I’ve used the LMS set of inch-size MT3 spindle collets on occasion, but releasing them required an unseemly amount of drawbar battering. It recently occurred to me to check their fit in the spindle taper:
The only place they touch the spindle is right around the base, so it’s no wonder they clamp poorly and release grudgingly. I tried several others with the same result.
Cross-checking shows a much closer fit along the entire length of the dead center, so it’s not the spindle’s fault:
Stipulated: we’re not talking toolroom precision here
I set the collets on centers:
And proceeded to file away the offending section to move the clamping force closer to the business end of the collet:
I did the small collets, the ones I’m most likely to need, and left the big ones for another rainy day.
They don’t have much clamping range and seem good only for exact-inch-size rods.
I should lay in a stock of ER16 and maybe ER32 collets for small stuff.