Funny, that, that's exactly how I've done it, too.
I was turning tapers, about 380mm long, tapering from 15 to 3.8mm. I started with some 5/8"round bar and cut the taper 80mm at a time, working from the small end to the large. I centre drilled the small end for the rotating centre, not really for support, but to keep it from whipping about. Worked a treat.
Wooding wrote: || David Billington wrote: ||| I have been asked if I can make some items that use a steel rod ||| tapering from 1/4" down to 3/32" over about 7". All I can think of ||| at the moment is to try and turn it but using a special tailstock ||| centre to allow it to be placed in tension and offset the tailstock ||| to set the taper as normal. The taper doesn't have to be accurate, ||| it could be slightly barreled, but does need to be smooth. Any body ||| have any better ideas. ||| || || I had to make a small triblet for the jewellery I make. It consists || of a silver-steel rod that tapers from 9mm to 1.8mm over a distance || of about 150mm. I turned it on my lathe using nothing but the || standard equipment - I don't have a taper attachment and the top || slide travel is only 70mm. || || I machined the taper in stages, so the the cutting tool was never || more than 30mm from the chuck. || I centre drilled the end, set the topslide over to the the required || angle, chucked the rod so that only 30mm protruded supported it with || a live centre in the tailstock, then started to cut the taper until || it got too close to the live centre. At this point I continued the || cut by leaving a knob on the end where the centre supported the rod. || It got tricky at this point 'cos I wanted to get the end of the || taper as small as 1.8mm, but, by using a sharp tool that could cut || in both directions, this was finally done. The rod was then extended || a further 30mm and, with suitable light cuts, the taper cutting was || continued until it met the previous one. The process was repeated || until there was no more to cut, then the knob was removed and the || surface improved with emery cloth. || || It made a very nice triblet that gets a lot of use - in fact I made || two, one for a friend. || || || -- || || Regards, Gary Wooding || (To reply by email, change feet to foot in my address)