If you’ve ever unsteadily swung a hammer and one of your fingers ends up as collateral damage, you know that sometime operator error, not the tool itself, can be the problem.

This is essentially the case with K.O. Lee Expanding Mandrels, according to Rick Enquist, Owner of Enquist Tractor Service, a heavy-duty diesel engine remanufacturer in McPherson, Kansas.

If you mess up using these mandrels, the error rests with you, not the tool.

“These mandrels will hold tolerances within a couple thousandths of an inch,” said Enquist recently in a phone interview. “The error is not in the mandrel, but in the material being used or the operator. These things are spot-on.”

Enquist uses the K.O. Lee Expanding Mandrels in his shop to hold tolerances for making parts like repair bushings or bearing sleeves for heavy duty engine blocks.

The nature of the Expanding Mandrel allows you to grip a part from the inside and machine the outside diameter of the part so it is perfectly round and concentric. The precise spherical nature of the machined part comes in handy for Enquist Tractor Service when, for example, repairing a hole in a transmission case.

“The Expanding Mandrel allows you to slip a sleeve over the mandrel and grind it to the necessary size,” Enquist adds. “With the tool, you can grind a part or cut it with a lathe to keep a part perfectly round, something that could not be done with a conventional chuck.”

As his words indicate, Enquist is fond of the K.O. Lee Expanding Mandrel product line and owns one of every size offered in his shop that has been in business since 1980. The tool has even saved him some money.

For instance, his shop saved about $1,300 on a specific job where workers used the Expanding Mandrels to reclaim camshaft rollers, diesel engine components.

“Depending on what you’re working with, you can save money by reclaiming things that are round and keep them round,” Enquist simplifies.

“K.O. Lee Expanding Mandrels are very useful and valuable. Once you have them in your shop, you’ll say to yourself, ‘my gosh, how did I get on without these things!’”

LeBlond Ltd. is selling a new line of K.O. Lee Economy Mandrels. To order these cost-effective mandrels, call LeBlond at (888) 920-9852. If you are interested in new LeBlond or K.O. Lee machines or require OEM parts for your LeBlond, K.O. Lee, Standard Modern, Johnson Press, Deka Drill and W.F. & John Barnes equipment, call LeBlond at (888) 920-9852.