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Techno X handpiece problems


#1

I recently have had problems with my 2+ year old handpiece. Tools
started slipping out of the collet so I tried to tighten it, with no
success. Trying to figure out how it worked and maybe remove the
collet for cleaning, I have gotten myself in a mess and don’t know
how to clean it up. I unscrewed the quick release and inside the
bolt there was a piece just sitting in there. Now I can not get the
release back on and have still not solved the problem with my
collet. Does anyone know how I might fix this myself or who I
should send it too? It was purchased through a jeweler friend of
mine through Gesswein. Should I send it back to them? I sent an
email to them and they never responded. The company that I work for
does not do too much buisiness with them but have offered to send it
to Gesswein for me, but I am concerned that I might not get it back.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Julie


#2

First of all Gesswein has an excellent reputation and whoever sends
the handpiece back to them will get it back. You will, of course,
have to pay for the repair, but I have sent in hundreds of
handpieces over the years for repair and they have all been
returned.

Now I’m going to throw in my 2 cents on a related topic that creeps
in here once in awhile when someone’s tools break down. I
understand that many Orchidians are on a limited budget however
there are certain tools that are necessary to the trade that you
cannot work without and that everyone should consider owning
multiples of. Handpieces for flexible shafts are among the first
and foremost of these items. Every day that goes by that you don’t
have a fully functional workshop costs you a bundle of money.
Depending on the size of your shop I would recommend backup pieces
on all of the following (as I have found over the years they are the
most likely items to break down just when you need them the most):

ultrasonics (you can have one larger one and a smaller one for times
when the larger one goes down) handpieces (we stock at least 6 extra
ones at all times) flexible shafts-including extra foot pedals
(having two at your bench is helpful in terms of saving time
changing out tools too) gauges for your gas tanks steam cleaners (we
had one break the last Saturday before Christmas a few years
ago–now we have three) polishing machines (at least the
motor-although we have had less problems with these than any of the
above mentioned items)

I know it seems like a huge amount of money but if you are producing
jewelry on a regular basis and you are on deadline for most jobs it
will cost you far more to have the down time while waiting for
things to be repaired than if you have a backup right there. On a
related issue if you are spending a whole lot of time trying to
repair equipment yourself then you aren’t doing what you do best:
making jewelry. Every hour spent repairing tools is one hour less
to spend designing and making something beautiful.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
www.spirerjewelers.com


#3

Most quick-change handpieces are not user-serviceable. Also, most
manufacturers advise keeping a bit in the collet at all times, even
when not in use, to prevent breakage and premature wear. Closing
the collet lever once without a bit in place can cause immediate
damage. I hope someone here knows how you can repair it, but I fear
you may have to send it in for repair or replacement.

James in SoFl


#4

We repair lots of handpieces. We realize you may want to repair it
yourself so we will be glad to help you over the phone. It is best
to have professional repair centers repair it for you. Per your
concerns about Gesswein, if you choose to send it to Gesswein for
repair, I know it will be professionally repaired and you will get
it back. You have many choices and we can help.

John Cranor
The Jewelry Equipment Dr.
719-527-1531


#5

if I remeber right there is a screw at the bottom of the collet on
that handpiece that adjusts the collet tension. these handpieces do
wear qute a bit, as most( not all) jewelers try to open the collet
with the burr still moving, wears em out real fast. last time we had
one repaired it was between 50 and 90 bucks not counting shipping
both ways. a few years back there was only a few poepe that worked on
the techno X. hoefully you will have better luck getting it serviced

ringdoc


#6

this happens with normal wear on the collet. In contrast to another
answer on Orchid, this IS user servicable and adjustable. Some
parts of the Techno are not so servicable, but you’re not "there"
yet. The collet is made to be adjusted, to a point. Once you’ve
reached the point where it won’t tighten any more (won’t adjust
tighter), then you’ve worn out the collet, and it must be replaced.
This may be a problem is you’ve got the original Techno, made in
Sweden, since that company is no more. At least two copies are now
being made, one swiss, one american. I don’t know if the collets for
these will fit the original, however. You’d have to ask the dealers.
But before you do that, lets try and get your Techno back together.

       Trying to figure out how it worked and maybe remove the
collet for cleaning, I have gotten myself in a mess and don't know
how to clean it up.  I unscrewed the quick release and inside the
bolt there was a piece just sitting in there.  Now I can not get
the release back on and have still not solved the problem with my
collet.  Does anyone know how I might fix this myself or who I
should send it too? 

