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Steb drive center (Read 303 times)
 
Dick Bernard
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Steb drive center
Jun 2nd, 2019 at 5:55pm
 
Hello to all my old friends on the forum.
I have not been on this forum for quite a while and I have not turned my lathe on in about 8 months. I have missed both the forum and of course having fun on my lathe. I won't bore you with details, but to say that it's been a very hectic time in my life. Very glad to say that most it has been good.

I still have not turned on my lathe but I'm just about ready to crank her up.
I would like to surprise my wife with something special. Watched a video by Charlie Sheaf where he turns an inside out wine bottle. I think she would really like that.

Charlie Sheaf mentioned that he used "steb drive centers", I think he said they were Sorby's. I can understand the reasoning for using that drive center, (so that a regular cone shape won't pry apart the glue joint). My problem is, I just don't know which one to purchase. Also, do I need to buy 2 of them?

I have a Jet 1642.
Thank you in advance for any thoughts or ideas.
Dick
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Ed Weber
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #1 - Jun 2nd, 2019 at 6:33pm
 
I have a Woodcraft brand 5/8' steb center and it works just fine. Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

I really only use it to rough out until I get a proper tenon turned to mount in a chuck

You can get them at PSI for about $20
You can get them at Woodcraft and other places for about $30
Or you can buy a Sorby for about $55 on up
Also the steb center that mounts into a four jaw chuck are in the $60 range as well..

I'm sure others will add to this
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Dick Bernard
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #2 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 4:52am
 

Thank you Ed.

As I mentioned in my post, I have not visited the forum in a long time but, I do remember you stepping up to help me quite often.

Dick
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Louie Powell
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #3 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 7:01am
 
I've only ever used Steb centers as drive centers.  I know that they are available as live centers, but I've never had a need for one.

One thing I would add - Steb centers have a spring-loaded pin surrounded by a ring of teeth.  To use them, you bring up the tailstock and apply pressure until the spring-loaded pin is pushed back into the housing, and the teeth grip the workpiece.  One of the advantages, for production turners, is that you can back off the tailstock to relieve pressure on that pin, and the piece will stop rotating even if the lathe is still running.  So, for example, as you are turning a tenon, you can quickly remove the workpiece to test the diameter of the tenon without having to stop the lathe.

But there is a downside (isn't there always - - -):  the spring-loaded pin is held in place by a set screw.  Since the pin has to be able to move, the set screw must be a bit loose, but to hold the pin in place, it must ride in a 'flat' machined into the side of the pin.  My experience is that over time, that screw tends to loosen which allows the pin to slip out of the end of the center.  That's usually not a problem - just tighten the screw a quarter of a turn and you're back in business.  But a few months ago, I had an instance where pressure from the tailstock split the workpiece, causing the workpiece to come off the lathe.  The screw was loose, and pressure from the spring then launched the pin into the air.  As far as I know, it's still in the pile of shavings behind my lathe.  I was unable to actually find it (using a magnet), so I had to machine a new pin from a length of steel rod.
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Louie
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #4 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 8:42am
 
Louie Powell wrote on Jun 3rd, 2019 at 7:01am:
Since the pin has to be able to move, the set screw must be a bit loose, but to hold the pin in place, it must ride in a 'flat' machined into the side of the pin.



A few wraps of teflon thread tape will keep the set screw from loosening and hold it in any set position.
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Chris Neilan
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #5 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 6:58pm
 
I use steb drive and live centers frequently, especially if I am making a natural edge bowl and have to readjust the way the bowl is mounted.
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Delta 46-460: awesome
Powermatic 3520: more awesome!
Shopsmith Mark 7: Wonderful! (But I don't use it as a lathe yet)
Shopsmith Mark V
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Don R Davis
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #6 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 6:32am
 
Ed Weber wrote on Jun 3rd, 2019 at 8:42am:
Louie Powell wrote on Jun 3rd, 2019 at 7:01am:
Since the pin has to be able to move, the set screw must be a bit loose, but to hold the pin in place, it must ride in a 'flat' machined into the side of the pin.



A few wraps of teflon thread tape will keep the set screw from loosening and hold it in any set position.


Or medium thread locker.   Smiley
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Mike Peace
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #7 - Jun 7th, 2019 at 5:22pm
 
All steb drives are not created equal. The Sorby does not use a set screw and I have not heard of the spring point coming out like the $20 knock offs. I have both. My club uses the $20 knockoffs. After a while the points come loose and  based on my experience, teflon or loctite does not fix them. You get what you pay for.
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Mike

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Ed Weber
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #8 - Jun 8th, 2019 at 10:10am
 
May I ask, how is the Sorby spring loaded point retrained in the housing?

Mike Peace wrote on Jun 7th, 2019 at 5:22pm:
After a while the points come loose and  based on my experience, teflon or loctite does not fix them. You get what you pay for.


Well I wasn't suggesting that these products fix something that's broken, I was suggesting that they be used as insurance to protect against the set screw loosening and avoiding the problems that would cause in the first place.

In my experience, If adjusted properly, there is no reason why the less expensive alternatives should come loose or fail. Unless there is a flaw in the manufacturer of the part itself or it gets damaged in some way, a set screw used to retain a spring loaded part is a centuries old mechanical method and is not by itself prone to failure. JMO
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Chris Neilan
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Waterford, Connecticut, USA
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Re: Steb drive center
Reply #9 - Jun 12th, 2019 at 10:09am
 
Love my steb center, especially the live one.
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« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2019 at 10:09am by Chris Neilan »  

Delta 46-460: awesome
Powermatic 3520: more awesome!
Shopsmith Mark 7: Wonderful! (But I don't use it as a lathe yet)
Shopsmith Mark V
Shopsmith 10ER
 
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