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Steb centers

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Mike Wingate

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I have been using one for over 10 years or more, since they first came out. It is used at school in the Graduate lathe. I have refiled the teeth twice as pupils lose control and catch the side of the teeth. I find it really good, far better than the two pronged spade drive that we used to use.
 

jumps

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Jonzjob":24jm6923 said:
Has anyone had any problems with their Steb center? Like the teeth wearing down?
I suppose it's possible, depending on use - it's a bit like the question 'have you ever had a clutch fail in your car?'

Used on the end of large, possibly gritty green oak, and having to be constantly adjusted as it works it's way into the end and slips, it's going to 'wear'.

otoh, only used on joinery grade lighter spindle blanks I can't see the same thing happening in a lifetime (without the intervention of HSS tools!)

I haven't used mine long enough to be able to make an assesment in practice.
 

TobyB

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VERY disappointed by the large and small diameter ones I have - maybe it's my tool control that's the underlying problem - but so easy (ie "routine") that when using them to rough down a spindle between-centres piece or a bowl-blank that I end up with the wood spinning whilst the Steb Centre spins scoring out a deep groove with pipper-all hold on the wood. I've experimented with end and side grain in different (type and dry/wet) woods and remain deeply unimpressed. A simple 4-prong drive with pre-cut grooves using a mallet works OK for me in all sorts of materials/alignments ... sadly the Steb centres disappoint every time I've given them "another chance" ...
 

Jonzjob

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I have had mine, 1/2" jobbie, for just over 20 months. No heavy work and definalely not touched with any tools, but I noticed that it was slipping more and more. When I had a close look the teeth were/are badly worn.

For £32 I would have expected something made of stronger stuff than mine is and to last longer. I am not in my workshop every day and it just doesn't get heavy usage.
 

Nick Arnull

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Hi Guys,
I always set the centres before mounting the wood on the lathe and only ever use them on dry timber.
By setting the centre I refer to driving it into the end grain using a copper headed hammer,
I do a lot of production work and simply cant live without them.
One final point are you sure they are genuine steb centres as I feel sure I have seen some others elsewhere buit am unable to recall where.

Hope this is of interest,
Nick Arnull.
 

Jonzjob

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Mine are genuine. They have Robert Sorby Stebcentre etched on the morse taper. But I had to go and have a look :mrgreen:

One of te reasons that I haven't 'set' the centre is that I tend to do a fair amount of smallish stuff, doweled to fit other bits and I tend to remove the whatever without stopping the lathe. Just wind the tail stock back, stop the wood try the fit and replace it. And, no I don't do that with anything big. I may be mad, but I do try not to be stupid :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 

nev

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TobyB":1ho04jxn said:
... that I end up with the wood spinning whilst the Steb Centre spins scoring out a deep groove with pipper-all hold on the wood.
thats the same problem i always had with the prong drive til somebody on here suggested i needed to seat it in the wood with a thump of the mallet (hammer) and i haven't had a problem since :D
so when xmas comes and santa brings me a steb centre, do they require a quick belt with the mallet too?
 

paulm

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nev":1j9vakl4 said:
TobyB":1j9vakl4 said:
... that I end up with the wood spinning whilst the Steb Centre spins scoring out a deep groove with pipper-all hold on the wood.
thats the same problem i always had with the prong drive til somebody on here suggested i needed to seat it in the wood with a thump of the mallet (hammer) and i haven't had a problem since :D
so when xmas comes and santa brings me a steb centre, do they require a quick belt with the mallet too?
Not in my experience Nev, work just fine tightened up with the tailstock.

Cheers, Paul
 

Finial

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I've used one constantly since they first came out, the 7/8 inch size, and love it. Don't remember when I last used the ordinary prong centre. I resharpened it with a file once, years ago, after it was dropped and the teeth got bent over. I agree that for the price you might expect tougher steel, but it works fine. Yesterday I roughed down about 150 spindles in 2 1/2 inch wet wood, going fast with heavy cuts. About half a dozen times the drive slipped and I had to tighten the tailstock pressure. If it slips again the teeth can't then go in far enough for full torque, but if it gets slippy I just slow down the cutting a bit. No problem really, though if it was happening all the time like for Toby it would drive anyone mad. For most spindles, I find the numerous teeth with points that go in easily with no need to hammer, all at the maximum radius, give the best drive. And you can easily stop the spindle with the lathe running then tighten up again.
 
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