap them up. :grin:

    GG
     
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  24. Ulma Doctor

    Ulma Doctor Infinitely Curious Active Member

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  25. bfd

    bfd United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    the collet blocks are a good choise they can also be used in a lathe for a quick collet holder bill
     
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