As others have said, you can send it in for service. But so far,
this sounds simple enough. Try following this:

The quick release is a cam that revolves in that screw on housing,
with the handle screwed to it’s outer squared end. The inner side
has a tab, kind of like the end of a slotted screwdriver tip in
shape. That tip is supposed to slip between two bearing surfaces, a
gap you can see looking in the hole. You’ll note that it’s closed
tight, as the two sides of the bearing are spring loaded. And they
may not quite align under th hole, once the cam is removed. You need
to force a small point (such as the tip of the screwdriver that came
with the handpiece between those bearing surfaces until you can push
that cam tip back between them, then holding it there, screw the
housing back in place. this may take a couple tries, as to really do
it easily, you’d need another hand and differently shaped fingers,
but heck. it CAN be done. Sometimes you can get lucky just by using
the screw driver tip to pull the gap so it centers in the opening,
then just use the housing to screw down, forcing the cam in place. If
it doesn’t go easily, just try again. the trick sometimes is keeping
the slot fitting tip of the cam going crosswise as you assemble it,
rather than letting it turn. anyway, just look at it again, and
you’ll see how it goes. Swear at it a bit, and you can reassemble
it. Now, before screwing the handle back on, put a drop or two of
light machine oil into the screw hole in the cam. As you may have
noticed, it goes all the way through, and is how you lubricate the
cam/release mechanism. The two bearing surfaces that ride on that
cam are the outer, non rotating parts of ball bearings, so there is
not a great deal of wear on them or the cam part, and this is why you
can use the lever on the handpiece even when the bit is turning,
since the bearing surfaces don’t rotate.

Now, to actually adjust the grip on the collet, you first need to
clean inside the collet. The collet screws into the main shaft
(internal) of the handpiece, and the farther in it screws, the
tighter the collet is, as the tapered section of the collet pulls
into the tapered opening in the end of the shaft. Adjustments amount
to screwing the collet in or out to adjust the grip range. The
adjustment is held in place by a set screw, inside the collet, that
locks the collet in position so it won’t screw in or out of the
shaft. (the collet is a tube, threaded on the inside. that screw
fits down into those internal threads, tightening on the end of the
shaft, jamming the collet in place. Now the trick is that in use, the
threads that set screw ride in get gunked up, and the slotted end of
the set screw gets even more filled with gunk, wax, filings, and
whatever else gets in there. So you won’t be able to adjust that
set screw till you clean the cross slot on the end of the screw. it’s
down at the bottom of the collet opening. If found the best way for
me, at least, to do this is by taking a can of WD-40 with the
extension plastic tube, and holding the handpiece collet facing down,
over a towel, put the extension tube into the collet and blast a bit,
then let it sit, and repeat. Then use a fine point of some sort to
dig down and stir up whatever you can feel at the bottom of the
collet opening, and repeat again, until you can slip that little
yellow screwdriver that came with the handpiece down in there and
feel it slip into the slot on the end of that screw (this is what
that screwdriver is for)

Now unscrew and remove the silver housing from the back of the
handpiece, exposing the sleeve into which the end of your flexible
shaft fits. NOT the larger diameter lower housing of the handpiece
itself. Just that back sleeve. Now, with the quick release Open
(loose), the collet extends slightly from the handpiece, and you can
gently grip one jaw of the collet with a pair of slim nose pliers.
Only one jaw, so you don’t crush the collet. Held like this so the
collet itself cannot rotate, loosen the screw. It backs out
counterclockwise. Loosen it about a half turn. Now, grab that
rear sleeve that the flex shaft fits into with a round nose plier
(one nose inside the sleeve) so the shaft of the handpiece cannot
rotate. Gently screw the collet itself clockwise perhaps a half turn
or so, which will tighten it into the handpiece slightly. Again grip
the collet itself by one jaw, and retighten that internal screw (it
shouldn’t move much, since you’ve moved the collet in by about the
same amount you unscrewed that screw. Once it’s tightened down
snugly, you only need put the rear housing back on, and check the
fit of your burs in the handpiece. If it fits, you’re done. If not,
you can repeat this procedure as needed, either tightening the collet
some more, or backing it off a bit if it’s now too tight.

It’s important to note two things.

