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Thread: Wht's the use?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Wht's the use?

    ...of this tool shown here. I bought it last year at MLCS without looking at it real hard, and assumed it was a live centre. It isn't, of course, it's a drive centre. Now, yesterday I couldn't find where I had put my spur centres last fall, so I tried this one. I had it on one end of a piece of spalted maple, and a 15/16" Forstner bit on the other end. I turned on the lathe, and the wood turned a quarter turn and sat there with the centre spinning madly to no effect. I dug around a little more, and finally found my spur centres, and put them to effective use.

    I haven't tried it, but I imagine that any gouge would stop the wood dead in its tracks, so what use is this kind of centre put to? Is it just reefed down really tight, or used for some special purpose?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

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  2. #2
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    looks like one of the old centers you put in the tail stock.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    looks like one of the old centers you put in the tail stock.
    Which is why I thought it was a live centre, but it isn't. It's meant to be a drive centre. In fact, the box says "Safety Drive Center."
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    The safety drive center did what it's supposed to do. It should be snug enough to spin the wood but will slip if one gets a catch. The intent is to improve safety for beginners or anyone else, for that matter.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    I had it on one end of a piece of spalted maple, and a 15/16" Forstner bit on the other end. I turned on the lathe, and the wood turned a quarter turn and sat there with the centre spinning madly to no effect. I dug around a little more, and finally found my spur centres, and put them to effective use.
    I've only used a forstner on the lathe with the other end firmly ensconced in either a faceplate or a chuck. Do others use a drill bit with just a spur center on the drive side? I hope you're at least drilling a hole for the live center to seat in...

    The safety centers work fairly well on dry wood with a light hand especially for smaller pieces. Its actually a decent training tool as usually when it slips you're doing something to present the tool a bit off. The exception to that is when you're really hogging wood off for bowls or similar

  6. #6
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    Yep, that's my understanding as well. A cup is designed to stop the wood with a catch. Highly recommended for beginners (which I am).

  7. #7
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    Something I am not understanding or maybe reading correctly. You put that on one end of the wood and a Forstner bit? Were you trying to drill with the forstner bit? When drilling on the lathe, I mount the wood in a chuck on the headstock, the bit in the tail stock (in a Jacobs chuck). It's been almost year since I did anything on my lathe so I am just trying to remember how I did things.
    "We the People ......"

  8. #8
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    Oct 2006
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    I love this safety center, very useful.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You need to adjust how much the center pointy part is sticking out, yours is sticking out way too far. Just loosen the locking screw there, but not to much, there is usually a spring behind the pointy bit and you have to take care it does not fly accross the room.

    Make the pointy bit stick out much less, so that the cut and the pointy bit engage the wood, then it will drive smaller projects. It is mainly for spindle turning.

    I have a couple of them and they are fantastic, very useful.

    Cheers!
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  9. #9
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    The cone provides a friction seat and the pin's (do what Stu said and retract it a bit) sole purpose is for alignment. That being said....they don't work very well...JMHO...for what I do . The Stebcenter (http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/...n-Drive-Center) is built for more aggressive stuff/styles. I use it on large stuff as an extra margin of safety against "Oops"!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Harrisburg, NC
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    + to the "safety center". Probably made popular by Alan Lacer's video on the skew.
    It is basically a friction drive so you will probably never be able to use it and drill. Just increase pressure from the tailstock to increase friction.
    Lacer used a dremel to cut small arcs in the cup area to provide more drive.
    It was originally a "dead center" for the tailstock until someone put one in the headstock, renamed it safety center, and charged 5X times the price.
    Here is the one I use and it works fine (no connection with the seller).
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Craftsman-29...item4d1b233327

    I like it so well I ordered one for my daughter.

    It does look like the OP's is larger diameter. I think mine is 5/8 - 3/4" but would have to measure.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

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