Re: 2 Morse Taper Collets *PIC*

John K Jordan

I agree about the usefulness of #2MT collets at the wood lathe. There are some advantages over a collet chuck including cost and compactness. There are also big advantages in some cases over using a scroll chuck. For holding wood for turning the largest one, 1/2" is probably the most useful. The MT collet does require a drawbar when used in the headstock for work unsupported by the tailstock.

I use drawbars for several things and don't find them a problem. They are easily made from a piece of allthread rod. I don't use a Jacobs chuck in the headstock without holding it with a drawbar.

I made two sizes of drawbars, the smaller 1/4" is good for fastening long unsupported thin spindles by means of a hole drilled in the end of the blank. This one from walnut is over 24" long with a short #2 morse taper on one end to fit the headstock, the spindle turned with no steady rest.

If the other end of the spindle can be held by pressure from the tailstock, I usually hold it in the headstock directly with a short #2MT turned on one end. In some cases this also has some significant advantages over using scroll chuck. One is the ability to remove partially completed work and remount it later with perfect registration. Another is providing more working room at the end without dealing with the spinning jaws. Another is the ability to turn a longer spindle on a short lathe since the chuck takes up a lot of space - I started using this method when turning Harry Potter wands on a Jet mini lathe away from the shop.

I don't know if Little Machine Shop still offers them singly, but I've bought several 1/2" MT collets from them without buying the set - quite inexpensive. However, I bought two sets from Amazon for a lower price - they appears to be identical to what I got from LMS but were a lot cheaper.

BTW, I haven't used the MT collets for drilling on the lathe. I prefer MT bits, using an adapter for smaller sizes.

I prefer another option for Forstner bits - an end mill holder with an morse taper to fit the tailstock. I bought one to fit the shafts of my Forstner's - the bit is held with a set screw. I keep a 2-1/12" Forstner in it most of the time for drilling recesses for bowls and platters. Oops, looks like I never took a picture of it but here's the link on Amazon:


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