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Thread: live center lubrication

  1. #1

    live center lubrication

    Was turning this afternoon and the live center started to make a low whirring noise. I stopped immediately. Pulled the live center and it does not feel that it turns rough, and seems very tight. I have no idea what brand it may be, it came with my 40 yr old Rockwell lathe (46-525) I has interchangeable centers which I like a lot. There does not appear to be a hole to get oil into the bearings from the back or sides. There is a hole of some kind in the center of the socket where the removeable points go. How do you lube the bearings and what lube to use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    San Diego, Ca
    For live centers, the bearings are usually of the shielded or sealed variety. They aren't meant or designed to be re-lubed. Chances are that over 40 years the lubricant has hardened or become contaminated with sawdust powder.

    Bearings and their lubrication have a projected life and it is a lot less than 40 years.

    The bearings are really pretty inexpensive. Full live centers aren't very expensive either. In many cases the bearings can be replaced. In some cases perhaps not. If your bearings can be removed, they almost always have a number on the side that you can use to order a replacement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Sparta Tn
    Ditto what Brice said. I have replace a few over the years and bought the bearings at my local bearing supply house and I live in a small town so if they have it surely you can find them just about anywhere if you look. Online for sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    It might be that it turns smoothly in the hand but has wear that's only evident under pressure.

    If you are looking for a new live center, this is hands-down my favorite, extremely flexible (I have two):

    Last edited by John K Jordan; 08-13-2018 at 8:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Erie, PA
    I agree with John the Nova Live Center System is great, I also have couple.

  6. #6
    I order the recommended one. But I would still like to resurrect the old one. I watched a few videos on Youtube, but the construction of those is quite different. The bearing is the very back of the live center hub. I can find any screws, hex bolts or such. I am beginning to think it may be pressed into place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Elkhart, IN
    Depending on the size of your town or in nearby cities there could be a bearing supplier like Motion Industries or Universal Bearings, etc. Take it to them and see if they can replace the bearing or maybe show you how to get it apart.


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