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Thread: Sorby Steb Center, that isn't a Drive Center?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Austin, TX
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    438

    Sorby Steb Center, that isn't a Drive Center?

    I bought a couple of Sorby steb centers. Today I tried to use the small one I'd bought, but would stop with any pressure on the piece.

    It looks like this: https://www.robert-sorby.co.uk/chuck...ing-stebcentre

    Sorby is calling it a revolving steb center. Is this meant to go into the tailstock? When would I use this over a live center in the tail stock?

  2. #2
    Erich I have seen these advertised and wondered why myself. I just don't see any advantage to a standard revolving tail stock center.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    9,990

    Two different Steb centers

    There are both Steb drive centers and Steb live centers. I have several sizes of each from 1/2" up to 1" (I think).

    This picture shows both the drive and live Steb centers in the 1/2" size, the size I use the most:

    Steb_Sorby.jpg

    I use them a lot, especially on hard wood that might possibly be brittle when spindles are turned very thin (less than 1/4"). I like them for two reasons, the first and biggest reason: unlike many centers such as the Oneway and clones, the spring-loaded center points on both the drive and live centers won't split the wood when you crank down on it as would a non-spring-loaded point. For thin spindles I use the Steb centers on both ends. I drill a shallow center hole in the center of each end with a gimlet then crank down on the tailstock until the points contact the wood and dig in a little.

    Note there are non-Sorby Steb clones - I bought a 3/4" once and the point was NOT spring loaded.

    Other reasons to use them instead of other drive and live centers: For beginners, these work as safety centers to since they will slip in the event of a catch. For multi-axis pieces the points grab the wood nicely even when the axis on the end is shifted and base is no longer perpendicular to the axis, in which case I might only get 1/2 or less of the points in contact but that is enough. Using a spur drive center for off-axis work in fairly soft wood can make a real mess of the end in short order and quickly make it difficult to find and reuse previous axes.

    This is a bud vase I made recently from soft maple using two Steb centers on three axes on the top end and two on the base end:

    bud_vase_comp_IMG_8238.jpg

    JKJ




    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    I bought a couple of Sorby steb centers. Today I tried to use the small one I'd bought, but would stop with any pressure on the piece.

    It looks like this: https://www.robert-sorby.co.uk/chuck...ing-stebcentre

    Sorby is calling it a revolving steb center. Is this meant to go into the tailstock? When would I use this over a live center in the tail stock?
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 09-25-2020 at 10:28 PM. Reason: missing word

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Tampa Bay area
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    391
    A Steb revolving center would be used in the tailstock in place of a traditional cone live center that might split the workpiece while tightening the tailstock quill.

  5. #5
    I use only two live centers - a fixed cone and the standard Oneway style with the cone removed and the center pin knocked out. Personally, I havenít ever seen the need to anything else.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    I use only two live centers - a fixed cone and the standard Oneway style with the cone removed and the center pin knocked out. Personally, I havenít ever seen the need to anything else.
    Some people turn different things than others and turn in different ways. Perhaps that's the reason some people prefer different tools. Fortunately, there are plenty of options.

  7. #7
    I have a steb drive that clamps in the chuck and use it fairly often. I also use a 2MT cup drive or just clamp the stock in the chuck. One reason for the revolving steb drive may be to match the drive center when flipping the work end for end (Occam's razor).

    The only time I have a problem with the steb is when the work has wax sealer on it. It acts as a lube and it takes a few extra cranks on the tail stock to get a good bite.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Some people turn different things than others and turn in different ways. Perhaps that's the reason some people prefer different tools. Fortunately, there are plenty of options.
    I am sure of that, which is why I said ďpersonallyĒ I havenít seen the need for any other live center. However, I would add that using the cup end of the Oneway style live center, without a center point, permits one to make minute adjustments in the tail stock position. I havenít experienced any slippage that would require teeth, but there are some really different things being done these days on a lathe, so as more of a traditionalist I am sure my needs are different than yours might be.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  9. #9
    For the odder multiaxis things I turn, a steb live center is the best bet (for me). It has a relatively small end, and the teeth and spring-loaded point provide a secure hold. Often there is not enough surface for a more typical (circular) live center to be dependable. That said, most of the time I use cup centers (usually with center pins) for more typical spindle work.

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