Discuss Thermwood 3-axis Machinery, Controller, and Software.

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Bill OConnell
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Location: Calverton, New York


Postby Bill OConnell » Tue, Apr 17 2007, 12:24PM

I have read that a collet should be replaced after 3 mos. if you are using it 8 hours per day. Not closely watching the nine tools I have set up on our machine, is there a way to visually examine the collet and determine it needs to be replaced?
Woodworking the Way You Want It

Ryan Hochgesang

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Tue, Apr 17 2007, 12:46PM

Hi Bill,

You should be able to see some visual wear (discoloring, or feel of divet with fingernail or sharp object) inside the collet where the tool is clamped in. If you want to watch the tools closely and stick to the 8hrs/day for 3 months, you could use the Tool Manager (F10, F9, F2), Life Left value.

Hope this helps.

Mark Hesketh
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Company Name: Paris Kitchens
Country: CANADA
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Postby Mark Hesketh » Wed, Apr 18 2007, 6:00AM

ok... how vital is this? we have been running our machine for a year and a half, 9 hours a day, and we have never replaced our collets... is this just a disaster waiting to happen?

Forrest Chapman
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Postby Forrest Chapman » Wed, Apr 18 2007, 7:44AM

I have to respond to this also. We've run our machine average 4 to 5 hours a day for over 4 years and still use the same collets. I'm not quite sure I understand what is going to happen other than maybe I lose a tool. I can understand if you are getting chatter or some other poor quality cut but this is not happening.


Ryan Hochgesang

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Wed, Apr 18 2007, 11:03AM

To All,

I've attached a PDF file containing some information from one of our Maintenance Manuals, from the Collet Maintenance section. Hopefully this will be of help to you when making judgment as to if your collets are in good condition.

Mark Taylor
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Postby Mark Taylor » Wed, Apr 18 2007, 9:41PM

Did I miss something...where is the pdf?

Ryan Hochgesang

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Thu, Apr 19 2007, 8:00AM

Oops! Sorry about that. Forgot to attach it :oops:
(278.62 KiB) Downloaded 160 times

Michael J Starry
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Location: Brainerd, MN

Postby Michael J Starry » Mon, Apr 23 2007, 9:35AM

What is the recommendation for cleaning these componants? Denatured alcohol? Just a dry rag? Brake and Carb Cleaner?

Ryan Hochgesang

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Mon, Apr 23 2007, 1:58PM

Hi All,

Naphtha is a good solution to use when cleaning collets and tooling. As most of you are probably aware, Naptha is a colorless, volatile petroleum distillate, usually an intermediate product between gasoline and benzine, used as a solvent, fuel, etc.

Michael J Starry
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Joined: Tue, Oct 03 2006, 9:40AM
Location: Brainerd, MN

Postby Michael J Starry » Mon, Apr 23 2007, 2:54PM

I figured as much. I find Denatured alcohol is good as well. I mainly mentioned the carb/brake cleaner to make a point to our maintenance guy. He uses bcarb and brake cleaner, and is known to spray WD40 into the spindle to lubricate the drawbar and clamping set. I have argued with him about the risks involved with both practices, so I figured it would be better to get it from Thermwood themselves to prove my point. Yuo know, what do I know, I am only a Programmer....

Eric Montbriand
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Postby Eric Montbriand » Fri, May 25 2007, 9:14PM

Hey guys, i thought id put in a few cents here. We use a product called Rust free on our collets and holders where there may be rust like build. It comes together with another product called T-9 which is a waterproof lubricant, both are made by Boeing. We use another product called LPS, an industrial lubricant. The LPS is greaseless and is not petroleum based like WD-40 which can attract dust. These products and a gray scotch brite will make our tooling look new.......ish.

We've never done anything to the drawbar for lubrication, as far as i know, nothing should be spayed or blowed up there. A machine tech showed me that a small amount of grease on the tip of a finger, while the drawbar is actuated, could help maintain it.

Collet wear could also be on the mateing end where it sets in to the tool holder nut. I've seen the metal worn,pitted, and ridges on the inside. A good check of the collet would be to take a bit and put the shank in one end of the collet and then the other end. The tension should be the same, the bit should not drop through the collet either. If you get large piting on the taper of the tool holder, id replace it. We cut corian, a countertop material thats very abrasive and tough on solid carbide. We are currently running our cut outs at 1,000 IPM!!!!

Eric M

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