The Hardinge 5C collet system is a fascinating lathe workholding system.  I have a bought I got from Hardinge that details how it all works and how to get the most benefit from it.  They thought of seemingly everything a long time ago, and I would suspect that a lot of the success of Hardinge in those days had to do with the 5C system’s versatility and productivity.  One of the useful features of the 5C system is the “Post Chuck”.  Pot chucks are the lathe’s equivalent of a milling machine’s soft jaws.

Here is a nifty picture showing the many uses of a “Pot Chuck” for offset work:

No idea what those parts are, but they are sure cool, eh? Someone suggested in an email to me that they are fine adjustments for a Norris-style wood plane

A pot chuck is a 5C collet that can be modified to make a custom collet for your work. This fellow has made one that takes the little offset slugs to machine the brass. You can see he has quite a little variety for whatever it is he is producing on his mini production line. Note that each little slug lines up a different portion on the center line for easy access in the lathe. From left to right there is the little nib that sticks out, then the little set screw that clamps the thing to the thread (a backlash adjustment, perhaps?). Moving along we see three collet systems, one to machine the threaded portion, one to turn the ball, and the last one to allow the ball to be bored.


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