Sorry, not sorry. You’ve got to admit that title is fun. Because in the shop, a tool holder can be a collet or a tray. So, technically an R8 collet is an R8 tool holder. And, a tray that holds R8 tool holders is also an R8 tool holder. Tool holding is important. Holding the tool holders is important too.
Holding your R8 tools properly is important. Don’t get the grip right and you will damage your cutter, collet, the workpiece or even worse. You could damage your face or any shop mate’s body parts. Not cool.
Make sure you use the right collet size. The collet size should match the tool size. For example, use ¾” collets to grip ¾” cutters. A ¾” collet really can’t hold a 5/8” tool properly, so don’t even try it. Close gets no cigar in tool holding. Tool holding is much more precise than hand grenade tossing.
Before you put the collet on the spindle of your mill, take a minute to check for stray chips. If the taper has residue from coolant of work past or chips or scharf you need to clean it out. Just one little chip in the taper is enough to throw the tightening up off a bit. And that one little bit is enough to cause a problem or increase runout. Not cool for accuracy.
If the spindle is clean, insert the collet and spin the drawbar a few times. Insert your cutter so that all grinds extend beyond the collet. You need to see shank, not flutes immediately below the collet. Finger tighten the drawbar and finish with your collet wrench. Your R8 collet is now holding your tool
The last thing you want to do is damage your tool while inserting it into the collet. Just imagine dropping a new cutter and ruining it before the job even starts. Talk about not cool at all.
Take an old shop towel and fold it up. Put the towel in the workspace under the collet. If you fumble fingers the cutter and drop it, the towel will absorb the shock of the fall. It should save your cutter from damage.
Pro Tip 2 Use R8 Tool Holder Trays
Before you start work, sequence your tools. Get everything together and get it in order. Professional machinists know they are only as good as their equipment. That’s why they use R8 tool holder trays to store collets when not in use.
Sierra American Multi-Systems makes it easy to secure collets safely. R8 tool holder trays hold up to 52 collets. That’s enough for regular use plus spares in case of emergency.
High impact plastic is durable enough to stand up to the rigors of life in the machine shop. Way cool. Look for your R8 tool holder trays where you buy your shop supplies. If they don’t have Sierra American, ask for them to get it. Sierra American proudly makes all products right here in the USA. Don’t settle for cheap imitations. Ask for Sierra American by name.