Picture of Make a Replacement Collet Wrench
I made this instructable at Techshop Detroit.

The website for techshop is here:

Ok, On to the project!

The Collet wrench for our ShopBot broke. I set out to make a new one.

If you would like to make your own wrench with this file, feel free. It works great with our shopbot.  The file is below. (its in .DXF format.)

For this Instructable, I used:

.180" cold steel plate that I had laying around the shop.
A waterjet

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Step 1: Design the file

Picture of Design the file
I used some calipers to make measurements of our existing wrench.

I used CorelDraw to draw out the file, then I exported it as a DXF into the waterjet software.

I made sure everything was cool with the file and then I took it all to the waterjet.

Step 2: Cut it out on a Waterjet!

Picture of Cut it out on a Waterjet!

A waterjet can be extremely dangerous.

If you do not have a TechShop, you can try and find a waterjet shop that does single pieces but it might be cheaper to just buy a wrench at that point. This part cost me $4 so it was worth it to do it myself. (The metal was scrap so I call that free, and cut time was 2 minutes at $2/min.)

The operation of the waterjet isn't really in the scope of this instructable but suffice it to say that it is AWESOME...

Step 3: Smooth the Sides

Picture of Smooth the Sides
The waterjet leaves a fairly sharp edge.

I used a bastard file to smooth the edges of the wrench.

Remember when using a file that there is only one cut direction. Push only! Pulling the file does nothing for you and prematurely dulls the file.

Step 4: And There you Have It

Picture of And There you Have It
And there you have it. A nice new collet wrench. I used a little bit of WD40 on it to keep it from rusting. This wrench should last a while and I can make more if it ever breaks.
lime3D3 years ago
Hey, that's great!

Care to donate it to the ShopBot kit? Last time I used the machine (July 3), we were still sharing one wrench between the Alpha and Buddy.
KrushIndustries (author)  lime3D3 years ago
Yeah, As it turns out, Cold steel is not tough enough for this application. I'm going to try again with tool steel. I will update this Instructable as soon as that happens. The wrench worked for a few days, and then due to it being softer than necessary, it began to bind.
Gotcha. Shawn said that he would order some hardened steel on his next order, so he can make one for the shop.