View Full Version : Router tool holder thoughts

10-11-2003, 12:23 PM
Obviously a set of fixed tooling is ideal, such as those made by HomeCNC, but upon searching the net for some replacement collets to make them from, I stumbled across something else. Check out the picture over here (http://www.precisecut.com/products/equipment/collets.asp?txtsearchParamTxt=collet&txtsearchParamCat=24&txtsearchParamType=ALL&iLevel=1&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch&I1.x=11&I1.y=13). I take it that is some sort of "fixed depth" band around the router bit in the collet? Anyone using these, or are they not reliable? Being a skin-flint, I just thought about making some up, and fixing them in place with a set screw.
The other option, is to buy just the collet nuts, rather than the whole collet, to save a few quid, but where can I find these? Obviously I am in the UK, but if I can find out a general name for these type of nuts, that will help. Thanks guys!
edit - searching google for "collet nut" throws up all industrial type stuff, not hand held type router nuts, which is why I ask for the exact name for a collet nut! Stupid eh?

10-11-2003, 11:54 PM
It looks to be just a 1/8" collet for PC laminate trimmers, not a fixed depth collet.


10-12-2003, 05:05 AM
That's not what I meant. Look at the cutter in the collet. It has a band around it. There is another dodgy picture here (http://www3.woodcraft.com/Woodboring/woodworking/3837.htm). I was wondering about making a band to screw in place on a cutter to set the depth that it is placed into the collet.

10-12-2003, 11:21 AM
I see what you mean.


10-12-2003, 01:17 PM
I bought a little assortment of tiny cutter that had those bands on. I'm not sure if there is any "datum" to the location of that band. I thought they just were put on for convenient finger gripping :D

If I were you, I would purchase a commercial collet system, like the ER16 series collet. These are available with quite a variety of collet chucks with 3/8", 1/2" and 3/4" shanks. There is most likely metric sizes available, but I have not looked. Anyway, purchase the shank size to match your router spindle. Then you can use relatively inexpensive ER16 collets to adapt your bits.

Check Ebay for ER16 collets, too.

Leave the tool-making up to the toolmakers, and try to do some work with your machine that will make you a few dollars so you can buy some decent tooling. Inaccurate toolholding is something that will keep costing you until you replace it with good stuff. :)

Laff Riot
10-12-2003, 06:32 PM
Forgive me ahead of time if my bit terminology isnt spot on...

We use something similar on the machine at work, the difference is that the bits are very long - 6-8" and the stop collar sits on the back of the shank not up near the cutting head.

The stop collar has a set screw and is threaded at the bottom.
You position and lock the collar on the shank for set and forget.
Then the shaft and collar are screwed into a preset 1/4" hollow rod tapped with screw threads at the top.

The collars themselves are inexpensive - we bought a couple dozen when we purchased the machine and have yet to have one break or round out.

We are eventually going to upgrade to a 1/2" collet so that we can run our 1/4" and 1/8" bits from the same holder. To change the bit you just unscrew a few twists. A huge time saver over our normal 3 set screw holder.

Oh - the collar thread runs opposite the rotation of the router so it tightens itself - takes a little getting used to. If you want pics of this lemme know.

10-13-2003, 07:41 AM
Laff riot, if you don't mind, a picture would be very useful.
Hu, fair comments, I'll look into those collets, but surely they can't be any more useful than a standard router collet if they don't provide a fixed height setup?
*/ kong runs off to read up on the collets/*

10-13-2003, 07:47 AM
Hi Kong,
The collers you have been looking at seem to be very common on tooling designed for PCB routing/drilling. I've got a box full of second hand cutters and they all have those collers on them. They also *are* set to give a constant cutter tip position. All of the cutters in the collection I have when mounted in a collet with the coller flush up against the collet locate the tip of the tool at the same height (at least as far as the tools I have can measure). This can be used to make tool changing very quick. I'm not sure if this only works for tools from the same supplier or if there is some standard. Not sure if these collers are available for any non PCB type mills.


10-13-2003, 03:05 PM
Hi Kong

What Laff Riot was saying about "depth stop" cutters - well I've heard these referred to as Leuco cutters (they are somewhere in Essex, BTW) and you'll find people like Titman Tip Tools in Clacton (a real name, I kid you not) doing them, too. I've used these on older CNC stuff, but they do have a large diameter tool spindle - typically 16 (5/8in) or 20 mm.

Even with a CNC router which has ISO-30 tool holders I still find that I have to verify the datum on every tool I chuck....

10-16-2003, 10:48 AM
If anyone is looking for the small 1/8" shank carbide cutters that have the collar on them, the newest 'Harbor Freight Tools' catalog on page 34 has a 50 count GRAB BAG of them for $12.99. Since it is a grab bag you don't know exactly what sizes you will get, but 50 for $13.00 bucks you are bound to get a good mix.