Beta project: Milling machine collet holder



This is something have I wanted to make ever since getting my milling machine a few years ago.
The Tree mills use these unusual double taper collets to hold tools in the spindle,

They are not marked by size which is annoying, and until now I had them stored jumbled in a box in a drawer. Enter the laser!

I wanted a holder that would occupy unused space next to the machine, and have easy to read labels for the collets. The 1/4" plywood is plenty strong with a few reinforcing disks underneath.
I had a some disks that were drops out of other projects, and I just stacked them up with a pin for alignment and glued them on.

It clamps on an existing arm I added a while ago to hold the on/off switch and speed control.
I got to use the mill and lathe to make the clamp and pivot, because I love using the machines to fix/improve themselves.

The tab labels give me lots of room for big numbers, and double as finger holds for spinning to the size you want.

All in all a very successful and satisfying project!


Wow! That’s brilliant in its simplicity. Nice work.


ThisOldTony would be envious. Nice post.


Very organized! (Rather jealous, actually.) Great idea! :smiley:


Sweet piece of organization! After having to fish them out of a box, you will grin every time your eye lands on it.
Thanks for the inspiration.

It occurs to me we will need a box to keep all the cut outs and useful scraps in.


A Dry Moly Lube spray on the collets and you could permanently laser the size onto the collet itselft. (Poor man’s Cermark,)


Those look like some very clean cuts on the quarter inch too…which is most excellent to see! :relaxed:


Well done! Looks great and very useful. :slight_smile:


This is just so ridiculously clever. And the end result is really satisfying.

And only a very small part of me wants to mix all the tabs up and cackle to myself in the corner.


I ditto all of the above compliments!! Great work as usual!


Speaking of which, making the tab sizes unique by collet size so the tab only fits into the correct sizer would prevent evil cackling in the corner :slightly_smiling_face:


Love the design. practical and looks very useful. Man, I can’t wait to get my hand on one on a Glowforge.


I love artistic stuff, but THIS is what gets me super excited! By the way, my collets came from the factory with their size laser etched. might be worth a shot?


If not lyrical, that is poetic.

Wonderful project. Well-designed and very thoughtful. Thanks for sharing.


simple and elegant, once again!