New spindle..... and collet question [SOLVED]

Just got my new 1.5kW, 65mm, 220V water cooled spindle installed and running. I LIKE IT! It works flawlessly with Carbide Motion and the bit setter. So nice to have the spindle turn on and off automatically with the PWM. I’d HIGHLY recommend it to anyone!

Now my collet question - I have what I thought were decent quality Techniks ER11 collets in 1/4", 1/8" and 6mm. They grip the bit just fine, but when it comes time to change the bit, I need to use a pair of pliers to get the damn bit out. I can take the collet nut completely off, but the collet nor the bit just don’t budge. Does this sound like a crappy brand of collet or a crappy spindle? The spindle taper feels smooth - it doesn’t grab the cotton of a Q-tip. I cleaned the taper with acetone just in case there was something on it and it came out clean. So did I just get a crappy spindle or are my collets the problem?

The collet has a groove cut around it that locks into a corresponding ring on the inside of the collet nut. When you loosen the collet nut, the collet should also loosen up and come out with the nut. If this is not happening, you do not have the collet installed into the collet nut properly.

EDIT: PreciseBits explains it better.


Thanks much @MadHatter - I didn’t know that and I just tried it and it worked like a charm!!! You have solved my dilema - now I just need to buy a few more nuts so I can swap collets as needed without removing the collet from the nut every time.

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Yes! That’s exactly what I did!

I am in a similar situation. A lovely brand new 2.2kW g-penny spindle with an ER-20 collet on my Shapeoko XL. This whole system is quieter than my Nomad 883, even with the water pump going, and today it actually cut something… very happy :slight_smile:

I also highly recommend this setup over the screaming banshee that is a trim router. It really should be a standard option, particularly on a Shapeoko Pro.

For my Nomad I have a 1/8" and a 4mm collet and made sure I had nuts for each, since I think they are essentially complete units, and for ER11 it’s really hard to get the collet free from the nut.

For my ER-20 spindle, I have 15 precision collets of different sizes and one nut. Which won’t work for me at all. So, I also will be shopping for a whole bunch’a ER20 nuts.

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One thing I have been considering for my ER collet setups is to use a different sort of nuts for metric vice Imperial collets:


Now that’s a good idea.

So far, other than 1/8" and 1/4", all endmills are metric since they are the easiest to buy here in my neck of the woods.

For my 4mm collet, I just scratched four vertical lines on the nut with a nail and it’s worked thus far. I hope to just scratch lines in the same sort of nut… Low tech, I admit, but whatever works, yeah? :slight_smile

edit: they are really nice nuts, @WillAdams … (not a euphemism) … I will try to source them this side of the pond.

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