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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wasn't sure what to title this... here goes.

So I have a small pen lathe, and I'm making a Native American style pipe.
Bought a pre drilled bit of wood for the stem (pretty sure they said it was sumac, not the poison kind.) and was wondering if there is any way to put this on my lathe?
It's too long for the mandrel and the hole is too narrow anyway. And no I don't want to drill it wider, already made nibs to attach the pipe with.
That pointy bit on the right side works great, is there such a thing I can put on the left side that would hold this?

I think for this one I'll just do this by hand with my dremel, but I MAY make another. Got the pipe part carved already and it came out darn nice for a first time stone carving. So anything I can learn here will only help.

You really need visuals, here. (please excuse the horrendous mess, my garage is in serious need of re organizing. Too many projects going at once.)

Automotive tire Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle
 

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That pointy bit on the right side works great, is there such a thing I can put on the left side that would hold this?
Yes, I'd recommend one like shown below
  • Multi-tooth, spring-loaded drive centers are far superior to traditional the 4-prong centers that come stock with most lathes
  • The spring-loaded center point contacts the workpiece first, then retracts into the center when pressure is applied preventing splitting of your workpiece
  • The multiple teeth then grip the wood as pressure is applied on the tailstock greatly decreased the likelihood of splitting your work


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I'd recommend one like shown below
  • Multi-tooth, spring-loaded drive centers are far superior to traditional the 4-prong centers that come stock with most lathes
  • The spring-loaded center point contacts the workpiece first, then retracts into the center when pressure is applied preventing splitting of your workpiece
  • The multiple teeth then grip the wood as pressure is applied on the tailstock greatly decreased the likelihood of splitting your work


View attachment 442080
PERFECT!!!!! That's exactly what I needed to see and know the name off. Thank you SO much.
I'm out there working on this with the dremel, gonna keep a slight raw wood imprefection shape going for this one. But I sure can see myself making more of these. Perhaps selling them. First one is mine though, can only be one first right?
 

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I would use a chuck to grasp the outside of the piece, but first insert a plug in the hole to prevent it from collapsing under clamping pressure when tightening the chuck.
Even a multi-spur drive may stress the end of the pipe or not have enough surface to grab the piece.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually have one of those but.... pipe is too long for my lathe with that big klunky thing on it. I like that other idea better. But again, this one I'm doing by hand. Actually gonna keep a slight natural stick shape to it.

Trying to find out next what to finish the wood with. Seems bees wax or linseed oil are the top choices so far but still doing some homework.
I am going to do a bit of inlay.... Fine chips with super glue. Works great on pens... tried a sample piece of wood and yup, it will work for a pipe too... but not sure how oil or wax will look over that part. Might need more test pieces done.
 

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I actually have one of those but.... pipe is too long for my lathe with that big klunky thing on it. I like that other idea better. But again, this one I'm doing by hand. Actually gonna keep a slight natural stick shape to it.

Trying to find out next what to finish the wood with. Seems bees wax or linseed oil are the top choices so far but still doing some homework.
I am going to do a bit of inlay.... Fine chips with super glue. Works great on pens... tried a sample piece of wood and yup, it will work for a pipe too... but not sure how oil or wax will look over that part. Might need more test pieces done.
Another method comes to mind. You can make a tight fitting wood plug for the spindle on one end and the flute on the other. Drive it into the spindle and press the flute on the end sticking out. Then use an automotive hose clamp to secure the flute on the plug. a few wraps of tape will keep it from squeezing too much and marring the flute. This is a "zero cost" method. No parts to buy.
 

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You can make a sort of jam chuck that fits the hole on the head stock end with a narrow MT-1 taper cut in the wood. friction will turn the wood if firmly held in the taper, even with out teeth. I have turned hundreds of pieces using only the MT-2 taper inside my headstock spindle as the drive head. (i bought a few cases of furniture spindles from an old furniture factory and turn them into other items just with the friction of the .inside of the taper and they turn just fine, provided they are kept under about 2 inches in diameter. Many turners lose sight of the fact that the taper inside the spindle can be used as a drive too.
 

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That pointy bit on the right side works great, is there such a thing I can put on the left side that would hold this?
One needn't spend a whole lot of money for these "pointy things" :) (spur drives)

This one fits a #1 Morse taper; $16.00

This one fits a #2 Morse taper; $21.00

Yes, one can spend much more for a name brand spur drive. I have yet to see the value for my needs.
 

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This one fits a #1 Morse taper; $16.00
@Dave McCann, is it just me or is the title description on this one messed up? It says it's a tailstock center, then it says it's a live tailstock, and finally it says it's a drive center. Which is it? You can assume from the picture that it is a drive center, but the picture could be wrong. I hate it when this happens on Amazon. I didn't read the Q&A or reviews down the page to see what they say. I'd assume it's a drive center. But I had a similar situation on an item I ordered and they sent me the wrong thing 3 times - none matched the description or the picture!
 

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Your lathe can do what ever you give it the accessories to accomplish the task, it is critical to keep the bore through the stock centred at both ends. It is usually a good idea to have a bit extra length so you can finish the turning at both ends and just cut off the parts you were using to hold it.
 

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The OP said:
So I have a small pen lathe, and I'm making a Native American style pipe.
Bought a pre drilled bit of wood for the stem (pretty sure they said it was sumac, not the poison kind.) and was wondering if there is any way to put this on my lathe?
It's too long for the mandrel and the hole is too narrow anyway. And no I don't want to drill it wider, already made nibs to attach the pipe with.
That pointy bit on the right side works great, is there such a thing I can put on the left side that would hold this?


A hollow tube/pipe presents issue that are not typical. It may also be fragile and split if a pointed tailstock center is used.
A better solution, JMO, is to plug the ends of the tube and secure them from expanding with a simple hose clamp or wraps of electrical tape.
A chuck can also grasp the end of a plugged tube with enough friction not to deform or collapse it. A wrap of painters tape will add friction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well just dandy. Seems Amazon (or directly from China) is the ONLY place to find this?

I flat out refuse to do business from either. (Knowing full well that most of the stuff in the stores comes from china.)

But amazon? NO (*insert slew of cuss words) WAY!

Someone has GOT to have a similar part. Left side of lathe, grab a piece with some center point. That's all I need.
I've checked several sites I've got parts from and nothing.

Unless this goes by some other name????
 

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Use your chuck to make a piece to go snugly over the end of the piece you want to turn an inch or so long and then turn the other end to fit tightly into your head stock taper. When mounted between centers it will serve as your drive center. Beginning turners frequently get wrapped up in "what equipment do I need to buy to do this?" Instead of how can I do this with the tools I have. (I know I did) There are several 19th century turning texts available free on line that describe how to do miraculous things "old school"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Use your chuck to make a piece to go snugly over the end of the piece you want to turn an inch or so long and then turn the other end to fit tightly into your head stock taper. When mounted between centers it will serve as your drive center. Beginning turners frequently get wrapped up in "what equipment do I need to buy to do this?" Instead of how can I do this with the tools I have. (I know I did) There are several 19th century turning texts available free on line that describe how to do miraculous things "old school"

Oh I wish I understood what your talking about. But meanwhile I tried different search terms and found several on ebay, same price as the one above, and from US sellers. Average price 17 bucks. Not too painful at all. But I'll do more homework on this, next thing I need to make are short little nibs to connect the pipe to stick. Replaceable vs just carving the stick to fit. Had one like that, it wears out. SO it means drilling a short piece of dowel then turning it. I made a few already just with the dremel and eyeballing it, took forever. This could be done so much faster on the lathe, make several and put them away to use as needed. That pointy gripper part would be good, (hmmmm. IF I can push both sides close enough, maybe not.)

Thinking as I write.... I could put a long piece of dowl in there, do the turning, cut different sections out last. DUH, yea, so that same part would work for this too. OR... I do have one of those big claw grabber things. Long piece of dowel on that, again cut off the pieces after turning. Yea..... (See that lightbulb go off?) lol.

Yea clearly I'm a beginner with this. Only turned a few pens so far.


here, just one listing I have saved, there are a ton once I put the right terms in there.
2 MT with 1-Inch Woodworking lathe drive center | eBay
 

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I actually did exactly what you're trying to do .... hollowed out some birch dowel rods for a new product I'm releasing. Note that I bought 3 lathes and stands to get it done. First Jet 10x15 (JWL-1015VS) wasn't powerful enough so returned it as it just didn't have the horsepower. (Still have the brand new stand for it and need to get rid of it.) The mid size Delta (Model #46-460) was strong enough and what I used. I used Nova Spigot jaw sets, Forstner bits (with 4" long shank from Rockler), Morse tapers and extensions. Note that there is a limit how far you can drill into the dowel rod on the lathe just because the equipment I had couldn't reach further, even if you drill the dowel from both ends. There's a video online somewhere showing a Native American gentleman using a lathe to make 12"-16" pipes that I found online once but could never find the video again to figure out what he was using. I opted for keeping the end in the jaws intact on one end (like someone mentioned above) and hollowing out shorter pieces of the dowels (4"). I had never even seen a lathe in person when I started on that adventure, but it was a great learning experience and I have a lot of respect for turners. I found a different solution for my product. Expensive lesson but fun.
 

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Artmakersworlds - I actually still have all this equipment so here's the equipment I used to hollow them out. I could only achieve 7"-8" lengths hollowed out but maybe you can use this info and solve the "need longer drilling length for a pipe" issue. Here's what I used:
Fisch 9/16" Brad Point Drill
Rockler Carbide Forstner Bits with 3 7/8" long shanks (3/4" and 1", I had 2 different size dowels I was experimenting with)
Nova G3 Pro-Tek 1" x 8TPI Reversible Chuck Direct Thread
Rockler 1/2 Drill Chuck
Century Brad Point 7/8" with 1/2" Reduced Shank (to take most of the material out of the middle of the dowel before using the Forstner bits (8" long I think)
#2 Morse Taper 4 5/16" from Rockler
Nova Pin Jaw Set 47391
Nova Chuck Accessory 35MM/1.35 Spigot Jaws SKU JS-SP35
That's all pretty expensive equipment - guess the investment depends on how many pipes you want to make.
Note that unless you're dead center when you're drilling you'll make pipe holes out the side of the dowel rod in positions you didn't actually want a hole (speaking from experience). Expert turners might have advice on how to get dead center.
Hope that helps.
 
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