Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Woodturning Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar

I needed a means of holding and turning long thin spindles in such a way as to reduce chatter and vibration.  Live centers can introduce some problems if the tailstock is over tightened compressively.  Therefore, I wanted a means of holding the stock securely and without axial compressive forces which would contribute to vibrations and chatter.

My solution was the combination of a Collet Chuck and Live Center with a Drawbar.  Mounting this combination in the tailstock and securing the work piece in the collet chuck.  Next, move the quill on the locked tailstock  away from headstock and create some tension in the workpiece/spindle.  As a result, the workpiece is held firmly and steadily by the collet chuck.

One thing I noticed after turning very thin pieces (5/16" or 8mm) was the thin spindles demonstrated the ability to oscillate axially when the lathe was stopped.  Exerting a small amount of torque to the collet and releasing it would cause the spindle to oscillate axially in the fixture.  In any case, I have been very happy with the performance of this live center.

Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar holding a spindle.