Reply To: Unimat collets

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david pierce
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I have two of these machines that I bought in 1971. I also have many but not all of the accessories including the WW Spindle, threading attachment, feed attachment, 3 & 4 jaw chucks, milling table a bunch of other stuff and the E Style Unimat collet chuck and all of the collets. As a collectors item the Unimat is a wonderful addition to any lathe collection. As a useful working tool it is too flimsy and underpowered to be of any real value. The E collets have long since been replaced with the more usable ER collets. They almost look the same but the E style collets stick in the collet holder and in order to remove a part, you must unscrew the chuck and tap the part out from the back. The ER collets have a groove around the front and snap into the collet nut. To remove the part you only need to unscrew the nut and the collet is pulled forward unlocking the grip on the part. A few years ago I replaced the motors with one horsepower motors of the same aproximate physical size. The Unimats now have plenty of power but due to the overall design of the machine, the bed will physically bend under a cutter load. Investing more money into the Unimats will not result in a more useful working tool. As far as WW collets go, they are probably the best choice for gripping very small parts but if you are using the machine for larger clock parts the ER-16 collets are a much better choice. The traditional old style lathes used for clock work used the 10mm “D” collets. The lathes look like a WW watchmaker lathe but they are larger and have a double pedistal. The more modern ER-16 collets are a better and less expensive choice.

david pierceReply To: Unimat collets