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Anyone with Experience using a Spring-type Live Center?

Titanium Knurler

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I was turning an 18” piece of O1 steel the other day. I was using a dead center rather than a live center because I thought it would be a bit more accurate but had to constantly adjust the dead center as the piece expanded. Finally, I got tired of doing this and replaced it with a live center to reduce friction but I still needed to periodically slowly back off the tail stock. To do this I would back off on the tail stock while the piece was turning until the live just stopped turning then reapplied slight pressure until it just started to turn with the workpiece. Pretty tedious process but more importantly probably not the best as far as accuracy, so I started to wonder why someone had not made a constant pressure live center? Well, of course, they are already made(Royal)but they are pricey. I am wondering if anyone has experience using one? Thanks,TK

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Titanium Knurler

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:), I was hoping to find a used one.

I am curious whether anyone has experience using one; it sounds like a good idea to me. Maybe there is cheaper brand or an another way to accomplish the same thing?
 

RJSakowski

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I would think that the requisite sliding fit on either the inner or outer race would introduce a small amount of runout in the live center.
 

benmychree

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I tried one on a cylindrical grinder; it was not accurate enough, the part was always slightly moving around, sparking intermittently.
 

Tozguy

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Feb 15, 2013
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This is a budget live centre with the spindle removed. It would be possible to insert a coil spring between the spindle and end plug. The spindle would have to be a slip fit in the two ball bearings. I would not expect much accuracy from it though.
Another option might be to replace the two ball bearings with a precision roller or needle bearing or two.
Makes one realize how much precision and quality must go into those Royal centres shown above.
 

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darkzero

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I don't see a need for something like this on a lathe with a tailstock especially at that price. IMHO if they were that useful a lot more people would be using them & a lot more manufacturers would be making them. A luxury if even that, more like for specialized applications IMO.

ROHM makes a live center that has a gauge built in to indicate how much load/force is appled to it. Nice & expensive but again still not needed & is a "luxury".
 

benmychree

John York
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In school, we were taught to bring the center (a dead center) snugly up to the part, lightly clamp the binding lever on the tailstock, and let slack into the tailstock screw, and heat expansion could push the center back.
 

Illinoyance

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I always wanted a Concentric live center but thrprice scared me off.
 
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