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Live (& Dead) Centres
Tailstock Centres of Every Type

The tail centre provides support for spindle work - mainly - in the tailstock.  Although traditionally these were 'dead' centres, modern usage normally leans towards centres where the centre point rotates freely on bearings - giving us the 'live' centre.  Select here from our own Versachuck range, Planet Manufacturing's products and the Axminster range.  The live Stebcentres are also featured - but on the previous page.
If you are not sure of the size of the Morse Taper in your lathe take a look at this
simple method of measuring.

Planet Manufacturing Live (and Dead) Centres

Planet Manufacturing Live Centres: Planet Manufacturing Live Centre (Std.)
The 'Standard'
centres contains two maintenence free deep grooved ball races with low friction shields and also with seals resisting dust penetration.  Features a 60 degree point, and available in two configurations.  Light duty are similar but smaller, facilitating operations on small diameter work.  Available only with 1MT shank.

    • 22mm dia. head x 1MT - Light Duty
    • 31mm dia. head x 1MT  - Standard Duty
    • 31mm dia. head x 2MT - Standard Duty
 

The 'Heavy Duty' centres are similar in style to the 'Standard' centres but with a more chunky 36mm head and incorporating an additional substantial thrust race bearing.

 

The 'Slim Deluxe' centres feature a three race bearing system incorporating a thrust race for added rigidity. Slim 1/2" diameter, 60 degree hardened point in a stylish and compact overall envelope. Available with 1MT or 2MT shank..

 

Planet Manufacturing Detachable Ring Centre: This little piece of kit allows any standard 60 degree live centre to be converted into a ring centre, quickly and economically.  The ring reduces the likelihood of splintering on vulnerable timbers by spreading the pressure from the point to the circumference area of the ring. Overall diameter of ring is 20 mm.  A brilliant and economical piece of equipment.

 

Planet Manufacturing Hollow Live Centre: If you plan to do any long hole boring, through the tailstock, perhaps for a lamp, then you are going to need one of these chaps.  This two-bearing rotating hollow centre has a 5/16" bore throughout to suit a standard auger, and is supplied with a removable point so that it can be used as a standard centre, and an alignment tool. Aimed primarily at long hole boring applications, this centre can be used as a tail centre where there is a risk of splitting, much like the principle of the detachable ring centre described above.  Supplied complete with centring pin  to assist when re-mounting work.

 

Planet Manufacturing Hollow Dead Centre: This centre has a 5/16" bore, and is supplied with a removable centre. Aimed initially at long hole boring applications, this centre can be used as a tail centre where there is a risk of splitting, much like the principle of the detachable ring centre described above. (NB: This is not a "live" centre - it has no bearings.)

 

VersaChuck Dead Centres

VersaChuck Dead Centres: Dead Centres (that is, centres that do not rotate on a bearing) are very useful when aligning head and tailstock, for use as a slipping cone drive, for traditional turning and whenever an absolutely rigid tail support is required.

 

VersaChuck Spindle Alignment Centre

VersaChuck Spindle Alignment Centre: If your lathe has a headstock which can be rotated, you will probably be aware that getting the head and tailstock back into perfect alignment after doing 'off the bed' work can be a real challenge. Some lathes incorporate stops and/or indexed locations but even these often leave much to be desired in terms of absolute accuracy. Double-ended Morse tapers promise much but certainly do not deliver their full promise!

Having wrestled with this issue for many years, and finding no perfect solution, we decided to make our own solution, yet one that is simple to use and low cost to acquire. This takes the form of an extended dead centre some 220 mm long which is fitted into the Morse taper throat of the headstock spindle. Since the point of this aligment centre is very much further from the centre of rotation of the headstock than would be the case with a standard centre, it acts as a 'mechanical amplifier' of headstock rotational movement. Hence one can see very easily even the slightest rotational misalignment by comparing the centre point position with the point of a standard centre held in the tailstock (a perfect pairing is the 2DC dead centre listed above).

Available only in 2 Morse taper size, since most lathes with rotating headstocks are the larger lathes featuring larger spindle thread sizes and thus the larger Morse taper throat size.

 

Axminster Live Centres

Live Centre 1Standard Live Centres:  The most basic of the woodturner's needs, these live centres feature a 60 degree conical point and are mounted on not one, but two, top quality, sealed for life, dust-proof bearings.  A tool for life.

 

Extended Nose 90 degree Live Centre:  With a 90 degree nose angle terminating the standard-style 60-degree cone, these drives give excellent access Live centre 3when working close up to the tailstock.  There is also less splitting tendency than with a standard 60 degree cone centre.  Two-bearing design, as above.

 

Mini Live Centre: With a diameter of just 22mm (7/8"), this centre also flive centre 2eatures the dual angle cone of the extended nose live centres with a 60 degree cone terminated by a 90 degree nose.  With the smaller work for which this centre is designed the reduced splitting tendency of the 90 degree nose will be much appreciated.

 

Hollow Live Centre:  For long hole boring.  The bore throughout is 5/16" (~8mm) to suit a standard hand shell auger.  Two points are prHollow live centreovided. The short point is used when long hole boring:  the longer point allows this centre to operate as a micro live centre with a head diameter of only 3/8" (10mm) suitable for use on the finest of workpieces. 

 

Steb Live Centres

Revolving Stebcentre: This revolutionary idea involves taking the body of a live centre and putting the head of a stebcentre onto it. This allows for basic off centre work to be acheived, such as cabriolet candlesticks as well as multi-sided boxes and even small multi-sided bowls when used in conjunction with an original Steb Centre or the Steb Drive, both available here.

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

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1997-2011 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley. 
Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice