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drive centers

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Perry Hilbert, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Sep 27, 2017
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    Location:
    Windsor, Pennsylvania
    I have been doing mostly spindle work, and mostly small items. Lately the most used drive centers have been my M2 to M1 taper adapter or an old cup dead center. The wood can stall in place with a catch and my catches are becoming less and less. I am getting more catches with a spindle gouge than a skew. The pressure from the tail stock determines the drive friction from the drive center. So I can set it to stall easier or harder depending on the wood. Anyone else doing this?
     
  2. Clifton C

    Clifton C

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
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    Location:
    Hampton Roads Virginia
    Perry, I have a few that I have acquired over the years. My favorite is one I made from a 2MT x 2JT. I turned the "cup" to match the diameter of my live center (the OneWay style) so that I could flip a spindle end for end. Worked like a champ. One of our club members, Mat Lewis had a nice article in the American Woodturner on making shop made drive centers. Some folks file teeth or scollops around the cup for added traction, the one I made like that I never used and finally gave it away. It is fun making your own tools...
    c
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I use cup centers a for small spindles, multi center turnings, balls etc.
    I use the cups when I demo multi center napkin rings or balls
    I use them because
    1. It is an instant mount tighten the tailstock with the point sin centers marked with an awl
    2. Recenters if the piece is removed from the lathe
    3. Can flip the piece end for end an it will be in center.
    4. Gives a good grip for the multi car turning

    A good clean cut will not stall these centers when tight.
    I prefer these centers to stem centers which are nearly as good alternatives.

    For real thin spindle I prefer a spur drive center or a chuck because I want a light tail center pressure to avoid bending the spindle.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  4. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Joined:
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    709
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I purchased a box of short round stock drops of Delrin plastic this material turns nicely
    and I have made a number of cup centers and jam chucks for the lathe from this material.

    Cup Centers.jpg
     
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The drive center that I use for smaller spindles used to be called a dead center, but now is called a cup center. Dead centers were used in the tailstock before live centers came along. Tallow or lard was placed in the cup to provide lubrication.
     
  6. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Hmmm. Tells the time frame of use. Now we would use something that wouldn't raise the cholesterol of our lathe. ;)
    This has been an interesting and informative thread. Interesting as to how things have changed over the decades. Thanks to all for your contributions here.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  7. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Hi Mike, where did you purchase your Delrin plastic stock? Thanks.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I turn too aggressively. The cup centers just don't work for me. I stall the piece frequently. Also putting excessive force on tailstock makes thin spindles flex. When doing those i often back off the quill feed until the revolving center slows and then reapply just enough pressure to keep the revolving tail center spinning. This reduces the flex dramatically and simply won't let the cut center drive the wood effectively. They are OK for beginners especially when learning the skew as the catches aren't as dramatic. It won't stop catches it just doesn't tear up the wood as bad.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe we should start a group therapy forum for aggressive turning .... "Hello, my name is Bill. Sometimes I knock wood off the lathe and say bad words".
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    The only practical centers for multi center turn are the cup centers or their derivatives the Steb centers
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  11. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Bill I tend to get rid of wood rapidly early on in the spindle turning process. No reason to take all day doing this. Then my final cuts are all very gentle with extremely light pressure on the bevel. For my last cuts the cup center would work quite well but I have made larger 4 prong and even steb centers slip when roughing spindles.
     
  12. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Lamar,
    I searched and found them on EBay, I like to turn various materials and search for material lots to add to my turning stock for various projects. I also have a metal lathe so I also look for materials for that machine also. You can find some deals on material drops and scrap pieces which is cheaper than buying at new retail. I have found good deals on Corian scraps and drops on Ebay which can also be turned on a wood lathe.
     
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  13. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Thanks Mike for your information on Delrin supply. I found what I needed on Ebay. Thanks again.
     
  14. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Corian scraps? Look for a cabinet shop or countertop installer. They should have lots of Corian scraps. Need to check with my source on that- I get sink cutouts and use them for various projects in the shop. They make good table tops for DP, BS, rolling platform for Shop Vac, etc.
     

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