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Smaller air collets

Hi All,

Does any one out there know how to obtain smaller collets (1/16" and
3/32") that would fit the micro pencil air grinder sold at Harbor

It comes with an 1/8" which is fine for quite a bit of larger work,
but the smaller collets would make common jewelry burs useable. Their
parts/service dept. doesn’t have a clue how to obtain anything other
than what comes with the tool.

By the way, these seem to be great value grinders as long as you
keep them oiled. I see they’re listed right now for $10.00!!! and
have only burned the bearings up on one of the first I used because I
wasn’t too “religous” about oiling. I now keep 6 different ones on an
air manifold with 6 different tools and controled by a foot operated
air speed valve.


I too have been looking for the smaller collets for this grinder.
Usually their tools are modeled after a standard tool. I do not know
about this small air grinder. I have been tempted to try to make my
own collets, but have not started. Any info on this would be helpful.

Charles Friedman DDS
Ventura by the Sea


I have been tempted to try to make my own collets, 

If you do not have a lathe this will be kind of difficult. What I do
is chuck the material and duplicate the angles set by the factory for
the collet profile. First thing to do is drill the hole you want,
then shape the material. Do this in one setting it keeps every thing
on center. Part off your rough stock. You can chuck a metal blade
(available from Enco) in your lathe, and mount your piece to your
tool holder. I use an octagon shaped holder to retain my piece and
center your work to the center of your blade and use your cross feed
adjustment to turn the work into the blade.

After you have made your 3 cuts, remove the piece, trim to length
and go over it with sand paper or wet-n-dry to buff out the burrs. I
use a round file down the throat to get those out.

On your hole down the center, use a drill big enough for the part to
fit a little loose, like about 0.003 to 5 over. If you make it tight,
it will always be tight and difficult to remove your cutters later
when it gets warm during use.

I use one of the Harbor Freight lathes, the 9X20 but the little
lathe would work just as well for this. (I think it is a 4X12 or
something like that.)

If you jig a grinder you could probably do the same thing and use a
drill press to run the blade and free hand the cuts using a pattern
makers vice. I would still use the octagon shaped holder though.


Hi Gang,

Generally, industrial grinders don’t come with an assortment of
various size collets. Typically, the 2 collet sizes generally
available are 1/8" & 1/4". The bad thing is they are not
interchangeable. I’ve looked through several industrial catalogs &
couldn’t find a grinder with interchangeable collets.


I have checked on the collets for the european original pencil
grinders -hf one is a very cheap to buy knockoff that works. I have a
$300 original and several HF copies. European ones have have metric
collets that work for 1/8 inch and also some for the metric
equivelant of 3/32. No 1/16 inch size. Easy to make if you have a
lathe. European parts will cost much more than several HF tools!



I use an octagon shaped holder to retain my piece 

I guess that if you are cutting 3 slots, you really mean Hexagon…

Best wishes,
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK

Ian, you are absolutely correct, to long in electronics, I am using
a six sided shaft, Hexagon.

Thank you.

Happy Springtime to all.

The little HF micro die grinder appears to be a great bargain,
especially at the current sale price of $10.00. It runs at a stated
56,000 rpm on 90 psi, and from it’s singing sound I believe it.

I’ve ordered an inordinate supply of tubing to make collet bushings
for both 1/16 and 3/32 burs. If they work as well as I expect I will
offer several at no charge to any of you who will make a small
contribution to Orchid. I’ll post the results in a few weeks.

Dr. Mac

a health note:

be careful using line oiled items fed by compressed air in a jewelry

the reason is that any line oiled compressed air device produces a
mist of very fine oil particles, which if inhaled over a long time,
can produce lung issues.

use only if you have adequate ventilation,.

Mark Zirinsky