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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I'm unsure if I should get a drive centre with a live centre setup or go for a pair of matched ring centre's? Up to now all I have worked with is the drive and live centre's and didn't even know the others existed! But while shopping for new ones online I came across a video demonstrating the ring centres which I kinda liked. I'm just wondering if there is any disadvantage to using them? Thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ones I was looking at don't have interchangeable heads. The one that goes on the headstock is a fixed/dead version of the one in the tailstock which is live. I'm using this forum as an app on my I-phone so can't copy a link to show you. The advantage to using these in the video showed you can take the piece down to a much smaller diameter right
Into the ends without the piece coming off as easily as it would on a standard tapered live centre. As I was saying, just wondered if there was a disadvantage to the setup or is it one you could use for most turning? I'm still a novice in the world of turning so if it seems I'm missing basic things here like names ect, you's will have to forgive me.
 

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You did not state what type of centers you have now. You can get a Nova live center for the tailstock with changeable points for $55.99 here. It has the “cup center’ which looks basically the same as the one you showed plus it is easy to make custom points. http://novatoolsusa.com/Lathe-Accessories_c3.htm
For the headstock some people do use a center which looks about the same and is called a “safety center” I assume made famous by Lacer in his skew video. It allows the wood to slip when you get a catch in spindle turning. I guess that’s OK, sorta like training wheels on an adults bicycle in my opinion. If you are practicing safe turning and get a catch with a standard drive center the main thing hurt will be your ego. If the wood is practice wood, well you practiced and learned, grab another piece of practice wood.
Here is a pic of a safety center. http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCSAFE2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NCPaladin said:
You did not state what type of centers you have now.

I stated in the opening post that I have only ever used a drive centre and live centre Setup?. The drive being four pronged
 

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Sorry about my misinterpretation from the other side of the pond. From my experience I have always heard the headstock referred to as drive centers and tailstock as either dead or revolving.

From your picture of the dead center in the tailstock, if you move it to the head stock it will become a safety/ring drive center.

For drive centers I would group them into four classes but different ones may exist.
Four prong – which you have. Able to drive almost anything you put on the lathe.
Two prong – Longer, flatter prongs which are good to drive into soft or punky wood, usually used for bowls. (Can split a spindle)
Steb center – Many short points and grabs hard/dry wood very well with minimum intrusion into the wood. Normally used with spindle but if the wood is dry can be used for smaller bowls/platters.
Safety/Ring – Can drive a lot of different items but most commonly used with light tailstock pressure which allows the wood to slip on it and used for spindle turning. The more pressure from the tailstock the greater the holding power.

For the tailstock you can have dead or revolving. Most people have live centers in order to not burn the wood but many older lathes came with a dead center.
I think almost all that you will find to purchase now for the tailstock will be live centers. Two of the most popular brands here are the Nova and the Oneway. I have the Nova as it has three sets of bearings, is much less expensive, and easily customized.

or
http://www.teknatool.com/products/Lathe_Accessories/Centres/nlc.htm
Here is how I make custom center for my Nova and you can also make custom centers for the Oneway. You may have other popular brands in your location.
 

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