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Thread: #2MT, Crown Spur Drive Center

  1. #1

    #2MT, Crown Spur Drive Center

    I find only 5/8" on Amazon and in the UK I see several for sale and in USA there is Sorby version for $65 and a bunch of 5/8" dia spur drives for ~ $23-25. I'm thinking of buy a 5/8" and turn it down to a 1/2" and save my money. I have a 3/8" center, bought for same purpose of smaller tenons on rungs, but it has a tendency to drill into even small chair rungs when turning.
    If you klnow of a 1/2" spur center at a more reasonable price point??? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Here's a 3/8 version from Penn State Ind.
    https://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCENTMDC2.html
    Would this work?
    SWE

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Tyree View Post
    I find only 5/8" on Amazon and in the UK I see several for sale and in USA there is Sorby version for $65 and a bunch of 5/8" dia spur drives for ~ $23-25. I'm thinking of buy a 5/8" and turn it down to a 1/2" and save my money. I have a 3/8" center, bought for same purpose of smaller tenons on rungs, but it has a tendency to drill into even small chair rungs when turning.
    If you klnow of a 1/2" spur center at a more reasonable price point??? Thanks!
    I quit using spur centers and stick to steb centers, mostly since they have spring-loaded points. I have 1/2" and 7/8" drive and 1/2" live steb centers. I turn a lot of small spindles but not chair rungs. But how does a drive center drill into the wood - could there be too much force on the tool?

    https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Sorby-.../dp/B002RMH4SA
    Checking with camelcamelcamel, the current $54.94 is as cheap as it's ever been on Amazon - usually about $65 and higher.

    Reducing the size of a 5/8" might work but are some made from hardened steel? If so, it probably could be ground down to 1/2" without too much problem.

    BTW, if you can turn a short sacrificial tenon on the drive end of the spindle you might try holding with a collet chuck instead of drive center. I sometimes use 1/2" #2MT collets to hold small spindles (use with a draw bar):

    collet_2MT.jpg collet_finials_larger.jpg

    Or just hold the end of the square in a chuck and part off after turning the rung tenon? I use this method for most spindle-oriented turnings unless they are long and thin.

    JKJ

  4. #4
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    I have a 3/8" spur drive but have no clue where I got it. Maybe the numbers on its shipping tube will help you.
    Spur drv 3-8..jpg

  5. #5
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    steb centers are so much nicer. Worth every penny.

  6. #6
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    Would this one work for you?

    https://www.packardwoodworks.com/111034.html

  7. #7
    Like I said-I already have a 3/8". it came from Packard. How does it drill in- it's simple, force of cutting while in rotation cause an opposite reaction. Not that it always happens but it does with that small 3/8 drive center. Crown centers are easier to reposition the workpiece in same exact spot-I LIKE them!
    My 1" crown center I use for larger spindles has a spring loaded center and most all of them do that I've seen. I don't use/own Steb centers. I can buy a 5/8" crown drive center on ebay the cheapest for $22 from regular sellers, Hartville I think it is. I typically compare ebay to Amazon and a dollars a dollar.
    I'm going to go for the 5/8" and cut it down slightly, a file will cut them OK, at least all I own.
    With the spring loaded centers it's important to use blue locktite to avoid loosing the set screw or center thingy.
    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Tyree View Post
    With the spring loaded centers it's important to use blue locktite to avoid loosing the set screw or center thingy.
    Thanks.
    I don't understand that. I've never lost a spring loaded center point from a steb center. There are no set screws. Spring-loaded points have many advantages, especially with thin spindles from very hard or brittle exotic woods.

    If the force from turning is causing a 3/8" spur center to bore into the end of a spindle my first thoughts are the tools are not sharp enough, the tool pressure too aggressive, the technique is not refined, there is a tendency to catch, or maybe the lathe speed is too low. You should be able to turn a spindle even with a smooth cup drive center without it slipping - these are sometimes called safety centers since the wood slips if there is a catch but the smooth cup prevents drilling into the wood.

    A steb center is much like a safety center in that it will spin if you get a catch but the ring of small gripping points doesn't damage the wood.

    But what types of tools are you using? A sharp spindle gouge, Hunter tool, a sharp skew, or a sharp roughing gouge used gently should shape a spindle with very little force in the opposite direction. Of course, getting catches or turning with scrapers or flat-topped carbide tools can slow or stop the spinning and cause a problem.

    JKJ

  9. #9
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    The PSI ones have a set screw that is not tightened against the center point which is stepped. If the set screw loosens to where it backs out past the step, the center point is easily lost in the shavings.

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I don't understand that. I've never lost a spring loaded center point from a steb center. There are no set screws. Spring-loaded points have many advantages, especially with thin spindles from very hard or brittle exotic woods.

    If the force from turning is causing a 3/8" spur center to bore into the end of a spindle my first thoughts are the tools are not sharp enough, the tool pressure too aggressive, the technique is not refined, there is a tendency to catch, or maybe the lathe speed is too low. You should be able to turn a spindle even with a smooth cup drive center without it slipping - these are sometimes called safety centers since the wood slips if there is a catch but the smooth cup prevents drilling into the wood.

