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Thread: Steb Centre

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Steb Centre

    I bought a steb centre a while ago, and decided to use it today in making another muddler, in Curly Maple. I centred it and reefed it good with the tailstock, and proceeded to rough it out. I immediately ran into a problem with the workpiece stopping as soon as it dug into any kind of bump in the wood.

    Now I wasn't putting any more pressure on the tool than I usually do (I'm a gentle soul at heart) so I wouldn't expect this to happen with any of my four bladed spur centres. To get the job done, I continually tightened the tail stock, but when I got to sanding it would stop if I pulled a little too hard on the sandpaper.

    I bought this because with my HF lathe, a steb centre was the only one I could get. I did have similar problems with the HF lathe, but I didn't do much with it.



    So, now I'm wondering, what is a steb centre good for?
    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

  2. #2
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    Roger, I use mine all the time and don't usually have a problem. The center point is spring loaded and you need to tighten up pretty good on the tail stock to get the outer ring to dig into your piece. You really can't be too aggressive in removing wood though. It was designed to reduce catches and should serve you well once you get the hang of it.

  3. #3
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    This may be a dumb question, but when the workpiece stops, does the steb center keep spinning, or does it stop as well? In other words, is the slippage between the center and the wood, or the center and the lathe? I'm wondering if there is an issue with taper in the lathe spindle itself, and not with the steb center.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    So, now I'm wondering, what is a steb centre good for?
    Its for learning how to approach the wood so you don't get any catches and improve the subtleties of your cuts

    I think the problems started with your initial turning. The steb center doesn't have a lot of depth so when you got a few grabs on the initial turning it caused it to slip (as designed) and chewed in a bit of a ring into it where the teeth are. Once you got that groove deep enough the wood was riding on the smooth part so it had no more grab to give. So now you're basically just running on smooth steel and pressure so it slipped even when sanding.

    Its actually a good learning tool for figuring out how to take smooth clean cut.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, but for the rest of the day, I'm using my four spur chuck. Yes, Vaughn, the centre keeps spinning when the wood stops.
    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

  6. #6
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    +1 what Ryan said. Been there myself, but I love my step centers. Also there are different sizes of step centers, well two sizes I know of, for the bigger wood I always used the bigger one. Pen blank size I used the little one.
    "We the People ......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglass View Post
    +1 what Ryan said. Been there myself, but I love my step centers. Also there are different sizes of step centers, well two sizes I know of, for the bigger wood I always used the bigger one. Pen blank size I used the little one.
    Same here... haven't used a 4 prong drive since I got my steb centers...
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2009
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    Harrisburg, NC
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    I find it works great for face work, especially on hard dry wood.
    I tried it once on green wood and had to keep tightening the tailstock; by the time I discovered the problem it was 1"+ deep in the wood (the steb and exposed shaft was buried and 1/8" over the spindle threads as it "drilled" its way in.

    It works ok for me on spindle but since I have to mark the center anyway I may as well cut the cross hatch for the four-prong. If you are really pushed for time you can do as shown in some video and remove and replace the item without turning off the lathe.

    For learning a "safety center" works well. This is a dead cup center for the tailstock that someone put in the headstock and renamed. Mine was $4 new with an adjustable point; a "safety center" for the headstock sells for $18 and up. Alan Lacer used a dremel to cut 3-4 shallow dips to increase drive. I think flattening the end about 1mm or less achieves the same thing.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    The simplicity of it boils down to "Crank it down til the teeth catch, and then TURN!!!".

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