pen turning: is a dead center ok? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-29-2010, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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pen turning: is a dead center ok?

I have an old Dunlap lathe (given to me by a work colleague), and would like to turn some pens.

I just got a pen mandrel/bushing set for a Shopsmith that should fit the head-stock (it's a 5/8" drive, not Morse taper or threaded). The tail-stock doesn't have a live center, though, it has a dead center.

Will this be a problem? Is a live center mandatory for pen turning?

Thanks --

Duncan

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-30-2010, 08:44 AM
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I wouldn't go as far as to say it is mandatory, but you don't want the dead center to create too much resistance between itself and the end of the pen mandrel. The problem is that they must engage each other in order for the center to stabilize the mandrel.

I'd really suggest checking into whether or not the tailstock has a morse taper in it, and if so, get yourself a $20 live center.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-30-2010, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I'd really suggest checking into whether or not the tailstock has a morse taper in it, and if so, get yourself a $20 live center.
Thanks -- I've looked at it but will look some more.

So far I haven't managed to work out exactly how the dead center got into the housing of the tailstock (or how I could get it out).

I've run the screw thread all the way to each end, tried peering into the hole where the locking set-screw goes ... no hint as to how I could separate the housing from the center.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-30-2010, 05:23 PM
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Many lathes with a morse taper when you run the tailstock all the way back and bottom out will pop the center out when torqued a bit more than bottomed. Try a bit more pressure but don't force it.
I take it the tailstock will not screw completely off at full extension?
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-30-2010, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
Many lathes with a morse taper when you run the tailstock all the way back and bottom out will pop the center out when torqued a bit more than bottomed. Try a bit more pressure but don't force it.
I take it the tailstock will not screw completely off at full extension?
Thanks -- I'll try your ideas when I get home

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Many lathes with a morse taper when you run the tailstock all the way back and bottom out will pop the center out when torqued a bit more than bottomed. Try a bit more pressure but don't force it.
This didn't seem to have the desired effect; I ran the screw to both extremes and then tried to push it a bit further. Nothing happened.

Quote:
I take it the tailstock will not screw completely off at full extension?
"Unscrewing" as far as possible simply retracts the cup/spike into the tailstock housing -- then it stops. I turned it the other way (as if to exert maximum squeeze against a turning blank) and tried to see if I could remove the non-threaded part with pliers.

No luck, but I just realized it might be a left-handed thread, so there's something else to try tonight.

I found the model number cast in the headstock: 103-0602. I think it is the last one pictured on this page ... "1942/3 Dunlap 9-inch wood-turning lathe"

http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsmanwood/page5.html

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 09:35 PM
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It may be possible to have a machine shop build a cap for the dead center that has a bearing in it to make it into a live center. Be even better if the shop was skilled enough to make an adaptor with a morse taper in it.
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