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Steb Center for Lathe

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Forum topic by pete57 posted 11-30-2012 03:05 PM 3507 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pete57

134 posts in 2165 days


11-30-2012 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi everyone,
Christmas is here again and time for me to get a couple new tools ordered.

I want to get a steb center for my lathe. I have had to mark the center of the leg stock for my chairs and then use a hammer to pound in the drive center that came with my lathe. It still has a lot of life and there is nothing wrong with it but it is a pain to do that for all the parts for 6 chairs.

I am interested in a steb center for the lathe and I have found 2 of the them-

PSI Woodworking LCENTSS21 #2 MT with 5/8-Inch Crown Super Wood Lathe Drive Center (Amazon) $15.00

7/8’’ Steb center #2MT (Packard Woodturning) $65.00

Quite a difference in price, so does anyone have input, advise on these 2 items as far as performance goes. I buy all my lathe tools from Packard.

Thanks

pete

-- Humble Wood Servant


9 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 901 days


#1 posted 11-30-2012 03:16 PM

I have the one from PSI and it works great for me. You gotta get your tail stock nice and tight, but that’s about it.

Rich;)

View hairy's profile

hairy

2109 posts in 2287 days


#2 posted 11-30-2012 03:23 PM

I can’t help you make that decision. You will appreciate what they can do. I have 2 Sorby steb centers, one for each end of the lathe. They are very well made. I like them for multi axis, they really grip.

I’ve had spindles split trying to use 4 prong drive centers, it doesn’t take much to do it.


-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 901 days


#3 posted 11-30-2012 04:40 PM

I thought about using steb centers at both ends, since the PSI one is so inexpensive. Perhaps I’ll order another one.

Rich;)

View hairy's profile

hairy

2109 posts in 2287 days


#4 posted 11-30-2012 07:03 PM

The drive end is different than the tailstock end. You can’t use the same one in both ends.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1248 posts in 889 days


#5 posted 11-30-2012 08:40 PM

I have never felt a need for a step center, but popular with lot of turners. I mark centers and punch center hole on both ends with an awl before pounding in my 2 prong centers and bringing up tailstock & tighten down. I do a lot of turning spindles and rough out bowls between centers using this method. I can turn a dovetail or tenon on a bowl blank for chuck mounting between centers.

You will still be marking centers & using an awl to punch a hole in centers. For folks not familiar with step centers here is a nice video on using step centers in both head/tailstock. JMHO, would not waste my time with something from PSI or Amazon.

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=lathes-acc-rtc-revsteb

I bought my two prong centers from Craft Supplies & Packard Woodworks. Afyer almost twenty years had to adjust center prong on my Craft Supplies 2 prong center.

-- Bill

View moke's profile

moke

558 posts in 1531 days


#6 posted 12-01-2012 04:21 PM

I turn a lot of pens and do some segmenting. Steb centers are “gentler” on some delicate blanks than a 60 degree center, because it distributes the connection over many points. I turn alot “between centers”. I ordered the PSI piece because it was only 5/8. I really like it, I have used it a lot. I like Rich wish I could find a “live center” version.

View pete57's profile

pete57

134 posts in 2165 days


#7 posted 12-04-2012 01:28 AM

Thanks for the input. If one learns something new each day life is good. I have learned something new. Two steb centers, one at each end??? I also mark the center and use an awl to start a hole in the center then drive the 4 tooth center in. It is a step that I really hate. When i start turning chair parts I get in a groove and I turn until I get tired. It can be 8 legs or 24 legs, just depends on the day. Thanks again and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 901 days


#8 posted 12-04-2012 02:21 AM

PSI offers a revolving steb center for use in the tail stock. Going to have to order me one.

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCENTTS2.html

Rich;)

View mpax356's profile

mpax356

50 posts in 1247 days


#9 posted 12-20-2012 03:30 PM

I have used the PSI 5/8” crown steb center for about two years. I have not used a Sorby so really can not say the PSI is just as good. I looked at it closely today and the points do show some dulling. I do use it almost exclusively so maybe a Sorby would show the same dulling (or it might be made of a better hardened steel). I have the PSI 1” and do not much care for it. Mostly because I don’t do a lot of large spindles and also I think because the point is so large and the spring so strong, you have to crank on the tailstock pretty good. I have the PSI 60 degree cone live center and have been satisfied with it. But I know it has a cheap bearing and will not likely last. It is just more convenient for me to grab it when I need a cone center then to put the cone on and off of my PM live center. The cone does hold up better with accidents than the aluminum cone for my PM live center which shows some wear on the tip. I also bought the PSI pen mandrel saver. Every one I know who used one complained about the squealing bearing including me. I did just get a nova live center system on sale from WC for $60 which has three bearings and provides the same functionality as the two cheap PSI live centers. Wish I had bought it first. David Ellsworth commented he has been using the Nova center in his shop and classes for 20 years and feels it is the best live center around. To qualify my comments I have been turning five years on a PM3520b and made the video referenced here http://lumberjocks.com/topics/44404

Several folks commented they use an awl to mark centers. I have used that also but have been using a spring loaded center punch and find it so much more convenient.

-- MPax, Atlanta

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