One is that this cannot go on forever. As noted, collets DO wear
out. the inside surfaces of the jaws wear down, opening the collet,
and the outer taper of the collet (and perhaps it’s mating taper on
the shaft) also wear. You reach a point when tighting the collet
pulls it deeper into the shaft without tighteing the grip any
further. The collet is then worn out

The second thing to note is that all quick release handpieces have
some limits to their grip range. Some more than others. And though
we buy burs and attachments listed as having 3/32 shanks, the truth
is that they seem to vary by a surprising amount. I think
manufacturers all assume we’re all using the old jacobs chuck #30
handpieces, which don’t care much about a half millimeter difference
here or there, but the quick release handpieces very much do care.
Some burs, such as the Busch and similar dental type burs are
consistant and accurate. Others, such as plated mandrels for rubber
wheels, the snap on mandrels for moores disks, and even many high
speed setting burs, can vary a LOT in their manufacturing tolerances
as regards actual shaft diameter. Before assuming your handpiece is
shot or worn, check it against known diameter burs like the busch
burs. if these grip well and tightly, it may be that what you’re
trying to grip has simply worn smaller, or wasn’t up to full spec
diameter in the first place… I bought some Spearhead brand high
speed ball burs once that were enough oversize that none of my
several types of quick release handpieces would accept it at all.
Usable only in a #30 handpiece. Rather annoying. And I’ve some of
those various aformentioned types of mandrels, often plated brass or
cheap plated steel, that are enough undersize that only a brand new
collet still has the grip range to hold them, and even then, they’re
not that secure. Also rather annoying. But the fault of the bit or
bur, not the handpiece.

   It was purchased through a jeweler friend of mine through
Gesswein.  Should I send it back to them?  I sent an email to them
and they never responded.  The company that I work for does not do
too much buisiness with them but have offered to send it to
Gesswein for me, but I am concerned that I might not get it back.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

If you Do need to send back your handpiece, you should expect to pay
for the service, as from the sound of this, it’s kinda normal for
several types of quick release handpieces to do this, and need
periodic adjustment. The Techno is actually easier than some to
adjust, once you figure out how. Once you know how to do it, it’s a
ten minute job at most. But if you find you just can’t get it
together again, then perhaps the most time efficient is to send it
in for repair. As i said, the main problem might be availability of
new parts, if they are needed. I’m not sure if the collets for the
swiss version now sold fits the old handpiece.

Gesswein has a fine reputation, and offers good service. But better
through the phone, in my experience, than via email. They are not
alone in this, by the way. Several of my favorite suppliers kind fall
down when it comes to good email support, and I’m not talking about
minor companies.

You might try contacting Elaine Corwin at Gesswein. An orchid
reader/member since way back, she’s also the technical/product V.P.,
I think, there, and if their service staff hasn’t helped, she can
certainly help move things along.

Also, depending on who you normally deal with, other companies may
also offer service. You don’t have to go to Gesswein. Frei and
Borel, for example, has long offered good service on handpieces of
many sorts, and there are a couple actual tool repair services, such
as Lone Star (who just today posted in response to someone’s
ultrasonic problem) and others, who do nothing else but repair our
tools and toys. Check the Orchid archives if you need to find these
folks…

Hope this helps.
Peter Rowe


#7

I’m sorry you didn’t get an answer to your email to Gesswein. (Can
you please let me know to @ElaineEC to whom you addressed the
email so I can follow up? Thank you.)

Meanwhile, yes you can send the Tecno X handpiece to us. Please
include a note with all your contact and stating that
you would like an estimate before repair. It’s not easy to get
parts for the old Tecno X handpieces but hopefully we’ll have whats
needed to get yours working again.

Best Regards,

Elaine Corwin
www.gesswein.com
Tel: 1-800-544-2043 x287


#8
    if I remeber right there is a screw at the bottom of the
collet on that handpiece that adjusts the collet tension. these
handpieces do wear qute a bit, as most( not all) jewelers try to
open the collet with the burr still moving, wears em out real fast.

I do believe that the techno x was designed to change burrs while in
the collet is in motion.

I have had a handpiece for at least 5 years and no problems. I have
had to adjust the collet during that time.

And yes there is a screw, you remove the back-end piece that the
flexshaft fits into, stick a small screwdriver down into the collet,
hold the piece the flexshaft end fits into carefully with pliers,
turn the srcewdriver counterclockwise I believe, and turn the collet
clockwise. The release lever is in the release position. You can see
the space between the collet segments get bigger or smaller as you
rotate it.

Mine is starting to slip, and it has been adjusted all the way. I
also find different mandrels fit differently, some are tight and some
are looser.

Richard Hart


#9
    if I remeber right there is a screw at the bottom of the
collet on that handpiece that adjusts the collet tension. these
handpieces do wear qute a bit, as most( not all) jewelers try to
open the collet with the burr still moving, wears em out real fast.
last time we had one repaired it was between 50 and 90 bucks not
counting shipping both ways. a few years back there was only a few
poepe that worked on he techno X.  hoefully you will have better
luck getting it serviced 

Opening and closing the collet on the techno while it’s still
rotating shouldn’t hurt anything internally, since it doesn’t cause
anything to generate friction. The cam that opens the collet is
bearing on two outer, non-rotating housings of ball bearings, and
it’s made that way specifically to avoid wear and tear on the cam.
The Faro type handpieces, on the other hand, and a couple other
types too, wear out the cam quickly when opened while running. Now,
if when you open the collet on a techno, so the bur is loose, you
then grab the bur and hold it still while the machine still runs on,
that will do a bit of grinding on the inside of the collet,
especially with high speed burs that don’t have super smooth shanks.
But my normal practice, at least, would be to grab the bur and remove
it, not leave it grinding on the collet. There’s little, if any,
friction on the collet when doing this, i believe. the collet, of
course, does not move/bear against the taper of the shaft in any
rotational way. it’s the same in/out motion whether the shaft is
running or not.

Peter


#10
Opening and closing the collet on the techno while it's still
rotating shouldn't hurt anything internally,  since it doesn't
cause anything to generate friction. 

Some time back, I made the same claim on Orchid about the Techno X
(which I’ve used for years). A couple of posters shot back that
despite the frictionless innards, metal dust could/will get into the
mechanism and mess up the works. They insisted that it was a bad idea
to allow the handpiece to run while changing burs, for instance.
YMMV.

Beth


#11
    Opening and closing the collet on the techno while it's still
rotating shouldn't hurt anything internally,  since it doesn't
cause anything to generate friction. 
Some time back, I made the same claim on Orchid about the Techno X
(which I've used for years). A couple of posters shot back that
despite the frictionless innards, metal dust could/will get into
the mechanism and mess up the works. They insisted that it was a
bad idea to allow the handpiece to run while changing burs, for
instance. YMMV.

there are not spots on the Techno, or it’s recent copies, open to
dust, grindings, etc, while the collet is loosened to remove a bur,
that are not pretty much equally open to the stuff when the collet is
closed.

Opening the collet does not expose the innards to dust. It pushes
the center shaft forward, lifting the collet out of it’s tapered
"socket", so the jaws open. This increases the space around the
collet into which dust could get. But dust can already get into those
spaces with the collet closed, via the slots between the collet jaws.
Plus, the collet does not rotate within that socket. The two parts
rotate together. There will be little opportunity for friction and
wear between those parts or other internal parts they connect to,
again because they rotate together as one assembly.

The parts of the Techno style handpiece that are prone to wear are
the ball bearings, which are sealed, but as with all bearings, will
wear and eventually will need replacing. The symptoms of that are
noisy bearings, vibration, and side to side play, which is with the
collet tightly gripping a bur, you can move the bur side to side,
along with the whole collet assembly. That indicates wear in the
bearings themselves. The wear comes simply from use, and is not
affected by whether the collet is open or closed.

Also, the collet jaws themselves wear from friction with the burr
shanks, especially if the collet is not adjusted to grip tight
enough, allowing the burs to slip in the collet. And the outside of
the collet also can wear down, letting it pull further into the
taper. The collet, like the bearings, are replaceable.

While less mechanically inclined users might want to have worn
bearings replaced by service people, it’s not actually all that hard
to do. The Techno style handpieces are a lot easier to disassemble
(enough to replace bearings, at least), than, say, the Faro style.
In fact, the main long term problems I’ve had is that after a number
of replacements of the bearings, the aluminum housing, which is the
outer red and silver colored casings of the handpiece, can become
worn inside so the bearings no longer fit quite as tightly when you
replace them. Makes the handpiece rattle some. The other main
problem I’ve had with these is the annoying habit of the little screw
that holds the quick change lever in place, to loosen up. fixable
with a little Lok tight, but that is a debatable fix, since the screw
hole itself is also the means by which one lubes the handpiece…

By the way, if you’re looking for Techno style handpieces, you’ll
find two versions now available. The Swiss copy, called the
Technique (at least on the 46rei and Borel web site), which is quite
similar to the Techno other than a changed lever, and an American
made style which I found on the Contenti web site. That one differs
with also a different lever style, but also in that it’s colored
blue, not red. It costs a little less, and they did a few bright
things in designing it. Of particular note, that little set screw
down inside the collet that needs to be adjusted to change the collet
adjustment, is not a slotted screw as with the Swiss style or
original Techno, but uses a standard hex wrench. That seems a good
idea to me, as it’s a lot easer to both fit that wrench down in
there, as well as getting that always stubborn screw to turn without
stripping the screw, and also to find replacement wrenches when the
supplied one goes missing (the Techno screwdriver has a nasty habit,
on my bench, of doing just that) But it seems to me that the overall
fit and finish of the manufacturing on the American made version is
not up to the same standards as the Swiss. Just my opinion, but
there it is. It seems a bit noisier, and again, that pesky screw
that holds the change lever (also a hex socket screw, which THIS time
I’d have preferred to be still a slotted screw) is even more prone to
getting loose than the one on the original Techno.

