Axminster "Steb" Centres

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Bodger7

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I have been intending to buy Steb centres but I see that Axminster have their own version. Are they as good as the originals? After discussing this with another woodturner I have serious doubts but would be interested in other people's experiences as they are considerably cheaper. As a matter on interest I bought Chronos versions a few years ago and had to take my headstock to an engineering workshop for them to remove the drive centre that jammed in place. After trying mild heat and brute force they had to drill it out so I would not buy the Chronos versions again.
 

gog64

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I have a pro drive and a pro live centre from Axminster. No idea if they are as good as the original, but they seem perfectly good to me. Never any problems.
 

Robbo3

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I have the Chronos MT2 version as well as their threaded chuck with three different size drives. They are used regularly without problem.
Was it a lathe without a hollow headstock that your drive got stuck in? If so you need a thread protector which also acts as a drive ejector.
Also FYI, Morse tapers need to be clean & dry. Some years back when I bought my present lathe I failed to clean either the headstock taper or the drive centre properly & ended up using hefty blows with a 4 lb lump hammer on the knockout bar.
 

Eric Roy

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I have been using the Axminster versions very happily for the last few months. As I have not owned the ”real” version, I cannot make comparisons but on the basis on my experience so far, would not bother to pay the extra.
 

DJT48

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I have the Axminster 16mm version. It works well. I believe the teeth are smaller than a steb, judging purely from the pictures.

It's great for small work or largish. I recently mounted a 6" bowl blank to cut a recess so that I could then reverse cut on the chuck and turn the bottom & chuck tenon. This is the method used by Stuart Batty and is simpler than using a face plate.
 

Bodger7

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Hi Robbo

[Was it a lathe without a hollow headstock that your drive got stuck in? If so you need a thread protector which also acts as a drive ejector.]

Thanks for your reply. I am not entirely sure what you mean by "a lathe without a hollow headstock" but my lathe had a hollow threaded spindle with a no. 2 morse taper. The drive was new and, presumably, clean but heavy blows from large hammers on a knockout bar failed to shift the jammed drive. I am glad that the problem I experience is not a common one but I will steer clear of the Chronos version.
 

Garno

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Some lathes with swivelling headstocks have solid spindles so you can't knock the centres out with a bar.
I think the "Parkside" lathe also has no way of using a bar to knock out centres. I may be wrong though.
 

Dave Brookes

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If you don’t have a hollow headstock then Axminster do a morse taper insert for holding in a chuck. I have been using this for some years now with the Chronos version of the step centre without any problems. I also have an original Steb Centre designed to be held in the chuck but much prefer the Chronos version as it is more substantial.

Dave
 
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