    A steb center is much like a safety center in that it will spin if you get a catch but the ring of small gripping points doesn't damage the wood.

    But what types of tools are you using? A sharp spindle gouge, Hunter tool, a sharp skew, or a sharp roughing gouge used gently should shape a spindle with very little force in the opposite direction. Of course, getting catches or turning with scrapers or flat-topped carbide tools can slow or stop the spinning and cause a problem.

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Rozendaal View Post
    The PSI ones have a set screw that is not tightened against the center point which is stepped. If the set screw loosens to where it backs out past the step, the center point is easily lost in the shavings.
    That makes sense. I don't have any tools from PSI.

  11. #11
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    Have you thought about the Oneway safety drive? I slips if you have a catch and will not drill into your work. I love mine. Spring loaded pin. It's close to 1/2" from what I remember.

  12. #12
    That Oneway isn't what I want, but thanks. I ordered the PSI crown drive on Amazon for $19.95 in 5/8".
    Candidly stated, I don't appreciate suggestions about "what brand tools" nor "can I sharpen them". Lets play nice and try for less snarkyness. Mostly, not all are Marples or Sorby, thank you. I have a 24 x 36' dedicated wood shop since early 1980's. I grew up around wood and only recently ahve spean't much toime here in this forum.
    It's sad that a moderator here seems to feel those sort of comments are appropriate?
    And yes, I know how much force to use. I turned 76 today and have made enough sawdust to be noteworthy and honestly feel no need to explain myself in these ways. Sure not a way to "win friends or influence people" in a positive manner. Play nice and don't look for negatives to throw on commenters. I am neither thin skinned nor do I desire any sort of argument.
    Perhaps you'd find it interesting that I read an item description for a crown drive that said it's design helped to alleviate "boring into the workpiece end"? When I read that, I thought AHA! its not just me that had that experience. Infact i mostly stopped using the 3/8" spur drive I bought some years ago for that very reason.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Tyree View Post
    That Oneway isn't what I want, but thanks. I ordered the PSI crown drive on Amazon for $19.95 in 5/8".
    Candidly stated, I don't appreciate suggestions about "what brand tools" nor "can I sharpen them". Lets play nice and try for less snarkyness. Mostly, not all are Marples or Sorby, thank you. I have a 24 x 36' dedicated wood shop since early 1980's. I grew up around wood and only recently ahve spean't much toime here in this forum.
    It's sad that a moderator here seems to feel those sort of comments are appropriate?
    And yes, I know how much force to use. I turned 76 today and have made enough sawdust to be noteworthy and honestly feel no need to explain myself in these ways. Sure not a way to "win friends or influence people" in a positive manner. Play nice and don't look for negatives to throw on commenters. I am neither thin skinned nor do I desire any sort of argument.
    Perhaps you'd find it interesting that I read an item description for a crown drive that said it's design helped to alleviate "boring into the workpiece end"? When I read that, I thought AHA! its not just me that had that experience. Infact i mostly stopped using the 3/8" spur drive I bought some years ago for that very reason.

    Michael, I understand where you are coming from and it seems that you have a lot of woodworking experience - but as someone who is pretty new to all of this, I don't think anything that was said was meant to be critical or snarky. It is hard to give advice without knowing the background of the person asking, and if it had been me or someone else with less experience asking the question, those responses would have actually been helpful for me to make sure it wasn't something I was doing wrong.

    I just started woodworking a couple years ago (having had absolutely zero experience woodworking in any form growing up) and have found a great amount of help from this site and appreciate that people are willing to take time to answer mine and each others questions and I hope that that continues. Thanks and good luck with the new drive and happy turnings!
    Tom

  14. #14
    Members may find the post below interesting taken from The woodworkers institute website
    (sorry you will need to scroll across the post)

    https://www.woodworkersinstitute.com...951_page1.html

    Posted: 27 Mar 2014 at 7:37pm
    Bob Chapman
    You might be interested in this tale which I don't think Gerry Stebbings will mind me relaying to you. Two or three years ago Gerry rang me to arrange a woodturning lesson. I was a bit surprised and said something like 'if you are the Gerry Stebbings I think you are, surely you don't need lessons from me?' He chuckled and said ' everyone thinks I'm some kind of wizard turner, but I'm not'. Gerry is (or maybe was) a CDT technician in a school (are you paying attention Neil?) and he told me how he was just trying out the lathe in the school's workshop and had picked up a ring centre and put it in the headstock, mounted a short length of timber between that and a revolving centre and set to. He found that as soon as he put chisel to wood it stopped rotating. No matter what he tried he couldn't cut the wood because it just stopped as soon as he tried.
    Eventually in frustration he took a file and filed small teeth into the ring centre - and hence the Stebcentre was born! It's been refined quite a bit since then, but that's how it started.
    Last edited by Brian Deakin; 12-10-2019 at 5:48 PM.

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