One note, if you’ve got the original TechnoX, is that according to
the Frei and Borel catalog, bearings and collets for the new Swiss
Technique handpiece will still fit the old TechnoX handpieces. Other
parts are not interchangeable. I don’t know if the American made
handpiece also uses bearings, collets, or parts that would fit the
other versions, but would expect that it would not.

Peter Rowe


#12

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the great about the TechnoX in general. I’m
archiving your post for such time as I need to deal with worn
bearings or collets (although I also bought a back up TechnoX before
the original handpiece went extinct :-).

    Opening the collet does not expose the innards to dust. 

So let me get this one point straight. You’re saying it is
perfectly okay to change burs while the TechnoX is running?

Beth


#13
     So let me get this one point straight. You're saying it is
perfectly okay to change burs while the TechnoX is running? 

Rrom what the original manufacturer said, the current manufacturers
of the new versions say, and my own impressions when having these
apart, I believe that is indeed just fine from the standpoint of the
handpiece. I’d caution you, though, to be careful of grabbing a
rapidly spinning tool to remove it, even after opening the lever.
You can still ding a finger pretty well with a larger sharper bur,
just from the slight torque tne open collet still exerts. So I’m
not suggesting you keep your foot on the pedal running the thing at
full tilt while chaning burs. You’ll hurt yourself. You just don’t
need to sit there twiddling your thumbs waiting for that nice ball
bearing motor to come to a full stop. Take your foot off the pedal.
Then, if you like, change the bur as the handpiece slows down.

Now, it IS true that if the handpiece is running, and the bur held
in your fingers is then not, there will be friction between the
shank of the bur and the inner jaws of the collet. Especially with
high speed steel setting burs, which have a "ground’ finish on those
shanks, this may create increased wear on the collet. And that IS
the type of wear that eventually wears out collets. So don’t open
the collet, grab the bur, and just hold it fixed while the chuck
still rotates around it for extended periods of time grinding on the
bur. But I believe that the usual brief moments of this wear from
changing burs with the handpieces not yet stopped should be a very
very minimal contributor to the overall wear on the chuck. One
normally removes the burs quite quickly, and the added rotational
motion of the chuck shouldn’t make much difference. At least,
that’s how I see it… Now, if your collet isn’t adjusted properly
for a given bur shank, so a bur is tight and hard to remove, then
obviously, don’t push the issue. Let the handpiece come to a stop
before you wrestle that tight shank out of the collet.

As an aside, from what I’ve been able to see, the Faro types of
handpiece also shouldn’t suffer additional damage TO THE COLLET OR
BEARINGS from opening the chuck while they are still moving, any more
than the Techno style handpiece. The problem with these others
(including, I think, the Ney type with it’s press in lever) is that
the cam in the opening lever is running against rotating parts with
just a bit of grease to reduce friction rather than against a
non-rotating ball bearing housing, as in the Techno. So using the
lever as a brake, or opening these handpieces while running (or
running them without a bur too, I think) creates rapid wear on the
cam and it’s bearing surfaces. The cams on the 46aros don’t last
long, as a result, unless you’re careful to let them stop.

Some of this, with various handpieces, you can tell just from how
they operate. The Technos don’t give you any perception of braking
or slowing the handpiece when operating the quick change lever.
That should tell you no additional friction or wear is being
induced. Other handpieces may give you a distinct grinding noise or
vibration when you operate the lever. that’s an obvious clue…

cheers
Peter


#14

Here are my thoughts on operating the collet lever while the motor
is still rotating: Do not use the handpiece lever to slow down the
motor unless you know the handpiece was designed for that, most are
not. The original Tecno-X, the blue Tecno handpiece made in the US,
the Swiss made Tecnique, the 180/00, and Grobet Q40 are specifically
designed for this and they have a thrust bearing that is engaged
when the lever is moved to the open position. The Faro, Pfingst AC
(made by Faro), Foredom 10 (made by Faro), Foredom 18, new style
Grobet quick change handpiece, and most others are not designed to
open the collet while the motor is still rotating. If you try to
open the collet and use the lever as a brake, expect to eventually
replace a twisted or broken duplex spring, worn down cam, or worn
down pressure sleeve (not covered by any product or repair
warranty).

John
The Jewelry Equipmentdr